How do we choose what tenders to actively participate in?

We are currently in an era where there are many tenders in the market.

The market goes through phases of tender activity.  It is important for us to understand where the real opportunities are and where it is just market testing.  It would be impossible for us to tender on all the opportunities that come our way.

So how do we decide on what to pursue?

The areas that we look at in the process of considering whether we pursue specific tenders or not include:

  • Culture – is there a culture fit?  It is really important we share the same values.
  • Can we add value to the workflow?
  • Is it possible to reengineer how the operation works?
  • Nowadays we shy away from 1 year tenders; generally we only participate in yearly tenders if incumbent.
  • The size of the contract – anything above £12m per annum may be too big.  We must never overstretch ourselves.
  • TUPE considerations.
  • Does it conflict with any of our existing business?
  • Onerous terms and conditions, like fines, we generally do not go after.
  • Would never agree to more than 60 days credit terms and would prioritise 30 day terms.
  • Realistic lead times to set up.

As always, there are exceptions to the rule; as an example, due to market imbalance we would almost always quote for work ex Scotland.

Significant time and cost goes into responding effectively to a tender and we would never approach in a half hearted manner.