Top Contract Award Notices this week 05/06/2020

In the last week, over 500 contract award notices were published across the UK. Below you will find our top three notices from the last 7 days. 


Title: United Kingdom-Sheffield: Construction work for buildings relating to education and research
Short description: The University of Sheffield is out to tender on behalf of the department of estates and facilities management for the building of a new Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in the North West (AMRC NW).
Published By: The University of Sheffield
Date Published: 04 June 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £10,800,000.00
Number of tenders received: 4
Contractors: Robertson CE Ltd

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Title: United Kingdom-London: Security services
Short description: Hyde’s is seeking to engage with a security services provider(s) for the provision of manned guarding and mobile guarding for sites located in London and the South East (offices and estates).
Published By: Hyde Housing Association
Date Published: 04 June 2020
Framework/DPS: Yes
Value excluding VAT: £100,000,000.00
Number of tenders received: 10
Contractors: Profile Security Services Ltd | SSG Support Services Group Ltd | G4S Secure Solutions UK Ltd | Trigion Security Services Ltd | Securitas Security Services Ltd

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Title: United Kingdom-St Helens: IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support
Short description: De La Salle School and St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School have awarded a contract for the delivery of a fully managed ICT service.
Published By: De La Salle School
Date Published: 04 June 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £830,000.00
Number of tenders received: 3
Contractors: Agilisys Ltd

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Are your competitors listed above? Would you like to know their public sector success rate, market share and the types of opportunities they’re targeting? 
With our Competitor Tracking Alerts, you can view their past wins with our five year archive of award notices, and receive alerts when any organisation(s) you choose are announced as winners of above threshold public contracts. 
For more information, please contact us on 0800 222 9009 to discuss further.

Top 5 bid writing mistakes: Too little, too late

In this series of posts, I am addressing the common errors that occur time and time again when writing bids. Below is our 4th post and will address the following mistake:

Too little, too late

Leaving work to the last minute. We’ve all done it. It is something that both large and small businesses alike struggle with and with bids it can be critical to your chances of success.

With no guarantee of winning, it is more challenging for businesses to assign the necessary resources needed to give it a strong chance of success. The difficulties in writing a submission, and the time it takes to do so, are often underestimated. These factors often combine which results in an 11th hour panic and sub-par outcomes.

You’ll need a sound project management approach in order to tackle the resourcing requirements of submitting a bid, which could mean temporarily pulling resource from other projects, something that senior management is often reticent in doing.

This is an area we see companies consistently struggle with. It might not always be apparent that there is an issue and its only if and when an unsuccessful tender is picked through that is becomes apparent there was an issue.

Some tips to avoid this:

Plan it out – by addressing our first mistake of the series, failing to prepare, you will have already identified your order of work and the dates these need to be completed  Think about how best to sequence your tasks and which ones can be done in parallel.

Learn from your mistakes – from previous submissions can you identify problem areas that required more time than expected? Can you put in safeguards to prevent this from happening again?

Set your own cut-off date – setting a date that falls before submission deadline will encourage you and your team to complete tasks sooner than needed. Slippage is common and by creating a buffer, you can give yourself time to recover should things not go as planned. If you are still writing first draft answers up to the day of submission (rather than doing final checks on revised versions) something has gone very wrong.

Ask yourself, is it worth it – if the deadline is fast approaching, is it worth putting in so much effort into a short period or would it be best to dedicate time to other tenders and creating more compelling bids. If you are finding that too little too late is a common mistake, try breaking the cycle and developing a more sustainable workflow. In a competitive sector it could be better to submit two high quality bids rather than three mediocre ones.

Ask for help – is there someone within your organisation who could help you with planning and managing your bids? If not, as the Bid Consultancy Manager at Tenders Direct, I have plenty of experience in identifying mistakes and helping bid managers achieve greater levels of efficiency. I’m always happy to discuss what actions you could take to quickly make improvements to your bid process, and help you get back on track.


For my final post, we’ll look at the the mistake of overlooking key details.

In the meantime, if you’re 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 


Other posts in the Top 5 Bid Writing mistakes series:
1 – Failing to prepare and preparing to fail
2 – Biting off more than you can chew
3 – Not knowing how your pricing fits into your strategy
5 – Overlooking key details

Top Contract Award Notices this week 29/05/2020

In the last week, over 400 contract award notices were published across the UK. Below you will find our top three notices from the last 7 days. 


