cleaning tenders

Cleaning tenders – growth through tendering

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Opportunity for your cleaning company to thrive

If you’ve been running a cleaning business for a while, or even if you’re just starting out, you might have thought about cleaning tenders as a way to win more work and grow your business. Whether your core business is commercial cleaning, office cleaning, car cleaning, window cleaning or graffiti removal, a fantastic way to expand your business is by winning a cleaning tender. Cleaning is a service that is regularly outsourced, for example by schools, councils, hospitals, offices, fleet management companies, universities and housing organisations to name a few.  This provides a regular stream of opportunities for cleaning tenders and therefore significant prospects for business growth.

So how do you make the most of these opportunities?

In most cases, your experience will be in management and provision of cleaning services, not in procurement or writing tender responses; so how do you make sure that the bid you submit is as good as it can be? There are several key areas to consider when it comes to winning a cleaning tender; this blog will take you through them step by step to help you to write a winning response.

What does the buyer want?

For all cleaning tenders you will need a thorough understanding of what exactly the buyer is looking for. Read all the documentation associated with the tender. Check floor plans or surface areas (e.g. of windows) if applicable. Is any specialist cleaning required? Understand whether the cleaning must take place during certain hours (e.g. before school/after office hours). Check whether any security clearances are necessary, or staff background checks. If the buyer has a current service, is it provided by an in-house team or is it already outsourced to another contractor? Are they having problems with that service and if so, what are they? Think about how you can address those problems. Wherever possible arrange a site visit so you can gain a full understanding of the premises to be cleaned and talk to staff on the ground about what works well/what isn’t working. The cleaning tender process will also enable you to ask questions for clarification, use this opportunity to ensure the service you provide covers every requirement.

A high quality service

Whatever the buyer’s requirements are, they will want a high quality service delivery for their cleaning tenders. They don’t want to waste time and effort dealing with problems and complaints and poor quality cleaning. You will need to demonstrate to the buyer that not only is your cleaning service of high quality, but that you can maintain this consistently over the course of the contract. Think about what processes you have in place for monitoring your service and your team. What audits do you perform? Can you explain how you ensure a full complement of staff turn up to work each shift and how you ensure they clean to a high standard in the time allowed? Do you need to improve anything (e.g. introduce new technology) before tendering for work? If there is a problem, do you have consistent, well understood processes in place to deal with it? E.g. if a buyer finds some unsatisfactory work, what do they do to report it and how will you resolve it? What do you do if a staff member doesn’t turn up to work? Do you have relevant industry accreditations such as British Institute of Cleaning Science, Federation of Window Cleaners, CHAS, SafeContractor, ISO9001, ISO 14001 etc to demonstrate that you are low risk?

cleaning tenders

Staff training

Linked with quality of service, you will need to demonstrate that your staff are fully trained in their roles, follow all your policies and procedures and have any necessary qualifications where applicable. Do you have specific induction training for staff who join the company? Is any mandatory training repeated annually? How do you ensure staff know what to do on a new site? If you don’t maintain a staff training matrix showing training completed and due dates of future training, consider creating one and ensure it is regularly maintained.

Health and safety

By its very nature, cleaning is a service with risks associated with it. You’ll need to demonstrate robust Health and Safety processes and procedures, including risk assessments and method statements for all tasks undertaken, COSHH procedures and compliance with RIDDOR. The buyer will want to be sure that the cleaning service will be carried out with minimum risk to both your employees and their employees, along with anyone else on site and the general public. This may cover, for example, working at height, working in confined spaces, lone working, protecting the public, manual handling, asbestos awareness or accidents and emergencies. This may also involve working around children and vulnerable adults (e.g. schools) or patients in care (e.g. hospitals, care homes), which requires suppliers to have specific processes like Safeguarding in place.  Make sure your Health and Safety policy is up to date, that you have other appropriate policies in place, and they are all reviewed regularly.

