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How to Win Digital Marketing Tenders

What to expect from digital marketing tenders 

Do you want to bid for digital marketing tenders but aren’t sure how to get started? If that’s the case then don’t worry, we can help.

This blog will tell you what to expect from digital marketing tenders. We’ll cover different subsectors and the key things you’ll need to consider before producing your bid. Keep reading to find out more!

 What type of digital marketing tenders are out there?

Digital marketing tenders can be found in both the public and private sectors, and include a range of subsectors. The different services include, but is not limited to:

  • SEO
  • PPC
  • PR
  • Media monitoring
  • Press cutting
  • Content writing
  • Copywriting
  • Social media.

What can you expect from digital marketing tenders?

When you’re tendering for contracts in the creative sector, there are certain things that you should expect. These include:

  1. Economic financial standing

When bidding for digital marketing tenders, you’ll likely have to provide information about your economic financial standing. Your economic financial standing considers the following:

  • Your annual turnover
  • Financial ratios
  • Insurance(s).

Buyers consider this to make sure that you’re able to carry out the work.

As a general rule, we advise that you don’t bid for contracts worth more than 50% of your annual turnover. For example, if your annual turnover is £1,000,000, you should avoid contracts worth more than £500,000. 

  1. Experience

When bidding for digital marketing tenders, you should expect to provide evidence of your previous experience. This helps reassure the buyer that you’re capable of delivering the project.

You should aim to provide the buyer with 2 – 3 case studies from the last 3 – 5 years. Ideally, these examples will be similar in size, scope and complexity to the tender at hand. The most important thing to remember is that your evidence needs to be relevant. For example, your experience with design won’t show the buyer how well you’ll manage a social media campaign. If it’s not relevant to the buyer’s project, don’t include it in your tender response.

  1. Added value

To successfully bid for digital marketing tenders, you’ll need to demonstrate added value in your tender response.

Added value, also known as social value, is now mandatory in public sector contracts, with a compulsory weighting of 10%. You need to demonstrate how your business will deal with the environmental, social and economic aspects of the contract.

For example, you should consider how your business will:

  • Support COVID-19 recovery
  • Encourage economic growth
  • Tackle climate change
  • Create new job opportunities.

Do you need assistance with digital marketing TENDERS?

You don’t always have the time or resources to write a winning response in house. Outsourcing to bid writing experts can help. Our sister company, Hudson Succeed, offer four levels of bid writing support. They boast an 87% success rate and have over 60 years of bid writing experience. The services on offer include:

Need help sourcing digital marketing tenders? We can help!

Running your own business takes up a lot of your time. The last thing you want to be doing is trawling hundreds of websites searching for digital marketing tenders. Most websites post multi-industry opportunities and filtering them with CPV codes can produce unreliable results. Luckily for you, we have a solution.

Enter…Creative Tenders

Creative Tenders is an easy-to-navigate, centralised portal hosting live creative tender opportunities from across the UK.

Below are 5 past examples of digital marketing tenders sourced on our portal:

Digital Marketing Consultancy to Target an International Audience  

International Pheromone Systems Limited – North West – Budget: £10k

Promotional Materials, Internal & External Signage & Wall Art & Digital Marketing Materials

Delta Academies Trust – Yorkshire – Budget: £200k

Digital & Social Media Agency Services (China) 

University of Dundee – Scotland – Budget: £500k

Provision of a Digital Marketing Campaign Programme for SMEs

Advance Northumberland Limited – North East – Budget: Undisclosed

Invitation to Tender for the Provision of Event, Production & Digital Media Support for the 4 Corners Festival 2022 

4 Corners Festival – Northern Ireland – Budget: Undisclosed

A SUBSCRIPTION TO CREATIVE TENDERS CAN OFFER YOUR BUSINESS:

  • Access to all exclusive, public and private sector creative contracts in the UK.
  • An on-hand Account Manager is available to answer any questions you may have about tenders for design work. They can help you understand the procurement process and answer any questions you have about the tendering process in general.
  • A daily email bulletin is sent straight to your inbox when new, sector-specific opportunities are uploaded.
  • Discounted support from Hudson Succeed, our bid writing division.
  • 20-minutes of free consultancy with one of our Bid Consultants each month.

WE SOURCE OPPORTUNITIES FOR SECTORS INCLUDING;

Book a free live demo with Creative Tenders to see how we can help your business grow 

WANT TO SAVE EVEN MORE TIME?

Upgrading to Discover Elite allows you to optimise your tendering opportunities even when you’re busy. Our two upgraded packages can improve your competitor awareness and bidding success rate. Each can help save you even more time when searching for tenders for design work.

THE ULTIMATE TIME SAVER PACKAGE OFFERS YOUR BUSINESS:

  • A maximum of five tender breakdowns per month.
  • An annual subscription to a maximum of two Hudson Discover sector-specific portals. This option can help businesses that overlap two industries such as Creative and Technology, for example.
  • Pre-market and award engagement notices monitored on your behalf.
  • Buyer portal management, including registration, password management, downloading documents and assessing viability based on your bid or no-bid
  • Weekly phone calls with your dedicated Account Manager to discuss viable creative tendering opportunities.

