Category: Your Questions

What is Find a Tender?

Since 1 January 2021, high value (above threshold) tenders in the UK have been published via the Government’s e-procurement portal, Find a Tender service(FTS). 
 
FTS is the public portal for all high value notices published in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The portal is used by public buyers to advertise contracts, and by suppliers to access these opportunities.


For further discussions around Find a Tender, and what tendering after Brexit will be like, register for our free webinar on 20 January 2021, 1:00-1:45pm.
In this session we will cover:

  • Procurement after Brexit, and the new Find a Tender Service
  • What it means for public sector organisations and private companies
  • What will happen with above threshold procurement (OJEU)
  • How to best prepare and gear up for a successful 2021

What are high value notices? 

High value notices make up around 34% of all contract opportunities in the UK, with lower value notices making the other 66%. The thresholds which determine if contracts are higher or lower value change biennially, and vary in value for goods, works and services. Details of current thresholds can be found here
 
Prior to 1 January 2021, high-value notices were published to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). With the conclusion of Brexit, high-value notices from the UK are no longer advertised on the OJEU. UK business can, however, still bid for applicable high value EU contracts. Further details on the changes introduced with Brexit can be found here. 


What is the best way to search for tenders?

Find a Tender is a portal just for high value UK notices, meaning you cannot use it to access lower value tenders, notices of any value from the ROI, or high value EU notices. For full coverage of high and low value notices across the UK and ROI, as well as applicable OJEU notices – you need Tenders Direct. 
 
Tenders Direct is the UK’s most accurate tender alert service. With our unique Peer Review Process and tailored business profiles, we can guarantee you regular, timely and relevant business opportunities. 


Tenders Direct is the UK’s most accurate tender alert service. We are the only service to guarantee that with us – you’ll never miss a tender.

For more information about we can help you find and win more work in the public sector, please visit www.tendersdirect.co.uk or call us on 0800 222 9009.

Q: Should you offer more than the specification stated in the tender if you know that’s what the buyer needs?

 

The short answer is yes, almost certainly!

This knowledge is gold.  Why do you spend time and effort cultivating relationships with potential buyers? So you can more deeply understand their needs so you can then propose solutions that meet and exceed them. 

I’m often faced with the complaint from unsuccessful bidders that the buyer was always going to award the contract to the current supplier. More often than not there is no conspiracy. The reality is just that the incumbent knows more about the buyer than the other bidders and the quality of their submission reflects this. 

The other thing to bear in mind here is how the questions are being scored. For top marks some scoring criteria ask for something like: “fully meets requirement” others might say something like “meets and exceeds requirement”. In this second example to score top marks you are explicitly being asked to go above and beyond the given specification!  Even if it isn’t explicit like this you should always find a way to show how you will deliver value above and beyond what they are expecting. 

Think about your overall proposal plan and work out the most appropriate places to include it. The winning bid is more often than not the one that demonstrates the biggest difference between value and price.  


During my monthly webinars I get asked great questions like the one covered above. By sharing the most common questions on this blog, my hope is that I can help more people find the answers they are looking for. 
 
If you have your own questions or are looking for specific help with your bid, please get in touch. Every week I help clients with their tendering, from bid writing to leading on bid responses. Use the details below to view the range of services we offer or to contact me directly.   

Tel: 07384 818 704 
E-mail: andrew.watson@proactis.com   
Web: View our training and consultancy services  
Web: View our upcoming and on demand webinars 

Q: What are my chances of winning a tender?

A lot of people seem to have doubts about their chances of winning, and this is a very common question. 

Q: Is there any chance of winning at all? 
 
Of course there is! Bidding is not like the lottery, where winning is purely down to luck, it’s usually a very fair process. Your chance of winning depends on the quality of your submission and how it compares to your competition.  
 
The psychology of bidding is a quite complex and expansive topic.  It’s natural to get down on the process if you are consistently getting unsuccessful letters. The reality is that tenders are nearly always published in good faith and are designed to identify the best suppliers to then award the work to. If your results are consistently not what you would hope for then you need to reflect on what is going wrong, rather than just blaming the process.   

At the risk of giving away trade secrets, proposals measure two things; 

  1. Your capability to meet the buyer’s requirements
  2. Your capability to complete tenders to a high standard. 

You normally need both to be successful. Being great at one and terrible at the other won’t work. It’s worth reflecting on where you think you have issues:  
 
Are you not winning work that you feel is absolutely perfect for you and you have a great track record of delivering? It’s probably your tendering that’s letting you down.  
 
Are you bidding for things speculatively that you don’t really have experience delivering?  Then it’s probably your organisational capability. 

Always ask (and ask again if required!) for feedback from each and every unsuccessful tender.  Use this feedback, and do an internal debrief (lessons learned) after each submission. This should help you identify where the issues lie and drive improvements for future submissions. Don’t despair, just be honest and the ways to improve should be clear. 


If you have your own questions or are looking for specific help with your bid, please get in touch. Every week I help clients with their tendering, from bid writing to leading on bid responses. Use the details below to view the range of services we offer or to contact me directly.  

Tel: 07384818704
E-mail: andrew.watson@proactis.com  
Web: View our training and consultancy services 

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