Environmental awareness

Any buyer will want assurances that the cleaning company they use has a robust environmental awareness and operates sustainably. You will probably need to supply your environmental policy and procedures. Can you describe all the ways your business operates with the environment in mind? Think about water usage, environmentally friendly consumables, recycling, chemical-free solutions, staff training in proper product usage, electricity usage, and operating a ‘greener’ fleet (e.g. electric vehicles, regular servicing and maintenance, route management). Providing real figures regarding environmental impact will help your tender e.g. how much water do you use/save by following your procedures? What’s your carbon footprint? How much has your new dosing system reduced the use of cleaning fluids?

Evidence

Evidence is key to winning cleaning tenders. You need to support all your responses with as much evidence as you can, particularly if you’re a small business competing against bigger companies. If you don’t already have some customer testimonials, start collecting them. Use facts and figures from your previous experience to support your bid.

Get expert help

Bear the above in mind when writing your next tender response and you should be on your way to winning a valuable cleaning contract.  Complete Tenders uses a system of writing tenders to help cleaning companies beat the competition and consistently win contracts.   To find out more about this system, or if you need help with any aspect of tendering, please visit our website, or email us at info@completetenders.com.

 

Alternatively call us now to see how our team of experts can help you on 01707 244713.

“Our Company first used Complete Tenders in May 2018 where I was struggling to finish a tender due to the complexities of the finances. I called Complete tenders and Matthew dropped everything he was doing to assist and pulled the figures together in a short space of time which I then submitted on time. As a result of Matthew's intervention, we were awarded the contract in June 2018. I am confident that Complete tenders will help us grow our business significantly over the foreseeable future and look forward to what can be achieved. I would not hesitate in recommending Complete Tenders to any organisation that has growth at the heart of their business strategy.”

Andy PearmanUnited Cleaning Solutions
online tenders, tenders

Online Tenders – how to get it right!

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Top tips when using online tender portals for tender submissions

Most tenders are now submitted via an online portal rather than by email or post. However, buying organisations don’t all use the same one and inevitably, there are now a myriad of procurement portals, all of which are navigated slightly (or even very) differently. Consequently, this blog isn’t a user guide to online portals; rather it is some top tips to be aware of when using an online portal to submit online tenders.

 

Our Top Tips for tender submissions are:

 

  • You’re going to need to register on the portal. To do this you will generally need some company information and an email address for notifications, and you’ll have to set a password. Make sure you set up the notification emails so that they go to multiple email addresses or a group email address accessed by more than one staff member. You don’t want to miss important updates when a member of staff is on holiday, off sick or otherwise unavailable.

 

  • Some portals may appear to be different but actually are under the same umbrella so only one login is required. For example, many are powered by Proactis, such as ProContract Due North, The Chest, London Tenders Portal, YORtender. You only need to register once to access all these.

 

  • Keep a central log of all your portal usernames and passwords; once you start tendering you may find the list growing rapidly. Its also a good idea to print this out every so often so you have a hard copy back up. Your security doesn’t need to be too tight as this access is only to an online tender portal, rather than your bank account…

 

  • That said, make sure your portal passwords are not the same as those for your bank account, i.e. don’t choose your cats name!

 

  • Once you have accessed the portal, you will usually have a dashboard, where you can click through to view the particular tender opportunity you are exploring, and likely there are other areas, like ‘other tenders,’ ‘messages’ and ‘user/company profile.’ As portals manage multiple tenders, you may also be able to search for other tender opportunities.

 

  • In order to download all the documents associated with a tender and/or ask a question you may need to ‘register your interest’ or ‘opt in.’ Don’t worry, this doesn’t commit you to anything, but will thenceforth engage you in the notifications related to that tender exercise.

 

  • Familiarise yourself with the portal after registering and downloading the documents. How do you navigate the various sections? What do the various sections contain? This helps you to become familiar with the site, so that you can make tendering an efficient process. Its also important to know where to upload your tender submission when the deadline is looming.
  • Clarification questions will need to be asked using the communications or messaging function in the portal. Familiarise yourself with how the messaging works before you need to use it and check emails regularly as you will be provided with answers to other potential suppliers’ questions in addition to your own.

 

  • If the buyer makes changes to a document or a date, they will use the portal to inform anyone who has registered an interest about the change. Don’t ignore emails from the portal – login and check what has changed as this may have important implications e.g. the deadline date has been put back.