Title: United Kingdom-Liverpool: Construction work
Short description: Refurbishment of the Seacombe landing stage and booms, and replacement of both passenger and vehicle linkspan bridges.
Published By: Merseytravel
Date Published: 25 May 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £ 5,935,960.70
Number of tenders received: 5
Contractors: John Sisk and Son Ltd

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Title: UK-Stirling: Castleview Low Carbon Hub
Short description: To develop the current Castleview Park and Ride site into a Low Carbon Hub.
Published By: Stirling Council
Date Published: 28 May 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £1,299,077.18
Number of tenders received: 4
Contractors: FES Support Services

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Title: United Kingdom-Liverpool: Fire-prevention services
Short description: The scope of the contract is for the provision of: compartmentation surveys, active works, passive works, follow on and remedial works.
Published By: Onward Group Ltd
Date Published: 28 May 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £1,299,077.18
Number of tenders received, lot 1: 6
Number of tenders received, lot 2: 5
Number of tenders received, lot 3: 8
Number of tenders received, lot 4: 7
Number of tenders received, lot 5: 8
Number of tenders received, lot 6: 10
Number of tenders received, lot 7: 7
Number of tenders received, lot 8: 6
Number of tenders received, lot 9: 6
Number of tenders received, lot 10: 9
Contractors: Fieldway Supplies Ltd | Flame Hold Ltd | Openview Security Solutions Ltd | Frank Rogers Building Contractor Ltd | EFT Systems Ltd | Novus Property Solutions Ltd | TF Jones Property Services Ltd | Neo Property Solutions Ltd | Jackson Jackson and Sons Ltd

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Are your competitors listed above? Would you like to know their public sector success rate, market share and the types of opportunities they’re targeting? 
With our Competitor Tracking Alerts, you can view their past wins with our five year archive of award notices, and receive alerts when any organisation(s) you choose are announced as winners of above threshold public contracts. 
For more information, please contact us on 0800 222 9009 to discuss further.

Top 5 bid writing mistakes: Not knowing how your pricing fits into your strategy

In this series of posts, I am addressing the common errors that occur time and time again when writing bids. Below is our 3rd post and will address the following mistake: 

Not knowing how your pricing fits into your strategy 

Often businesses, or the individual in charge of tenders, will focus on pricing for a tender, but there is a need for a more comprehensive decision-making process of which price is only a part, albeit an important one. In other words, agreeing one number is not a strategy. A price should be agreed upon following the implementation of an overall bid strategy and not the other way around, or in isolation from the bid strategy.  These are the main issues we see, where pricing is either decided on its own, or looked at too late and not aligned to the offer as a whole. Either approach isn’t fit for purpose as there is always a need to understand the drivers behind your prices.  
 
For example, you should ask yourself: 

  • What is the context of your chosen prices in regard to your entire offer? 
  • Are you able to offer unique value adding services or are your competitors able to offer exactly the same? 

Knowing the competitive environment and the key drivers for the customer are paramount to making good decisions.  The prices need to balance your chances of success with the value derived for the contract, which won’t be possible if you don’t give your pricing the time and contemplation it deserves. 

There are ways to look at this in more detail. For example, from our contract award database we could provide you with information about who specific contracts were awarded to and their values going back five years. From here it would be possible, by looking at the spend reports from individual public sector authorities, to start estimating how much incumbent suppliers are charging for their services. This type of analysis can help prevent your pricing strategy from being a shot in the dark.  
 
If you are interested in using contract award data to inform your pricing strategies, you might be interested in our Competitor Tracking Alerts. Not only do we offer a five year archive of contract awards, you can also track an unlimited number of competitors and receive alerts whenever they win high value public contracts.


For my next post, we’ll look at the the issues associated with leaving things to the last moment.

In the meantime, if you’re 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 


Other posts in the Top 5 Bid Writing mistakes series:
1 – Failing to prepare and preparing to fail
2 – Biting off more than you can chew
4 – Too little, too late
5 – Overlooking key details

Top Contract Award Notices this week 22/05/2020

In the last week, over 400 contract award notices were published across the UK. Below you will find our top three notices from the last 7 days. 


Title: United Kingdom-Southampton: Aviation test software development services
Published By: Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Date Published: 15 May 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £990,000.00
Number of tenders received: 27
Contractors: Elbit Systems

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Title: United Kingdom-Bristol: Agricultural, forestry, horticultural, aquacultural and apicultural services
Published By: Bristol City Council
Date Published: 15 May 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £9,000,000.00
Number of tenders received: 7
Contractors: Gristwood and Tom’s Ltd

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Title: United Kingdom-London: Furniture (incl. office furniture), furnishings, domestic appliances (excl. lighting) and cleaning products
Published By: London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Date Published: 20 May 2020
Framework/DPS: yes
Highest offer: £2,800,000.00
Number of tenders received: 8
Contractors: LGFS LTD | Focus Furnishing | Hamletts Ltd

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Are your competitors listed above? Would you like to know their public sector success rate, market share and the types of opportunities they’re targeting? 
With our Competitor Tracking Alerts, you can view their past wins with our five year archive of award notices, and receive alerts when any organisation(s) you choose are announced as winners of above threshold public contracts. 
For more information, please contact us on 0800 222 9009 to discuss further. 