THE BECOME A PRE-BID MASTER PACKAGE ALSO INCLUDES:

  • All of the above.
  • Up to seven tender breakdowns per month.
  • Bid Strategy delivered by a Senior Bid Manager with a minimum of 5 years of experience. It will also be managed by our Global Bid Director.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business grow.

7 Things to Expect When you Tender for Design Work

How to tender for design Work

If you’re wondering whether to tender for design work and you don’t know where to begin, we can help. This blog provides 7 things to expect when you tender for design work.

First, let’s start with the basics…

What type of design work is out to tender?

Tenders for design work are released by both private and public sector organisations. They could be looking to procure a range of design services. These could include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

  • Graphic design services
  • Print functions
  • 3D designs
  • Signage
  • Produce design schematics for graphics
  • Artwork
  • Exhibitions
  • CGI
  • Lighting design
  • Illustration
  • Cartography
  • Branding
  • Digital design and more.

7 things to expect when you tender for design work

  1. Your economic financial standing

 When you’re tendering for design work, you can expect to have your economic financial standing to be assessed. This is to make sure that you’re able to carry out the work. It is comprised of three things:

  • Annual turnover
  • Financial ratios
  • Insurance(s)
  1. Case Studies

When writing your tender for design work, you will likely be asked to provide up to three case studies. These should be from within the last three to five years. These case studies should demonstrate projects that are similar in scope and scale to the one you are tendering for. They should demonstrate your capabilities to work on the project at hand.

Depending on the word count, they could include a positive testimonial from a previous client. This will strengthen your response, but bear in mind you might have to provide their contact details for a follow up. So, you shouldn’t make them up. It may also be a good idea to state if there were any challenges and how you overcame them.

  1. CVs

Some buyers may require you to include CVs for those who are to be involved in the project. Buyers want to be reassured that you and your team are experienced and qualified. They should be focused relevant and as concise as possible. Each CV should detail what the specific team member will be responsible for, they should also include:

  • Their job title
  • Any relevant qualifications or accreditations
  • A professional yet friendly picture allowing the buyer to put a face to the name.
  1. Outline methodology

You may be required to provide a concise written proposal setting out what your organisation would do. This outline should state how you will produce the work required as per the requirements of the specification.

  1. Quality assurance

Depending on the buyer, you may be required to provide details of your quality control process. This could outline how you ensure your organisation’s work is of the highest quality. You should provide details of security information and confirm general data protection. Bear in mind, this may not be required for all tenders for design work.

  1. Social value or added value

If you’re tendering in the public sector, you will need to provide details of your business’s social value policy. This is because there is a mandatory 10% weighting on social value for public sector contracts. You will need to detail the environmental, social and economic aspects of the tender. You should consider:

  • Encouraging economic growth
  • Creating new jobs and skills
  • Supporting COVID-19 recovery
  • Tackling climate change.

It’s worth noting again, that within the public sector, the contract will be awarded to the MEAT. The MEAT is the most economically advantageous tender. Here, a buyer will be seeking the most value for their money. A buyer will be evaluating your tender response on more than just price. It’s worth remembering that the cheapest bid does not win. The buyer will be looking at a number of aspects, including, but not limited to:

  • Quality
  • Accessibility
  • Technical ability
  • The proposed design
  • Environmental benefits
  • Innovation
  • Customer service or ongoing support
  • Ability to deliver on time.

The specific evaluation aspects will be stated within the tender documents. These will vary depending on the buyer, so it’s important to read the specification carefully.

  1. Framework agreement

Sometimes you can find tenders for design work as part of a framework agreement. Framework agreements are multi-supplier agreements used within the public sector to procure a good or service. Securing a place on a framework can help you secure a pipeline of work for your business. They can run for years at a time with some having the possibility of an extension.

Framework agreements are often split into lots with each lot representing a specific good, work, service or geographical location. They allow for suppliers to apply for the specific lots they specialise in. This means a supplier doesn’t have to be able to deliver every aspect of the contract.

Need assistance with your next tender for design work?

We understand that you might not have the time, resources or experience to write a winning response in-house. Outsourcing to bid writing experts can help you win your next tender, securing a pipeline of work for your business.

Our sister company Hudson Succeed, have over 60 years of bid writing experience and an 87% success rate. They offer four bid writing support services that can help you win more tenders for design work. Whether you’ve never tendered before or need your response proofread before you submit – we can help.

  1. A Tender Ready programme
  2. The Tender Improvement package
  3. Tender Writing services
  4. Tender Mentor

Where can I find tenders for design work?

Finding tender for design work for your business can take hours out of your busy day. You likely don’t have the spare time to be searching hundreds of websites and portals for a relevant tender. Many of them post multi-industry opportunities and searching for sector-specific leads can turn into a full-time job!

Luckily for you, we have a time-saving tool that can take the headache out of tendering. Creative Tenders is an easy-to-navigate, centralised portal that hosts all live creative tendering opportunities from across the Creative Industry. There’s no reliance on inaccurate CPV codes!

Our Opportunity Trackers manually search and upload unique, private and public sector opportunities. You’re able to filter and search the results by keyword, budget, location and more. This streamlines the process, allowing you to find the perfect tender for design work.