 

  • In order to submit online tenders, some portals require you to upload a set of completed documents, whereas others require you to enter text directly into fields in the portal. Some require both, some require you to click a button to confirm you understand and agree with the terms and conditions. Make sure you understand how the submission works well in advance of the deadline.

 

  • Check if the portal has any specific limitations on file size. Some smaller portals may limit the files you can upload, which may have significant consequences if you’ve just spent 3 weeks preparing a beautifully designed and formatted proposal, only to be faced with ‘file size too large for destination server.’

 

  • There is often a limit to the number of words or characters that you are allowed to enter into a text field on a portal. Bear in mind that the word/character count in MSWord can be slightly different to that in the portal (particularly character count as portals include carriage returns) so an answer that is within character count in your document may be over the limit in the portal. Don’t leave it to the last minute to find this out and needing to make edits with 5 minutes to go!

 

  • With some portals, you can save a partial submission to go back to later if needed. This is handy if you’re uploading many responses/supporting documents and some are ready before others. It’s also good practice to press save regularly when uploading everything at once, just in case you have an IT issue. Only when you’ve uploaded everything do you need to press submit.

 

  • Lastly, and this may sound obvious (and sometimes seem unavoidable!) but don’t leave the tender submission to the last minute. Allow yourself plenty of time. Large files can take time to upload. Portals can have problems of their own. Your business could have network connectivity issues. And so on. You don’t want to spend weeks working on your submission, only to fail to submit it because you left it too late. Deadline extensions are not usually possible.

Get expert help

If all this sounds daunting, help is out there. Complete Tenders provide a range of solutions to help you with your online tenders. To find out more about our services visit our website, or email us at info@completetenders.com.

 

Alternatively call us now to see how our team of experts can help you on 01707 244713.

dental tender

How to win a dental tender

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Creating winning bids in the dental arena

As a dentist, endodontist, orthodontist or other specialist dental services provider, a key part of your business growth strategy could be to win an NHS dental tender, for a new specialist service, or re-tender for an existing NHS contract that you already hold. Most NHS dental contracts are time-limited, so just because you hold one now, doesn’t automatically mean it will be re-awarded to you. Additionally, you may find that when a dental service is re-tendered, the locations and lot sizes have been reassessed, relocated and resized due to changing NHS patient needs. Existing PDS contract holders will need to submit a dental tender in the same way as potential new providers and will be assessed in exactly the same way.

NHS dental tenders are focussed on bringing equity, accessibility, value and excellence to the provision of dental care and treatment with improved patient outcomes. Understanding the commissioners’ motivations are key, so your dental tender response will need to demonstrate that your practice delivers outstanding quality of care and cost-effectiveness with the needs of all patients at the heart of what you do. In this way, smaller dental practices can show that they are not just as good, but even better than the large dental corporations out there. This blog outlines some key ways to achieve success and beat the competition to winning a dental tender.

Firstly, quality of service. You are going to need to describe and, importantly, evidence the following:

  • How you adhere to regulatory standards (GDC, BOS, IRMER etc)
  • What clinical audits you perform, and the audit process undertaken (e.g. plan, audit, action plan, re-audit). Show that your process is more efficient and effective than a large corporation that may have layers or bureaucracy to overcome before things get changed
  • The structure of your organisation with clearly defined roles & responsibilities (e.g. Caldicott Guardian, Clinical Governance Lead, Data Protection Officer, Compliance Manager, SIRO, Safeguarding Lead, Radiation Protection Officer etc)
  • What safeguarding procedures you have in place and the safeguarding training undertaken by your staff. Show this from your receptionist to your principal practitioner
  • Your approach to Health and Safety; it’s not enough to simply say you have a H&S policy – how often is it reviewed, how are staff trained on H&S, do you undertake H&S audits etc
  • That your patient complaints procedures are advertised, followed and result in process improvements and better patient care. Again, differentiate from your bigger rivals by showing how effective your feedback and lessons learnt processes are.
  • That you have strong incident reporting procedures in place, and staff adhere to Duty of Candour

The highest scoring tender responses will demonstrate extremely robust clinical governance policies and procedures, along with an appropriate quality assurance and governance mechanism, such as the BDA Good Practice Scheme, with clear accountability throughout the organisation. At every appropriate opportunity, provide the evidence that the NHS commissioners are looking for to demonstrate your performance; this may include practice vital sign information, NHS BSA Compass-e-portal evidence, NHS Dental Reference Service Reports, PAR scores, FFT results, PROMS/PREMS, IMOS/Endodontic/Orthodontic Transition Score, Dental Assurance Framework, NHS choices, referral to assessment waiting and assessment to treatment waiting times, CQC reports.

