Whilst there was a marked downturn in new tender opportunities during the lockdown period in Spring/Summer 2020, some areas of public sector tendering did continue. One such area was the education sector, whilst schools may not have been fully open, their business-as-usual requirements continued to be considered and tendered. For example, during lockdown we saw tender opportunity notices for school catering services and school cleaning services. Our client participated in a number of school catering service tenders during lockdown, with successful outcomes!
The school catering services tender was advertised in three lots, for 10 schools located across Devon. Typically in a school catering tender, our client is able to visit the schools as part of their tender preparations. However due to the lockdown and strict social distancing measures in place at the time of the tender, such visits were not possible at all schools. Whilst the buyers helped by providing videos and imagery of the school kitchens, this did mean our client had to form their bid strategy and value adds for each school, without seeing all schools for which they were tendering.
As an existing Tender Victory client, we were aware of the USPs that needed to be relayed in the tender submission. We then used the buyer’s specification and information provided during the tender process to form a bid strategy and writing plan that would enable us to demonstrate our client’s USPs in a way that engaged the buyers and evaluators.
Another win! Our client was successful in winning all three lots. They proceeded with implementation of the contract during lockdown, ready to serve school meals when the schools returned in September. They are already receiving excellent feedback from the schools and their pupils!
Whilst the lockdown period and its after effects have been hard for many businesses, this successful tender demonstrates how businesses that engage with and tender to the public sector can continue to grow, even during a downturn.
The public sector did reduce their tendering in the Spring, but this was primarily to divert their attentions to PPE requirements. There are essential services that the public sector is responsible for delivering, even during a pandemic. Consider if your business can offer such products and services – guaranteeing its survival and potential growth in the future.