As we approach the end of 2017, it’s an opportunity to review changes in the government tendering space, and plan for improving your company’s bidding processes for the new year.
As always, Defence remains the biggest player with a huge amount of activity in the maritime space, health and in the rolling estate upgrade program. This year also saw increased marketing of the Defence Innovation Hub and a big push from government to support ‘the workforce behind the Defence Force’. This will continue into 2018. Other government entities have also presented a large number of industry opportunities with a range of scientific research partnerships, training and education programs, ICT infrastructure roll outs and the various odd and obscure government requirements that include provision of dog food and tomb stone upkeep!
With all these opportunities, a few key considerations can improve your chances and ensure that the time investment in bid development (which can be significant) is not wasted:
Establish partnerships early – this year saw many tenders that required a collaborative approach. With these submissions, the key is to be clear on the roles of each party and ensure these translate into the written document. Any ambiguity will be assessed as risk and reduce your chances of success.
Be well informed – government has improved its industry consultation processes. Industry briefs are held early and while not usually mandatory can sometimes help you determine the priorities of the evaluators. Respond to Requests for Information as this allows industry to inform government that your technology or solution exists. During the bid process, use the opportunities for clarification questions to make sure you are answering the tender requirements correctly. Stay on top of the RFT amendments as they are issued as these can provide vital information for your bid development.
Tenders are not just for Primes – Many opportunities are overlooked by SMEs as only applicable to large corporations. However, with the reduced overheads, the agility and the customer focus that a SME can provide, a competitive SME bid can in many situations out perform a Prime’s submission.
Bid to Win – that does not mean you undercut your competition then risk running at a loss should you win. It means only bid on tenders where you know you actually stand a good chance, ensure you have assessed your competition, and clearly articulate where your point of difference is.
These are just some of the key points that are worth keeping in mind as you approach bidding in the new year. Engineering Business is available to provide further advice and assistance on all government tendering related matters. With limited staff resources over the next few weeks, if you’re stuck to meet a deadline, don’t miss out on the opportunity contact us to help you.
If you are after specific advice on any other opportunity listed below, feel free to contact us.