Below are previous tenders for design work sourced on our portal:

Graphic design commission, Manchester Art Gallery – Platt Hall

Platt Hall- North West- Budget: £6,000

Town Centre Heroes Exhibitions

London Borough of Barnet- London- Budget: Undisclosed

Lelley Fields Crematorium Marketing Strategy and Brand Development

East Riding of Yorkshire- Yorkshire and Humber- Budget: Undisclosed

Restoring Stover Park – Brand and Interpretation Design

Devon County Council- South West- Budget: Undisclosed

Graphic Designer, The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge- South East- Budget: Undisclosed

A subscription to Creative Tenders can offer your business:

  • Access to all exclusive, public and private sector creative contracts in the UK.
  • An on-hand Account Manager is available to answer any questions you may have about tenders for design work. They can help you understand the procurement process and answer any questions you have about the tendering process in general.
  • A daily email bulletin sent straight to your inbox when new, sector-specific opportunities are uploaded.
  • Discounted support from Hudson Succeed, our bid writing division.
  • 20-minutes of free consultancy with one of our Bid Consultants each month.

We source opportunities for sectors including;

Book a free live demo with Creative Tenders to see how we can help your business grow 

Want to save even more time?

Upgrading to Discover Elite allows you to optimise your tendering opportunities even when you’re busy. Our two upgraded packages can improve your competitor awareness and bidding success rate. Each can help save you even more time when searching for tenders for design work.

The Ultimate Time Saver package offers your business:

  • A maximum of five tender breakdowns per month.
  • An annual subscription to a maximum of two Hudson Discover sector-specific portals. This option can help businesses that overlap two industries such as Creative and Technology, for example.
  • Pre-market and award engagement notices monitored on your behalf.
  • Buyer portal management, including registration, password management, downloading documents and assessing viability based on your bid or no-bid
  • Weekly phone calls with your dedicated Account Manager to discuss viable creative tendering opportunities.

The Become a Pre-Bid Master package also includes:

  • All of the above.
  • Up to seven tender breakdowns per month.
  • A Bid Strategy delivered by a Senior Bid Manager with a minimum of 5 years of experience. It will also be managed by our Global Bid Director.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business grow.

Opportunities for Creative Contracts UK

5 Expert Tips for Winning Creative Contracts in the UK.

Are you looking for creative contracts in the UK? Whether you’re a marketer or website developer, you may be wondering, what creative opportunities are currently available, locally and nation-wide? And how is the industry rebuilding itself going forward, after such a devastating year?

We’ve compiled some industry insight, with tips from tendering experts and bid writers, to support creative contractors. Discover how you can boost your chances of winning creative contracts to grow your business as we head into 2021.

The creative industries: a workforce like no other!

Creative jobs make up a significant portion of the UK workforce! Did you know, more than 2 million UK jobs are in creative industries? The Creative Industries Council (CIC) reports an estimate of 2,040,000 jobs – with 75 per cent of them falling outside London. A further 1 million creative jobs are based in organisations outside the creative industries, such as technology and digital services. This takes the total number of UK jobs in the wider creative economy to 3.2 million. (That’s 9.6 per cent of all UK jobs!)

Creative jobs are added to the UK economy at a much faster rate than jobs in the economy as a whole. In fact, new jobs are developed at two to five times the rate of jobs in other sectors. Creative employment between 2011 and 2018 increased by 30.6 per cent. Average growth across the UK was only 10.1 per cent during that period.

Evidently, creative contracts in the UK cover a vast range of services. Such a versatile and everchanging industry requires a well-adapted and streamlined approach to sourcing business. At Creative Tenders, we’re experienced in sourcing creative contracts. We host tenders for sectors including:

Creative contractors need time to be creative! That’s why our priority is saving clients time and money when they’re searching for business opportunities. We source new tenders using our skilled procurement team, who categorise sector-specific tenders all in one place using industry-driven keywords. Opportunity tracking has never been so efficient! Book a free live demo to see how we can help your business grow.

How is the UK currently investing in new creative contracts?

There’s no doubt 2020 has been a tough year for the creative sector. The pandemic has stunted a rapidly growing industry and forced many creative businesses to close their doors, or drastically adapt. Music venues are now providing socially distanced concerts, for instance. Some businesses, such as theatre companies, have remained closed with workers furloughed since March, with little or no respite.

It continues to be an uncertain time, heading towards 2021. However, major investments are now being made throughout the creative industries.

Here are some key examples of grants, schemes and programmes currently in place to revive the creative sector:

  • £1.57 billion – Culture Recovery Fund.

This is the government’s overall rescue package for the cultural and heritage sector. Thousands of organisations across a range of sectors can benefit from grants and loans. This includes the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema. For example, venues and organisations currently benefiting include:

    • Military Wives Choirs
    • The Hepworth Wakefield
    • Night and Day in Manchester
    • Whitby’s Tomorrow’s Ghosts
    • Gothic Festival
    • London’s Somerset House
    • Kneehigh Theatre in Cornwall.
  • £500 million – Film and TV Production Restart Scheme.

