Friday, February 1, 2013

Tendering insights

This blog is no longer being updated.
Please feel free to continue to browse the archives but for more tendering insights please visit our website

Friday, August 17, 2012

Collingwood: winner or not?

I was speaking at a conference in Melbourne yesterday and foolishly made a disparaging comment about Collingwood supporters. This was foolish for two reasons; firstly, because in Melbourne you don't joke about the AFL; and secondly, if you ignore the first reason make sure you are not in the company of any Collingwood supporters!
It reminded me to always research your audience which is good advice when you're making a tender submission and can make the difference between being seen as a friend or foe.

P.S. Go Collingwood!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Saving trees is not enough

I was reminded of how important it is to be specific about the value you are offering a prospective purchaser in a bid or tender submission when I checked into a hotel recently.
Usually hotels have a standard sign in the bathroom asking people to hang-up towels they will use again to help save the planet. I've often been a bit cynical about such messages because I suspect their concern is more about saving money; however in this case the sign boldly stated that "5 towels = 1 tree". It expressed the benefit in measurable terms which is something many claims made in submissions fail to do. So next time you are writing make sure you have plenty of "5 towels = 1 tree" statements to give evaluators evidence that can be measured.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Procurement priorities are shifting

One good thing that has come out of the global financial crisis is that many organisations are now turning to their suppliers to help them get better value from their supply chain.
According to Supply Management magazine, "A good SRM [Supplier Relationship Management] program will lower costs, reduce risk, improve quality/service levels and enhance supply chain efficiency."
For the switched-on supplier this could be the opportunity to take off the boxing gloves and extend the hand of friendship. Why not proactively approach purchasers with a well thought out submission about ways you can help them achieve the advantages described above. If you can make this compelling with specific examples and quantify savings or improvements you could end up being a preferred supplier.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Headline news

Approach each question in an RFT by writing a headline that encapsulates the key benefit you are presenting in your answer. This will help you to focus your argument.
For example, in a question about customer service many people start by talking in generalisations about how seriously they treat it, their Customer Service Policy, or how they focus on TQM. The problem with this approach is that the benefits for the purchaser are not immediately obvious and busy evaluators will not bother searching for them.
Instead, think about Customer Service in your organisation - what do you do differently and it what ways do you add-value for your clients? This will give you your "headline" and the evaluators something they can score.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The 4R’s of sustainable procurement

Show how your product/service can Reduce, Reuse, Recycle or Rethink to help you score maximum points for Sustainability questions in tenders.
Sure, knowing your Carbon Footprint from your shoe size is important (maybe even mandatory in some cases) but a well crafted “story” about how your product/service helps reduce (waste, emissions, effort…); or allows for reuse (either physically in consumables or reuse of existing knowledge); or recycling or even rethinking existing systems and processes to make them more sustainable.
Don’t forget also that sustainability is about more than just the environment. Make sure you show that your organization is financially, socially and environmentally sound.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Presentations need an Executive Summary too

I'm sure you all understand the importance of a good Executive Summary for your tender submissions, but do you have one at presentation stage?
Last week I had to attend a Q&A session after being shortlisted for a large tender. I knew that there were a couple of areas where we were potentially weak so rather than hope the panel didn't drill down too deeply, I made sure I covered them off in my introduction. The result was that I wasn't later questioned on these issues and had been able to place our organisation in the best possible light.
Without such an introduction I would have been restricted to answering just the questions that were put to me, or worse have our offer held out as being deficient.