How are our Reviewers getting on?

To provide you with full coverage of public sector tenders from the UK, ROI and OJEU, we rely on our dedicated Review Team. Their role within Tenders Direct is to read, analyse and categorise every English-language contract published in the Official Journal of the European Union as well as every below-threshold notice from across the UK and Ireland. 

Their efforts help simplify searches, and ensure our customers never miss a tender. 

For this post I contacted Cameron, one of our Reviewers, to see how his team are getting on, and to find out what impact lockdown has had on the tenders they are reviewing.  

Q. What is your team working on at the moment? 
We are continuing to review the tenders that come in every day and ensuring our customers are alerted to these opportunities. In the background, we are working on various projects that will help maintain the efficiency and understanding of the review process. 

Q. What are you guys doing to overcome social distancing and isolation? 
Various video calls, to make sure we are seeing faces, hearing voices and checking in on each other. I’ve gone from only ever doing 1 or 2 video calls in my life to about 1 every day! 

Q. How did your team find adapting to homeworking? 
Very difficult to start with. The hardest thing to start with is getting your ergonomics correct so you are comfortably working. After that, the next challenge was adopting routines for the working day – such as taking short breaks away from the screen, switching off at the end of the day and new habits to help with concentration.  

I’m very appreciative of the technology we have in place, it really has allowed us to continue doing what we do with minimal disruption – I do however miss the every day human interaction!  

Q. Have you noticed a difference in the number of tenders being published? 
At the start of the social distancing measures, there were a few days where there were not many coming through, but as the weeks have passed, we are noticing more and more. Where it might be a quieter day from the OJEU, we can usually rely on a good number coming through from the below value threshold tenders.

We have certainly seen an increase in PPE (gloves, masks, clothing) since the lockdown. All research tenders have not been affected and anything desk based has been business as usual. In the last couple of weeks , we’ve seen a big jump in construction tenders which is very promising. 

I think the main thing that has stuck out is that tenders from Ireland have been continuous and when there was a decrease from others, there was certainly a continuation if not an increase in the number of tenders from Ireland.

Q. What has been the most useful tool or app for your team? 
Certainly Teams has been a blessing in group conversations. It’s allowed us to have group messages, video messaging as well as sharing screens – which has really helped collaboration and training. 

Q. Have you adopted any new working habits you think your team will keep? 
I think the use of video technology is going to be very interesting going forward. In terms of habits, I think I could be more active than I was on my lunch breaks, and it will be something I aim to keep up. 


Many of the contracts our Reviewers see have unusual or vague descriptions. We’re the only tender alert service that ensures a person reads each and every tender listed on the site. By categorising each tender they process, they help make our searches more accurate and ensure customers only get alerted to the most relevant opportunities.  

You can try our category search out for yourself and even request a free sample alert to see the real value our Review Team adds. If you would like to find out more about our services, please leave a comment below or get in touch on 0800 222 9009. 

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 

Top Contract Award Notices this week 15/05/2020

In the last week, over 526 contract award notices were published across the UK.
Below you will find our top three notices from the last 7 days. 


Title: United Kingdom-Nottingham: Construction work
Published By: Arc Property Services Partnership Ltd
Date Published: 11 May 2020
Framework/DPS: Yes
Value excluding VAT: £10,900,000.00
Number of tenders received: 16
Contractors: Pikemaster Ltd | Gelder Ltd | Tanbry Construction Ltd | CLC Contractors Ltd | Riley and Co. (Mansfield) Ltd | Whittle Programmed Maintenance Ltd | Midland Roofing Services (Derby) Ltd | Novus Property Solution Ltd | Envirocall Ltd | MJW Asbestos Removal Services Ltd | P J Lilley Ltd | Pheonix Contractors | Hatherley Commercial Services Ltd | KCM Catering Equipment Ltd

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Title: United Kingdom-Liverpool: Office and computing machinery, equipment and supplies except furniture and software packages
Published By: Crown Commercial Service
Date Published: 13 May 2020
Framework/DPS: Yes
Value excluding VAT: £170,000,000.00
Number of tenders received: 12
Contractors: Ace Office Environments Ltd | OfficeTeam Ltd (Suubject to contract) | ACS Business Supplies Ltd | Banner Group Ltd | Bates Office Services | Commercial Ltd | Hertfordshire County Council (Trading as Herts FullStop) | Lyreco UK Ltd | Office Depot UK Ltd | Warrens Office Ltd | WildHearts Office Ltd | XMA Ltd

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Title: United Kingdom-Trowbridge: Construction, foundation and surface works for highways, roads
Published By: Wiltshire Council
Date Published: 14 May 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £50,000,000.00
Number of tenders received: 5
Contractors: Kiely Bros Ltd

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Are your competitors listed above? Would you like to know their public sector success rate, market share and the types of opportunities they’re targeting? 
With our Competitor Tracking Alerts, you can view their past wins with our five year archive of award notices, and receive alerts when any organisation(s) you choose are announced as winners of above threshold public contracts. 
For more information, please contact us on 0800 222 9009 to discuss further. 