The scheme supports 40,000 UK jobs by covering Covid-19 related insurance costs. The scheme will provide financial compensation for costs incurred due to Covid-related issues.

  • £150 million – The Sector Deal.

The Government has agreed a Sector Deal with the creative industries sector, through the Creative Industries Council (CIC). This investment will unlock growth and a longer lifecycle for creative businesses in the following ways:

    • funding leading creative clusters to compete globally.
    • by funding technologies and content via research into augmented reality and virtual reality.
    • funding creative skills of the future via a careers programme that will open up creative jobs.
  • £75 million – National Lottery Project Grants.

Recently re-opened by the Arts Council with an increased budget, funding is available to creative individuals, communities and cultural organisations.

  • £18 million – Developing Your Creative Practice Programme.

Also re-opened in Autumn 2020 by the Arts Council with an increased budget. This programme helps creatives step up their work in new ways.

  • £3.36 million – Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund.

This is an investment in 135 venues at risk of imminent closure due to the coronavirus.

  • £3 million – Festival UK 2022 Research and Development Programme.

Research and development for 10 major creative projects began in November 2020. The 2022 festival aims to reach millions, bring people together and showcase the UK’s creativity and innovation globally. 30 creative teams will be drawn together from over 500 organisations and individuals, including freelancers, across the UK.

Which areas have been identified for further industry improvement?

In addition to these major investments supporting the creative industries, areas for further research have been flagged up. Research will be another key avenue in reviving the industry and creating a more sustainable sector, going forward.

The Creative Industries Council (CIC) has identified nine core areas to improve through further research and development. These are:

  • Job Quality: While there is growing data on the number and growth of creative industries jobs, however, more insight is needed into job quality.
  • Strategic skills: The industry needs an accurate, refined future vision for which careers and skills are in highest demand, especially with the changes to the industry.
  • Creative education: There needs to be a stronger system for capturing and reporting the value of creative education.
  • Pipeline of talent: Better visibility into the talent pipeline and into career progression is required.
  • Creative professional development: the industry needs a better understanding of opportunities for professional development and learning.
  • Productivity and management practices: Compared to other industries, there’s a lack of evidence about productivity in the creative industries.
  • Tackling the diversity challenge: Better evidence is needed on the representation of all minority groups, and for data that goes beyond participation to explore the quality of work.
  • Local talent pools: The UK is lacking evidence on local skills and talent pipelines and how these meet the needs of local businesses.

Looking forward to the future of the creative industry, improvements in these areas will be significant for advancing the industry. This will, in turn, improve the jobs of the large percentage of the UK workforce in the creative sector.

How can you win creative contracts in the UK right now?

Securing creative contracts that are the perfect fit for your services is essential for growing your business – especially now. Finding the right contracts through effective portals like Creative Tenders is a great place to start. But how can you ensure you’ll see success throughout the tendering process?

Tenders for creative contracts are most often Requests for Proposals (RFPs), which can require a long and complex tender response. An RFP essentially means the proposal will be free-flowing, rather than comprised of short and simple text box answers. An RFP must encompass the entirety of the project, including a statement of work, along with a specified timescale and plan. The buyer may require a specific format. Due to these requirements, becoming a successful RFP writer can be challenging.

A successful RFP writer must ensure all elements of what the buyer is looking for are covered. If you need support, the bid writing experts at Hudson Succeed have extensive experience in writing successful creative contracts. They have secured a range of creative bids for UK clients, from marketing to videography, helping creative businesses to grow.

What do our experts recommend when bidding for creative contracts?

Here are 5 features our bid writers recommend focusing on when it comes to bidding for creative contracts:

  1. Design is an important element of a creative bid; a well-designed and clear proposal is often a requirement. Do you have the skills to create a well-designed bid in-house, or is this something you should outsource?

 

  1. Cultural alignment. Ensure you fully understand the buying organisation and reflect this in your proposal. Can you demonstrate your cultural alignment to the buyer and job at hand? For instance, consider how their work ethic and brand vision aligns with your own.

 

  1. Experience and case studies. Case studies are essential. Can you demonstrate your company’s relevant experiences and lessons learned in detail? How have you analysed and improved upon past projects?

 

  1. Creative bids tend to be more conceptually driven than other industries. Construction bids, for example, contain highly detailed specifications with little room for abstraction. With a creative bid, there is usually much more freedom to showcase your brand and vision. Can you demonstrate your brand’s personality alongside the concept of the bid?

 

  1. Delivery model. Can you comprehensively set out each phase of your delivery model, i.e. inception, production, post-production? The evaluation criteria of a creative bid will consider the quality of each of these stages. Detail is important here. Since the proposal is likely free-flowing, however, you should evaluate what level of detail is required.

Get in touch with Hudson Succeed for further support with writing proposals for creative contracts. Access expert support through the following bid writing packages:

Below are some tenders we’ve sourced on our Creative Tenders portal:

COVID Public Information Campaign

CPD – Supplies and Services Division- Northern Ireland- Budget: Undisclosed

Provision of Video Production – Provision of Video Production and Broadcasting services.

