Four Strategies to Write Winning Bids and Tenders in NZ
We love helping businesses win bids and tenders. Here are five strategies to help you win government contracts in NZ.
Strategy 1 – Demonstrate that your values align.
The first step to this process is to research. Research the government department you are tendering to, or alternatively, the organisation (as this strategy applies to the public and private sector). Read their mission statement and values statement, assess your own, and demonstrate in the tender how they align. In some government tenders issued by government departments across New Zealand, the questions will specifically ask about how your values align. In the alternate, you need to make sure you demonstrate it throughout your tender response, and introduce it as a win theme throughout your tender. Let’s take safety for example.
If one of your values is safety and one of the values of your potential client is safety, it’s important to talk about this in the tender. To make your submission an exemplary response, make safety a win theme in your tender and ensure your tender is deliberately repetitive. For example, where the tender asks for case studies, make sure you refer to your safety record and any innovative safety initiatives in that particular case study.
Through content, images and quotes, it’s critical to consistently demonstrate that your values align throughout the bid.
Strategy 2 – Demonstrate how you are different.
It’s important to look at any government tender opportunity from the outside in – not the inside out. Put yourself in the mind of the government. Then look at your business and your submission compared to those of your competitors. You may be surprised! You may notice that what you consider to be your key points of difference actually aren’t. You may also notice that your competitors are equally competent at delivering the service or product requested in the tender. So what should you do?
Firstly, make sure you provide a comprehensive response that details your competence. Secondly, look at what really makes you different. It may be the skills and expertise of your personnel, or some unique feature of your product or service. Once you have identified the factors that really differentiate you, you need to cross check these against the requirements of the tender. There’s no point in putting something forward as a differentiator if it isn’t relevant. So you have two or three points of difference remaining that are real points of difference! Perfect – weave these key points of difference throughout your bid to build on the fact that you are a competent potential supplier.
Strategy 3 – Respond logically and comply with the requirements
It’s important to make it easy for the review panel to read and review your response. They want to compare apples with apples. They also want to limit the amount of hassle it takes to read through your response and find the answers and information they want. Therefore, it’s important to respond to each question in a direct and concise manner.
When you respond to the question, you need to respond in detail where required and comply with the requirements of the tender. Structure your response document so that it reflects the RFP/RFT/RFQ which was provided. Fill in each of the questions or responses, and ensure that you attach and refer to supporting documentation as required (for example insurance certificates of currency). Finally, when reading each question, you need to interpret the question correctly. ‘Outline’ generally requires less information than ‘demonstrate’ which would require more detail. Provide exactly what they are looking for and ensure you provide a comprehensive response if required.
Strategy 4 – Prepare in advance but tailor your response
It’s a great idea to develop generic content in order to become more efficient in the tender submission process. A tender database of case studies, profiles and documentation is critical to submitting tenders efficiently. However, don’t fall into the trap of cutting and pasting everything. It is critical to tailor your response. Take them time to tailor profiles to ensure they are relevant to the specific project.
For example, let’s assume that you are bidding for a contract to government to build a local stadium. If you have previous experience building government projects in your standard profile, it’s great. However, if you cut and paste a CV or profile from a previous bid to a private contractor for the construction of a motorway, it’s important to take the time to tailor the profile and the CV to suit the opportunity.
The extent to which you tailor the document represents the real ‘work’ in preparing a tender. It will definitely resonate with the reader so it’s important to put the effort in.
That’s it from us! A competitive price also helps win government contract, however, it’s certainly not the be all and end all and sometimes only represents 30% or less of the weighting criteria. Put the work in to tenders to get the best results and if you would like assistance, feel free to give us a call!