A previous article, Why Incumbents Lose Tenders, described a number of reasons why incumbents (who, all things being equal, you would think would have the advantage in tendering for ongoing contracts) unnecessarily lose the tender. This article shows how to overcome these mistakes (which usually arise from complacency and “more of the same”), and how to increase your chances of winning the tender and retaining the contract:
Incumbents should always challenge their existing solution when preparing for their re-tender, including challenging your assumptions about the offering, methodology or operational model, costs; and potential performance levels achievable. Complacency and arrogance, and/or evaluators’ perception that not enough work had gone into the tender (see 8. below) are key factors in tender losses by incumbents, particularly larger providers.
6 Think like your competitors or insurgents. Identify areas for improvement, change, fresh ideas. As well, think about your competitors’ strengths and what they might be offering? Putting yourself in your competitors’ shoes and asking yourself how you would approach the tenderer if you were them will also identify some of the issues you need to address and neutralise.
7. Add value and innovation: Identify where you could be offering more improvements or adding more value, and show this and any potential for efficiencies or areas of innovation (in technology, equipment, systems or processes etc). Many of your competitors will be doing this; your incumbency should at least provide you with specific insight on which to base suggestions for improvement etc.
8. Respond to the tender fully: Ensure you describe your company, experience, approach and capabilities etc in sufficient detail to satisfy the evaluators, not assuming the evaluators will know this, or that “they know we can do it – we already do it”. Usually, many if most of the tender evaluators will be separate from the people familiar with your services day to day, and/or they will evaluate the tender on “what was in the tender response document”. Since our inception, Tender Consulting have helped hundreds of companies win re-tenders as well as new tenders. If you would like help with your tender, please do not hesitate to contact u