Abbey Theatre Amharclann na Mainistreach- Northern Ireland- Budget: Undisclosed

Tender for Website Design, Build & Host

Believe housing- North East- Budget: Undisclosed

Procurement of Services for Artwork, Design, Layout and Formatting of a Series of Knowledge Products to be Ready for Printing for EVAW Pacific Partnership Project

UN WOMEN- London- Budget: Undisclosed

Specialist Curator for the Good Business Festival

Liverpool City Council- North West- Budget: £20,000

Still looking for creative contracts in the UK?

Start finding creative contracts in the UK with Creative Tenders – it’s simple! Book a free, live demo with one of our team members today. We’ll walk you through the unique features of our portal and how they can help grow your creative business.

But don’t just take it from us! What do our clients say?

The following feedback is from clients of Creative Tenders:

  1. “I get an overview of relevant tenders in the sectors I have chosen, summarised in one bulletin that arrives at the end of the day, leaving me to focus on other activities. We actually won our first tender we applied for using the site which was amazing. Any queries I have are always swiftly responded to by Marie and the team. A great service we would highly recommend.” –

    Kyle Gray, Head of Business Development, Regency Creative.

 

  1. “Creative Tenders has been an amazing resource for us. We’ve found the daily discover updates invaluable, allowing us to uncover opportunities we wouldn’t have previously seen without this resource. The Succeed service was brilliant at giving us the tools and guidance to confidently submit winning tender responses.” –

    Laura Dearden, Head of Client Services, Unwritten Group.

  

  1. “We use Creative Tenders to source opportunities like bespoke development, website design and build projects, and apps. Creative Tenders has become central to our daily operations – the platform is easy to use and the regular updates regarding new tenders and business opportunities are invaluable.” –

    Sarah Luther, Sales Director, 6B Digital.

I’M IN COMPETITION WITH MYSELF AND I’M LOSING! – Tender Basics!

I’M IN COMPETITION WITH MYSELF AND I’M LOSING! – Tender Basics!

Tender Basics are the foundation of your bid writing success. Our Growth Director, Jill Hudson, has over 16 years’ experience with Tender Writing, so she knows how lonely it can get when you see rejection in the early days.

“I quite quickly went from a success record of <15% in my very early days of tender writing to >70% just by spending the time needed to digest feedback and eliminate silly mistakes.  Mistakes I seemed to be making all the time without evening realising I was doing it.”

The thing you need to realise very early on is that feedback is the route to success.

No one really likes reading the feedback of how they’ve missed the point of the tender document, the response didn’t hit the mark – at all, or you’ve forgotten to proofread and your response to a question is littered with mistakes. Queue – kick yourself under the table and put the kettle on. It’s important to get back to the ‘Tender Basics’ every time you’re writing a bid.

Tender Basics
Tender Basics

However, without this feedback, you will continue to make these mistakes. The most common mistake you will make is not understanding the time it takes to respond to a bid correctly. Assuming you’ll write a winning submission in 2-hours is unrealistic, whilst ABC Ltd. are throwing all their resource at this competitive contract to ensure they will win it.

You need to quickly realise that the only way you will start to win is to get back to the Tender Basics:

  1. Believe you can win it – ensuring you have the right credentials.
  2. Do your homework – research is key.
  3. Spend the time needed to write a winning submission.
  4. Don’t leave it until the last minute – this is how mistakes happen.
  5. Ensure you understand the point scoring mechanisms to ensure you are maximising your answers to the questions asked.
  6. Answer the question with the information they have requested, not the information you believe they should know about your business.

We’re sure you’ve established that our main piece of advice over the many blogs we have written, is to be sensible with your expectations.  If you turnover around £100,000 per annum, you’re not going to win a £2,000,000 contract. Nor should you want to put all your eggs in one basket like that. So, if this is the course of action you’re taking you will continue to receive the rejection letters.

Tender writing is an art form, it isn’t for everyone but you will reap the rewards if you spend the time learning, building knowledge and correctly assessing what you need to do to allow you to win.

Jill states “I’m a firm believer that the only person you should ever be in competition with is yourself. That way you will always get better.”

Eliminate the noise and … focus!

If all else fails, give our Tender Consultants a call, we’re here to help you discover, succeed, procure and invest!

“THEY ALREADY KNOW WHO THEY WANT TO USE!” – The Tendering Process

“THEY ALREADY KNOW WHO THEY WANT TO USE!” – The Tendering Process

We’ve all heard stories about backhanded business deals and brown paper envelopes passed under the table for the decision making to go in favour of a specific business on a particular contract/opportunity.

This is drastically changing for the better, having analysed tender processes now compared to where they were 10 years ago.  We’re not saying this doesn’t happen! We do still live in a world of human interaction (for now).  However, things are getting better and we’re super confident that this will continue.

Here at Hudson Procurement Group we are focused on creating a fair bidding process for all. We’re working hard to make headway with government organisations. Especially into how and why decisions are made when marking tender documents. And also, how buyers issue tender notifications and how to produce a fair Invitation to Tender and Specification document.

