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How SMEs Can Bid to Win in the post-Carillion World (part IV)

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If you have read my previous blogs, you’ll know that we’re looking at how SMEs and larger firms can capitalise on the Carillion crisis to develop new thinking and new approaches to their tenders for public and private work. How can you get an edge on the competition and optimise your prospects of winning? Well, one way is to use the services of a bid specialist.  This can be game-changing as they can help you in the following ways: 

  • Provide external bidding expertise – you can access assistance of a type and quality that will be at least the equal of what the big main contractors have in their bidding function 
  • Bid specialists are adept at projecting you in the best possible light and can help you to avoid procurement pitfalls 
  • They know what the buyers are looking for and can help strengthen your responses with the type and quality of evidence needed 
  • They have a focus on how to hit the high / maximum scores of the evaluation criteria 
  • Suggesting advantageous tactical clarification questions and importantly assisting in drafting them 
  • Introducing ideas for your business to consider e.g. on community benefits, they will have innovative ideas for how you can design community benefits offerings that will resonate with buyers 
  • Ensuring your bid is written for all the audiences that make up the evaluation panel – this can include subject matter experts, procurement, finance, legal, strategy, health & safety and at times services users (e.g. residents in in the social housing sector) 
  • In professionally handling the bid writing and bid management, they will allow you more time to do what you and your team do best which is working on and in your own business 
  • Often the bid specialist will have experience of bidding with the clients you are trying to win work from, so they can provide valuable insight into what is important to that particular buyer 
  • They will likely have a range of specialist contacts if there is a need for further specialism for the bid 
  • Provide an initial no obligation call or meeting to discuss options for their involvement 

I hope this has been of interest to you. Winning tenders is immensely satisfying, both professionally and personally.  There is undoubtedly a skill in being successful and it’s also the case that the more you practice, the more you are likely to win ... especially if you receive and take on board the feedback that buyers often can provide.  However, as an alternative to learning through the ‘hard knocks’ of losing bids, contact me to discuss the difference bringing in bidding expertise can make to your bid success rates.  Happy bidding!

Andrew Morrison MSc FCIH, Managing Director, AM Bid Services Ltd



Andrew Morrison is the Managing Director of AM Bid Services Ltd, which has established itself as one of the UK's leading bid consultancies. 

AM Bid Services launched in October 2014 and has enjoyed remarkable growth, already winning a string of awards and nominations for its work. It is a Corporate Member of APMP UK - the professional body for people working in bidding.  
t: 07507 523920


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