Secondly, ensuring the needs of patients, accessibility and equity of care are at the heart of your service delivery. You will need to think about, describe, and evidence:

  • How your proposed surgery location and layout comply with relevant legislation such as the Disability Discrimination Act and the Equality Act (e.g. hearing loop, wheelchair access, proximity of public transport, parking)
  • How you meet and exceed patient expectations (provision of information, ensuring understanding of treatment plan, oral health care advice etc)
  • How you prioritise patients and manage waiting lists, including transferred patients
  • How you manage referrals
  • How you meet the needs of vulnerable and hard to reach groups
  • How you engage with the local community (e.g. school visits to reduce incidences of poor oral health)
  • How you have used the feedback mechanisms you have in place (e.g. satisfaction surveys, social media) to implement patient feedback
  • How the technology you use in your practice helps you meet the needs of patients.

The best responses will demonstrate that you have an in depth understanding of the local population and its associated challenges/issues, and that your surgery is the best equipped to deal with them. This is critical to differentiating yourself from a competitor that might not have any understanding at this level. Include evidence of discussions with NHS Area Teams, MCN meetings, Healthwatch, and if possible, your previous experience of e.g. waiting times, to show your knowledge and why your practice is ideally placed to deliver the new contract.

Thirdly, resourcing. You can’t provide outstanding quality of service and meet the needs of patients without the correct staff in place from day one. You will need to:

  • Provide a detailed mobilisation plan showing that all potential risks from lack of resources have been mitigated. Even if some things are already in place, include these as ‘completed items’ to show you’ve considered them
  • Ensure your proposed staffing structure meets the required qualifications, skill-mix, experience and service delivery requirements. Show why your clinical team are more qualified than anyone else. Show why your non-clinical team are more qualified than anyone else
  • Provide a clear organisational plan with defined roles, responsibilities and lines of accountability. Don’t make 1 person accountable or responsible for everything as this implies a work-overload and potential to drop the ball
  • Use evidence and statistics to back up your statements on staff quality e.g. PAR scores, patient feedback letters
  • Evidence how you follow NHS safer recruitment guidelines when recruiting
  • Describe your staff training program and how you ensure compliance with GDC CPD requirements. Do you use a matrix to flag when training is out of date?
  • Detail your process for managing staff conduct and performance
  • Provide assurances that you can retain compliant, qualified, high-performing staff.

The best responses will demonstrate that you have thought about all elements of a thorough mobilisation (e.g. patient data transfer, surgery fit-out, TUPE of existing staff and the costs) and that your staff are in place, competent and compliant with strong supporting HR policies.

Lastly, finance. Your tender proposal needs to be financially viable, deliver long-term value for money and be aligned with the resourcing structure you outline as the tender evaluators will cross reference it. Your dental tender financial model needs to include:

  • Full costings for all the staff you outline in your tender responses
  • Full costings for equipment (e.g. if you refer to using a new digital dental scanner this needs to be in the set-up costs)
  • The cost of any fit-out required
  • Proof of funds for any up-front costs
  • Show a positive cash-flow throughout to evidence a stable business model.

The pricing element of a dental tender is typically limited to committing to pricing per unit of activity (UDA/UOA) within a pre-determined band. Consequently, there is limited room to differentiate your practice from much of the competition and highlights the importance of doing this as much as possible in the written element of the tender. As charges and therefore revenues generated from dental activity is largely fixed and the same for all bidders, the onus on preparing a strong pricing tender/financial model template (FMT) becomes the viability of your service delivery. The more comprehensive and inclusive your FMT is, the less room for doubt you give to the tender evaluation panel. Not only that, but you may be able to point out costs to the commissioners that other bidders haven’t even thought of, and thereby show that their FMT’s are incomplete or unviable.

