We recently spoke with an organisation that was rather down hearted about public sector tendering. They had spent a lot of time submitting a tender to a local body for marketing and design services for a specific campaign. They had completed this tender in-house without the help of an external specialist like Tender Victory.
They had been in contact with the procurement department and felt they had a good understanding of what was expected from them. It had been said several times and also written within the ITT that the answers needed to be short summaries.
What transpired after contract award was that the winning company had submitted examples of the design work they were proposing.
This is disappointing to hear as examples were absolutely not asked for within the ITT.
Had we been involved with this tender process we would have queried the submission of examples as part of the tender clarification process.
Instead we gave this organisation the following advice:
- When there is NO word count to follow, go the extra mile and wherever possible use as many previous examples within your response, include pictures, graphs and anything else that is relevant. You can raise a clarification to check if additional supporting documents will be accepted as part of the process.
- We understand that on this occasion the organisation was not in a position to come up with designs in advance as that could have risked giving away their crucial X factor even before contract award and financial reimbursement for their designs. However, what they could have done to mitigate someone else gaining advantage in the way they encountered, could have been to show previous examples of how they have taken a similar campaign brief and created the subsequent designs or even detail how their design process works
Going the extra mile
When you have spoken to the procurement department and got to know them make use of this insight and really think about what you can include in the responses that would appeal to them.
Some tenders will insist that you keep to the word count and not include diagrams/visuals and where they are included that they must be included in the word count. When this strict criteria does not apply and you are tendering for something more creative like a design contract, truly go the extra mile and put across your companies personality and the added value only you can bring.
If you have attended a site visit or similar, even better! Use what you learned there to respond knowledgeably about the site, the requirements and the end customer. Read our Site Visit blog here.