Top 5 bid writing mistakes: Biting off more than you can chew

In this series of posts, I’m addressing the common errors that occur time and time again when writing bids. Below is our 2nd post and will address the following mistake: 

Biting off more than you can chew 

Bid submissions can often be handled like a hot coal, with just one person eventually assigned to handle a submission in isolation. This inevitably leads to issues, misunderstandings or an underestimation of the time and resource required. You need to have the right people engaged and contributing to the bid from the beginning, and across the breadth of a business, in order to fully represent its capabilities. 

Too often we also see organisations respond half-heartedly to too many bids. You need a robust process in place for deciding whether to bid and then for the opportunities you do pursue, ensure that you give the bid your best effort. 

We consistently find a direct correlation between the level of resource employed in preparing proposals and success rate.  In short, bids should be a collective business effort, the more effort you put in, the better the outcomes. 

Responding to bids is a group effort, and as the person responsible for the bid, you will need to effectively manage your team to deliver the best results. To achieve this, you should consider: 

Choosing the right people – do you have the support of the key people needed to write this bid? 
Check your resources – do you have access to all the information and documents you will need, are they stored centrally for easy access? 
Setting clear goals – does your team know what they have to achieve and by when? 
Managing relationships – does your team know how their work impacts their colleagues and on time submission? 
Keeping everyone engaged – you may be keeping them informed, but are you doing it in a way that keeps them motivated and engaged? 
Tracking multiple projects – have you delegated responsibilities or utilised some form of bid management software to track progress?  
 
If you can answer these questions with a positive yes, you’ll be set-up well for tackling your submissions. If you are feeling swamped, it could be because you have taken on too much and your organisation needs to look more closely at how they are resourcing bids. If it’s because you are struggling to track the progress of multiple bids from start to finish, you need a system to support you – and I would strongly recommend Opportunity Manager. 

Opportunity Manager is available to all Tenders Direct subscribers, and is an incredibly simple yet efficient bid management tool. It’s designed to bring all of your notices into a single, customisable pipeline view – allowing you to check the status of all your bids at a glance, schedule tasks and reminders and centralise all of your bid documents. If this sounds like something you need, you can request a free demo of Opportunity Manager.


In my next post, I will cover the issues associated with not creating a proper pricing strategy.

In the meantime, if you’re 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 


Other posts in the Top 5 Bid Writing mistakes series:
1 – Failing to prepare and preparing to fail
3 – Not knowing how your pricing fits into your strategy
4 – Too little, too late
5 – Overlooking key details

How is our Development Team getting on?

Our Development Team are responsible for making improvements to Tenders Direct and ensuring you get a stellar service from your favourite tender alert provider. 
 
For this post I caught up with Adrian, who is one of our Software Developers, to find out how his team have been getting on during lockdown. 

What is your team working on at the moment?
Most of our recent activity was focused on getting all the new features and fixes ready for our most recent release, which went live on 6 May. The most notable changes include improving navigation in our Control Panel, enhancing the features available in Opportunity Manager, and the modernisation of several customer-facing pages.

Now that the release has gone live, we have started working on our next update and other background work to support continuous product improvement and development – we’re always looking at ways to make things more efficient for our customers.

What are you guys doing to overcome social distancing and isolation?
We interact quite frequently with each other via video-chat. We also have our departmental group on Microsoft Teams where we can have a chat with everyone about anything – which we use quite often 🙂.

How did your team find adapting to homeworking?
The business has great resources and tools to allow home working and with the nature of our job as software developers, the transition for us has been fast and easy.  

What has been the most useful tool or app for your team? 
It definitively has to be Microsoft Teams, apart from the tools that we use daily as software developers, Microsoft Teams has allowed us to quickly and easily communicate with anyone within the company and provides a great platform to hold meetings without losing track of things.


Opportunity Manager, which Adrain mentions working on above, is our tender management tool and is included as standard with any of our subscriptions. The updates included in our recent release for this include: 

  • The ability to create a greater number of progress stages 
  • Advanced tender alerts can now be added to your pipeline
  • External notices can also be added to your pipeline 
  • Addition of a discussions tabs, allowing for the tagging of colleagues and the creation of numerous threads 

If you are not an existing customer, request a demo to find out more.

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