"THEY ALREADY KNOW WHO THEY WANT TO USE!" - The Tendering Process
“THEY ALREADY KNOW WHO THEY WANT TO USE!” – The Tendering Process

We like to advise our customers on how they can question the result of a tender notification and the tendering process if they believe they have been incorrectly scored. This does not mean that we’re going to back sore losers and encourage those who think they should have won when in actual fact the right company was awarded the contract.  On occasion, we’re simply pipped at the post and the best man won and we need to take it on the chin and learn from it.

If you truly believe you were not given a good shot, there are a couple of things you can do:

  1. Ask for thorough feedback, and if they don’t provide it then you can question ‘why not?’. If they’re spending public purse, they should spend the time needed to give you feedback against the winning submission.
  2. If they will not provide feedback ask the process for putting in a freedom of information request, this should prompt them into giving you feedback.
  3. If you are still feeling like you’re getting no response, you can contest the decision based on lack of feedback. This means that spending public-purse will be required to complete a thorough internal investigation into how they have purchased the required services/products.

The most important aspect of any ‘rejection letter’ is to look at it logically and ask for feedback, learn from it and make sensible decisions on how to move forward.

Things truly are changing in the world of procurement. We’re going to be central to making sure our customers are given a fair shot when investing the time needed to respond to an ITT.

We’re only ever a phone call away, and we would welcome your feedback on how you believe the procurement process should change to suit SMEs.  If we hear your feedback, we can help shape policy for the better.

See our ‘Rules & Regulations when Tendering’ Blog for additional regulations that buyers must adhere to.

 Want to learn more about the tendering process? We’re here to help you Discover, Succeed, Procure and Invest.

DON’T WORRY ABOUT DISTANCE: We live in a Digital World! – International Tendering!

DON’T WORRY ABOUT DISTANCE: We live in a Digital World! – International Tendering!

This is an age-old debate here at Hudson Procurement Group. We’re constantly telling our customers to spread their wings when it comes to bidding for new business and succumb to International Tendering.

Historically, we used to take as much business as we could from our doorstep. It was, after all, deemed easier to deliver logistically and support with brand recognition. It was a major achievement to be a leading regional vendor.

But, things have changed drastically over the years and the government throws hundreds of millions into helping us SMEs to trade internationally. The world and its major cities are so much more accessible and connected with daily direct flights from the UK to the US, Dubai, Australia, China etc., especially for service and product-based enterprises.

We encourage our clients to eliminate any geographical fear when looking for business. We advise you to look at where the work is and look at the logistics of delivery. If it deems possible, then don’t put in place unnecessary barriers that will hinder your company growth.  An international business development strategy should be a core activity for your executive/director team until you’ve established there isn’t any profit in trading overseas.

Here at Hudson Procurement Group, we have over 1,000 clients all over the world. None of which we’ve met face to face, but it’s not important to meet them. We speak with them daily over the telephone, Skype and email. We still deliver the same value-added service regardless if they’re UK based, operate in the US or have their headquarters in India. We too revel in International Tendering!

Our advice when looking at which tendering opportunities are right for you is:

  1. Don’t eliminate any opportunity until you’ve assessed it properly.
  2. Ensure you can make a profit, taking into consideration traveling and shipping costs if this is a required part of the work.
  3. Take a risk! Sometimes these risks pay huge dividends. Just because you’re not based on their doorstep, doesn’t mean you’re not the right provider.
  4. Don’t assume you won’t be chosen just because you can’t pop to their office for a cup of tea. You’ll find that more and more people try to eliminate the number of meetings they have, not increase them.
  5. Seek advice and guidance from your local Department of International Trade. We’ve found them super useful during our research phase of opening our US office.
  6. Give us a call, we’re happy to help and to answer any questions you may have about bidding for work overseas.

 We’re here to help you discover, succeed, procure and invest.

Common Trends in Public Sector Tendering!

Common Trends in Public Sector Tendering!

We think it’s safe to say that every year, something new happens in the world of procurement. This is due to the ever-changing landscape that buyers and suppliers constantly find themselves in. Here are, in our opinion, a small collection of common trends across UK Public Sector Tendering as of late:

1. BREXIT

The word coined to fill the hearts of many with either progressiveness or ultimate decline. The word in our opinion is met with uncertainty, especially in the way procurement will be running long-term. It has been recorded that “since Brexit, the total value of tenders has risen”.  This implies that there is more work than ever before up for grabs. However, how long will it last? Well, there are no immediate changes due to the EU regulations being merged with primary UK legislation. However, we can expect a lot more focus on cost-effective supply chains that are held locally, given our potential departures from European partners. Risk assessments and the holistic management of contracts will surely be examined a lot more in technical questions based on the happenings of BREXIT.

2. Modern Slavery

Have you come across it yet? The question on an increasing amount of PQQs which ask if you abide by Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015? What you may not know is that the act contains a clause on ‘Transparency in Supply Chains’, which addresses the role of businesses and what they do to prevent modern slavery from occurring in their supply chains and organisation[s]. As per Section 54, it states that if your organisation has a turnover of over £36 million or more you must confirm adherence. You will then have to publish a ‘slavery and human trafficking’ statement annually on your company’s website. Mainly, to state what you are doing to prevent this. We find that SME’s tend not to worry about this, as it remains non-applicable 99% of the time, but still, it is something that is commonly being asked across the board.