In addition to the above, and this may seem obvious, always remember to answer the specific question that is being asked. Responses will have limited word or character counts, so there won’t be room for additional information that you want to provide but haven’t been asked for (and it won’t be scored).

Proven dental tender experience

Complete Tenders’ proven success in winning dental tenders and orthodontic tenders comes from applying a detailed knowledge of the dental services industry to best principles in securing NHS contracts. If you would like help preparing your dental tender, please see our website for more details or get in touch via info@completetenders.com or by giving us a call on 01707 244713.

“Complete Tenders assisted me in the process of re-tendering for our NHS orthodontic contract as part of a large procurement project. From the outset Matthew was an excellent listener and provided a high level of support in the whole process. I found him easy to communicate with and responsive, with quick turnaround when I posed questions via email or telephone. His team assisted with the writing of the documentation for the submission - I had concerns that using a Company to assist in this process would lead to a generic submission and that this would have a negative impact to the submission. On the contrary - Matthew and his team helped me to create a thorough and robust framework to which I could add the stamp of how I wanted the submission to be presented so that it reflected my practice in the best light. Thanks to Matthew and his Team we have successfully secured a new contract. I have no hesitation in highly recommending Complete Tenders”

Dr Beth RichardsonBasingstoke Orthodontics
tender

To bid or not to bid – how to analyse whether a tender is right for you

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Finding the perfect tender for your business

There are thousands of open tenders in the UK at any one time, a quick search of either of the two main databases – OJEU and Contracts Finder – will show just how many there are. Both databases can be searched using keywords, so you can search for tenders relevant to your business; but even then, the number of tenders returned using a keyword search can be huge, so how do you narrow the field down to that one key tender that fits your business perfectly and gives you a good chance of winning?

Ensure you understand your requirements

Firstly, before you even start searching, determine what would comprise your ideal tender. Make a list of all the things your ideal tender would contain. If your business provides multiple services/products, do this for each service/product. This will really help you narrow down what it is you’re looking for and will help you analyse real tenders as you’ll be able to compare them against your ideal.

Having understood what would comprise your ideal tender, it should be fairly straightforward to put together a list of specific keywords to use to search the databases.

Your database search using those keywords may return one tender, it may return ten, or it may return many more. When you have that list, what do you look for to determine if it’s a good fit for your business?

Location

If you supply goods and/or services nationwide, then location isn’t necessarily of importance. But if you can only supply fairly locally, you can discount any tenders for locations outside of your area. Additionally, being local can put you at a real advantage if you can demonstrate a unique understanding of the needs and/or challenges of the local community in your tender response.

Value

If you’re a small business, with a relatively low turnover, trying to win a £multi-million tender straight out is unlikely to be a fruitful pursuit. Be realistic about the value of the tender you may be able to win. Some tenders state a minimum turnover in the requirements; some require that the income from the contract will not be more than a certain percentage of your turnover. Not all tenders publish a contract value, so you may have to dig deeper and look at exactly what they’re specifying to work out the value from your approximate bid price.

Timescales

When is the tender response due? Crafting a winning bid is time consuming, so if the deadline is only a week away, you’re going to be under pressure and your bid may not be as good as it could be. Choosing a tender where you have enough time to pull together your response properly and can go through a revision and edit process will help ensure your bid is the best it can be.

Framework vs Direct Contract

Getting appointed onto a Framework may be easier than winning a direct contract if you are just starting out. It can help you gain valuable experience and use the credentials of being a ‘framework approved supplier’ to attract other business. However, as no income is guaranteed if you are appointed, you may wish to focus your efforts on winning a direct contract outright. If possible, try to calculate the likely revenue each venture will bring over the long-term and the likelihood of success. This is a key area where an expert like Complete Tenders can really help.

What assessment weighting is being used?

Tenders are assessed according to the principles of MEAT – Most Economically Advantageous Tender – and will have a ratio (or weighting) of quality vs price. For example, a tender could be assessed as 80% on quality and 20% on price, or vice versa, or any other ratio, including 100% on quality or 100% on price. If you know that your prices generally come in higher than your competitors, then bidding on a tender with a large weighting on price won’t be in your favour. Where there is a better ratio between quality and price, and your higher quality can outweigh your competitors’ lower prices, then this is the tender for you.

