How to be successful with construction tenders.
Construction is one of the most competitive sectors when tendering to win contracts.
‘Construction Tenders’ is the most searched for term across the public contracts portals and often receives some of the highest number of tenders per contract opportunity. Therefore, if you’re preparing a tender for the construction sector it needs to be very strong – here are our top tips and things to think about to make your tender stand out against the competition:
- Finding the right opportunity – use your specific specialism as a term in the online portals (https://ted.europa.eu/TED/search/search.do or https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder). Look at the tender opportunities carefully – check the location of the contract or if there are lots which relate to different specialisms e.g roofing repair, minor works, underpinning, new extensions etc, which could be more appropriate for your business.
- Before you decide to submit a construction bid look at the mandatory requirements. For example, do you need a specific construction industry accreditation like CHAS or Constructionline? Health and Safety is a critical risk for the contracting authority, so your teams need to have had the right training. It may sound obvious but there is no point going for a tender if you don’t have these key credentials in place. Your bid will be immediately excluded without them.
- Partnering – some tenders involve a range of trades. If you’re a smaller player consider partnering with another trade or supplier who could also be involved. Make sure they have the relevant experience for the tender too.
- Research the buying organisation – when you are responding to a tender opportunity it’s important to know who you are writing it for. Organisations have particular priorities and values which you need to reflect in your bid submission if you want to score highly.
- Experience – construction tenders really need to clearly demonstrate relevant experience. Clear examples from similar projects are key. If you can’t put any experience forward and you aren’t partnering with any other supplier who might be able to, consider whether it’s still worth submitting a bid. Previous experience is often a critical element in the submission.
- Timescales – some construction work has very specific timescales. For example, schools only want building work to go ahead during the holidays to minimise disruption. If the bid you are writing is submitted in November and the work is due to be carried out in the Easter holidays, ensure that you have allocated enough resource for that period.
- Explain – explain your processes clearly. Just because your work seems obvious to you, does not mean it’s obvious to the buying authority. For example, if your team has had specific training in Asbestos removal, don’t assume that the buyer will understand that without you making it clear!