3. Social Value

What are you doing for your community? what environmental aims does your company have? do you work with apprentices? – these are just a few of the questions that are becoming increasingly asked in public-sector tenders. Even if you are the smallest company around, we advise you to think of your corporate and social responsibility and how this is positively changing the world … or at least your local area. Every little helps! – we advise you do liaise with charities, apprenticeship providers, assess long-term goals and ensure that social value (aligned with a local authority and government initiatives) crops up one way or another, as this is becoming a key contribution to finalising scores in ongoing tenders.

4. SME Focus

By 2020, the UK government has promised “big opportunities for small firms” as they are set to spend £1 in every £3 with small businesses/SMEs. One thing a lot of SMEs DO NOT have that bigger companies DO HAVE is experienced and well-educated internal Bid Writing professionals. This means SMEs will see a surge of utilising external support functions to ensure their tenders are of the highest quality. We are one of those companies! Our aim is not to just write high-quality bids, but support you with understanding the procurement world. We’ll support you with:

  •  opportunity tracking (using our elite and secure Hudson Discover platforms, related to each UK industry) tender training (using our upcoming FREE virtual learning environment with regular VLOGs) eventually
  • maintaining/developing your ongoing content for tendering (using Tender Bank).

The increased use of Framework Agreements and Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) and getting onto these, require rapid and high-quality responses to ensure longstanding work is won and sustained.

These are just a small list of current trends that are recognised as of late. If you need help with writing bids or anything further feel free to get in touch!

We are Hudson Procurement Group and we are here to help you grow, develop and standout!

Understanding & Implementing Tender Feedback

Understanding & Implementing Tender Feedback

Understanding and Implementing Tender Feedback – we all dread it, don’t we?

When the doomed ‘Contract Award’ notification hits our inbox with an attached letter titled ‘unsuccessful’ or ‘regret letter’. This can be one of the very few things that make our business-fueled hearts completely shatter!

To put it simply- we have never met a company who hasn’t had some sort of failure whilst tendering. It is very unlikely that you will win every tender you bid for – in fact – around 98% of well-established companies will tell you about a time they failed at tendering.

This could be down to a whole range of things that contribute to the evaluation of a typical tender. Bidding for a job is not just about putting your fingers on a keyboard and writing some profound content (or getting specialist support to do this for you)- there are other key factors that could let you down which you need to take control of and act upon, ready for the next tender!

Buying organisations (especially in the public sector) are now obliged to provide a decent amount of tender feedback as part of their evaluations. This is to support the supplier organisations better their chances next time.

How we approach it…

We are always advising clients to use this to their advantage and encourage them to receive as much detailed feedback as possible. If you only receive scores out of 100, ask for qualitative feedback to how the winner was successful and you weren’t. As mentioned, this is becoming increasingly provided as part of the Contract Award process.

Below is an example of what you should do when receiving the feedback and using this to your advantage towards future efforts.

EXAMPLE Maximum Score Available Your Score Winners Score
Quality 60% 32% 52%
Costing 40% 40% 30%
Total 100% 72% 82%

Our 4 steps:

  1. Understand the key area[s] to why you were unsuccessful- this will be translated clearly in numerical scores using a ratio of Quality & Pricing (and in some added cases, Interview/Presentation)- this will be your main focus to implement improvements;
    e.g. if you score 32% out of 60% for quality but 40% out of 40% for cost – this shows you were the cheapest supplier but lacked in your technical responses. It turns out you were only 11% away from beating the winner in total.
  1. Once quantitative data is identified, source the qualitative feedback provided (if none has been provided- ask for further detail)- this should be broken down clearly on the contract award notification to enable stringent focus on where to improve;
    e.g. out of the 60% maximum score for quality, a major section of this was a ‘Contract Management’ question, which accounts for 30%- the score and feedback provided suggests your contract management arrangements lack innovation and fundamental traits compared to those of the winner (incl. lack of efficient MI system etc.)
  1. Make sure an internal meeting is held with key members of your staff, in order to collaborate and discuss improvements where necessary;
    e.g. Assess all traits regarding Contract Management that was provided as feedback – research best practice – due to the lack of an effective management information (MI) system, it is best to find out which is the most affordable systems on the market- ask yourselves what are your competitors using? What was the winner using? – Companywide Idea generation sessions help massively to ensure a firm approach and wider understanding of what’s needed.
  1. Undergo regular sustainability reviews to ensure improvements are fully established across your organisation;
    e.g. ask yourselves – do we have an effective MI system now? Have we implemented innovative approaches? How do we compare to our competitors? Can we write a better response to Contract management now?

One of the biggest things you SHOULD NOT do is operate a ‘blame culture’ within your organisation when trying to understand tender feedback. Not only will that upset staff and ignite resentment but will likely damage your efforts of improvements going forward. We are strict believers that when tendering, if you win together, you have to lose together also. One of the most important things about tendering is making sure your colleagues are proofreading and checking EVERYTHING before submission. The more eyes, the better! If you find that a mistake was made by a member of your team which had huge effects on your succession of the work, then this should be an issue that was missed by the whole team and treated with solidarity, to effectively improve.