How much work is involved in creating a response?

Does the tender simply involve answering some standard questions about your business or are there more complicated method statements to be written? Do you have any previous material you can use to help you answer the questions and build on these to make them stronger and more relevant to this buyer? If the questions are complex and plentiful and you are new to tendering, consider whether this is the best use of your time or whether you should look for an ‘easier’ tender. That said, time and effort spent on preparing any tender makes the next one a little easier.

Do you have all the documents required?

Some tenders require the submission of extra documentation such as policies and procedures. Do you already have all the documentation required? Would you need to create any? It may be more appropriate to leave the tender this time, and work on creating the documentation so you have it ready for the next time.

Pricing schedule

How complicated is the pricing schedule and how much work is involved in completing it? Do you have experience completing similar pricing schedules? Are you able to review it to calculate the total value and the margin you would make? The pricing model will play a large part in deciding whether you can make money from the contract or not – ultimately if you’re not making any money from it, its not worth bidding for.

Terms and conditions

Is there anything in the terms and conditions that would affect your decision to bid? Are you able to confer with a legal support about getting into such a contract?

Does the specification match your business?

The above should have narrowed your search results significantly, so now you’re going to need to read the tender specification in detail to understand exactly what the buyer is looking for and determine whether you can deliver all that is being asked. Consider whether you can demonstrate previous experience and provide evidence to back up your bid.

Get expert help

If all this sounds daunting, help is out there. Complete Tenders provides a personal tender tracking service that does all the hard work for you. Our specialist team will shortlist only those tenders that are a good fit for your business using years of experience in winning contracts. We will help you make informed decisions to bid to ensure you get a successful return on your tendering investment.

Alternatively call us now to see how we can help you tender more effectively on 01707 244713.

Winning a Catering Tender

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There are hundreds of businesses, large and small in the catering industry, looking after our culinary needs.

If you’re the owner of a catering business, you’re probably on the lookout for ways to grow your business and increase your market share. One way to develop your business is by winning a public sector catering tender.

There are a huge number of catering tenders available as this is a service regularly outsourced by many organisations, e.g. schools, hospitals, care homes, festivals, airports, exhibitions, councils, offices, the armed forces. However, if your business is focussed on supplying sandwiches, you don’t want to waste time and resources tendering for a contract for fruit and veg deliveries.

So firstly you need to find a catering tender that applies to your business. All UK public sector tender opportunities, depending on their value, must be published either on the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU) website or the UK government website Contracts Finder. You can search these databases using key words to find a tender appropriate to your business.

Once you’ve found that perfect tender (it’s only a matter of time!), what do you need to consider and how best should you answer the tender questions?

1. Check how the tender is structured

Check how the tender is structured. Is it split into different lots or are all the catering products and services grouped together? If the latter, be sure you can deliver all of the requirements. This is a good opportunity to demonstrate to the buyer how you will achieve excellent volume efficiencies to save them money. If they award the whole contract to you, how much will they save? Can you offer some added value incentives? Correspondingly, if you’re bidding for an individual lot, how will your business deliver better value than a bigger catering company capable of delivering all requirements?

2. Read all the tender documentation

You need to understand exactly what the buyer is looking for and whether you are able to meet all their requirements. If you or your products don’t have some of the accreditations, e.g. Red Tractor, MSC, Soil Association, Red Lion, Fair Trade, is this something you should be looking to change or invest in so you can tender for future similar opportunities? Check carefully whether having the accreditation is an absolute pass/fail, or whether there is opportunity to explain an alternative.

3. Food standards and quality assurance

Buyers will want assurances that all products are fit for purpose and comply with all appropriate Food Safety Legislation and regulations published by the Food Standards Agency.Can you show that you source your catering products from suppliers who satisfy UK Welfare standards? How do you package and label your products? Are they stored and delivered safely? Do you comply with Food Labelling Regulations and Allergen Regulations? Can you demonstrate staff training and qualifications in food safety? All of these questions are likely to be asked in any catering tender so its good to prepare these answers as soon as you can.