Remember- we offer a Tender Consultancy service to support the development and even review your work prior to submission.
Get in touch if you need further support with managing those all-important opportunities!

The importance of RELEVANT Case Studies!

The importance of RELEVANT Case Studies!

Tenders these days (especially in the Public sector) are extremely structured in that they all feature the same legality clauses and requests, based upon EU legislation and procurement law. One other majorly structured trait to a tender and something the buyer definitely wants to know is how you’ve delivered your services in the past!

The age-old question of – “Please provide 3 examples which demonstrate your technical capability in the market” – is now something of common-request in national tenders. And rightly so! Of course, buyers want to know who you currently work with, how much work you’ve done and what great results your company boasts.

They need to make sure you have undergone scopes of work, similar to what they are procuring. Experience is key to winning every contract and as part of our writing tutorials at Tender Consultants. We always state that evidence is needed to back up the majority of the responses. Usually, this evidence comes from your experience. This makes the buyer/evaluator feel at complete ease, knowing you have completed something similar before.

We are not saying that you shouldn’t bid for work you haven’t delivered before (especially if you’re a new business). You may have better tools, better ideas and more cost-effective solutions at your disposal that other businesses (with experience) lack. It’s all about assessing the relevancy of your experience and using this to benefit the contract at hand. This is where Case Studies will support your tendering efforts going forward.

A few Do’s and Don’ts to building case studies include:

  • DO – get in touch with your current clients and ask for testimonials. These can be added to support a strong case for why the buyer should choose you.
    E.g. The CEO of ‘Company X’ has stated we are “an impeccable & efficient company, who has not only delivered the most engaging content with brochures but has supported our marketing efforts overall”;
  • DON’T – just pick a client and submit ‘static’ material already developed. Always make sure you adapt your content and client to align with the specified requirements of the buyer. Ensure similar scope, nature and size is used every time, where possible.
    E.g. if you need to supply 500 brochures to a hospital, the buyer probably won’t care if you supplied 5 to a retail store previously- this is way different in size AND scope;
  • DO – use the STAR format when developing your Case Studies to clearly outline the Situation (brief context), Task (the work you faced), Action (what you’ve done) and Results (what were the results etc.).
    E.g. this helps to break down each case study. You may do this several times depending on the requirements within the tender. However, it is a very good start to show the buyer/evaluator what needed to be done, what & how it was done, along with success rates and statistics outlining benefits/improvements to the client;

So now you’re up-to-date…

This will be one of the most important elements you use as part of your tender submission and almost 99% of Stage 1/PQQ submissions nowadays have the experience and/or contract example requests embedded.

We encourage you to start working on your case studies as soon as your contract with a client begins. Therefore, you can at least get the basic information gathered using the STAR format and then adapt these case studies to align with future buyer’s requirements as part of tenders!

Need further help? Get in touch and let us help you grow, develop and standout!

GDPR – Understanding what’s expected!

GDPR – Understanding what’s expected!

As I’m sure you’re well aware by now, May 25th sees the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR for short). This will be the new term used for the storing, processing and management of personal data. Basically, DPA and confidentiality processes have a new broader term to ensure all data is withheld in the most secure ways possible. GDPR is a vital update on what you currently do. We are assuming that what you currently do is best practice and of course abides by current DPA law.

I know what you’re thinking ‘we always operate confidentially – what’s new?’

What’s new are the heightened processes every organisation must undergo when handling data. With GDPR, there are more serious consequences if you are found to be using data incorrectly. With the majority of our subscribed clients on our various platforms, they all handle customer and/or public data in some form or another. It’s vital to understand the key points to this national legislation change and ensure this is adhered to fully.

Some of the key aspects your company must focus on is ensuring that all data is identified and assessed in line with new and specific protocols. Processes are structured, data is mapped and constantly improved upon, as well as being stored electronically and in traditional filing systems.

With implementing data governance best practices, you’ll not only comply with the GDPR but you’ll now be able to create more business value with confidence. This will ensure success when contracting with future parties.

We have now found many public and private tenders are increasingly asking suppliers if they are GDPR compliant via the multiple processes above.

Such questions have become apparent in a recent public tender within the creative sector (for e.g.):

  • Please confirm that you are GDPR compliant (detail relevant technical & organisational security measures)?
  • Are you maintaining Data Processing Records?
  • Do your standard contract terms include the new GDPR mandatory provisions?
  • Do you have a documented Breach Notification Process? Etc.

To maximise your scores, you would need to answer more than a simple YES!

Please see ICO’s brochure which provides further helpful information on preparing for and applying GDPR principles in your organisation[s].

We encourage all clients to take this information provided. Mainly to ensure any future tendering efforts aren’t spread thin merely by the lack of compliance against GDPR. Going forward, it is becoming quite clear that GDPR may soon become part of the normal questions asked in PQQs and ITTs.

Over the next few months, we will be analysing common requirements (as above) that are starting to come into effect with the changes and updates that GDPR will pose. Watch this space and remember to take a look at the brochure attached to begin what is needed for you to excel with upcoming tenders.

We’re here to help you grow, develop and standout!