4. Timeliness

Timeliness of the delivery or preparation of catering products and services is of huge importance. How can you be sure you can meet the delivery timeslots and locations specified? Do you have evidence/statistics from previous contracts/clients that you can show to confirm you deliver on time? If you don’t have this sort of management information, consider implementing the systems into your business that enable you to capture it.

5. Supply chain and service robustness

Buyers want to be sure of an uninterrupted catering supply so you will need to demonstrate contingency in your supply chain and service delivery with multiple suppliers, sufficient stock levels, cover for absent staff, and transport options. Most tenders will ask about how you select and maintain relationships with your suppliers. Think about how you can show your selection processes are robust and demonstrate low risk to the buyer. Do you have a business continuity plan and is it fit specifically for your catering business?

6. Contract Management

To deliver the contract, there will be regular communication between yourself and the buyer, so you will need to demonstrate effective contract management processes and strong lines of communication. What technology do you use to manage your service delivery? How do you monitor your catering service delivery to ensure you are meeting the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) of the contract? What systems do you have in place for dealing with any problems or complaints? Provide as much as evidence of previous experience as possible, such as management information reports and adherence to SLAs (Service Level Agreement) and KPIs.

7. Environmental awareness

Due to the very nature of catering, you will need to demonstrate that your catering service has good environmental awareness, strict waste management procedures and that you are committed to a sustainable future, e.g. by composting kitchen waste, using re-usable containers for deliveries, using environmentally friendly consumables, and disposing of (minimal) waste in accordance with all relevant regulations. You are likely to need strong environmental policies and procedures. Can you provide evidence to support your commitments? e.g. calculation of your carbon footprint or volume of waste recycled/produced. The highest scoring tender responses will consider how this commitment will then help the buying organisation with their own environmental program. So, try to calculate specifically the environmental impacts of your service on the buyer – e.g. how much less waste will go to landfill?

8. Value for money

Buyers expect to save money by outsourcing their catering needs. Can you demonstrate how you can help reduce costs or increase efficiencies without affecting the level of service? Use real figures from your previous experiences where possible. How did you save your last 3 customers money over the course of their contracts? As a smaller business, you will also need to differentiate yourself from a bigger bidder that expects to achieve volume efficiencies (e.g. bigger company can buy in bulk). What evidence do you have to counteract that argument? Can you show that actually, on balance, your smaller business delivers much better long-term value?

9. Provide evidence

The buyer will want to be certain that you have the skills and experience necessary to provide the catering service requested. To provide the assurances they need, use case histories and testimonials, ensuring you include information on mobilisation, resourcing, timescales, communication, and most importantly the results/outcomes. Wherever possible, include facts and figures from where you have successfully delivered similar services to other customers in the past. The more similarities you can draw between what you have previously delivered and what the buyer wants, the better.

Winning a catering tender isn’t going to be a piece of cake, but with the right system and motivation in place you can do it. Hopefully this blog has given you some key pointers to help you along the way and if you’d like any further support, please get in touch by emailing info@completetenders.com or calling us on 01707 244713.

The Complete Tenders website also provides a comprehensive and entirely free tender listings service click here.

Tender Writing

7 Reason You Won a Tender

By | Blog, Tendering

Success! After a few (or maybe several) attempts at winning a tender, you successfully beat the competition and came out on top. But why? What were the reasons that made your bid better than the competition, or better than your previous efforts?

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Bid management, NHS contracts

How to win NHS contracts

By | Blog, NHS, Tender Writing

If you have outstanding products and services that are recognised elsewhere, demonstrating their benefits to the NHS can prove very difficult. You may even have had tender success with other public and private sector organisations, but an NHS contract remains elusive. This guide makes tendering with the NHS a little clearer…

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Complete Tenders tender and bid

Why outsource tender writing?

By | Blog, Tender Writing

As a business owner, you understand your business inside out because you live it every day. But responding to the questions asked in a tender about your business, ensuring you understand the nuances, structure the answers appropriately, include all the information the buyer is looking for, and get your point across to beat the competition, can be a much more daunting prospect…

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