The importance of RELEVANT Case Studies!
Tenders these days (especially in the Public sector) are extremely structured in that they all feature the same legality clauses and requests, based upon EU legislation and procurement law. One other majorly structured trait to a tender and something the buyer definitely wants to know is how you’ve delivered your services in the past!
The age-old question of – “Please provide 3 examples which demonstrate your technical capability in the market” – is now something of common-request in national tenders. And rightly so! Of course, buyers want to know who you currently work with, how much work you’ve done and what great results your company boasts, as they need to make sure you have undergone scopes of work, similar to what they are procuring. Experience is key to winning every contract and as part of our writing tutorials at Tender Consultants, we always state that evidence is needed to back up the majority of the responses. Usually, this evidence comes from your experience. This makes the buyer/evaluator feel at complete ease, knowing you have completed something similar before.
We are not saying that you shouldn’t bid for work you haven’t delivered before (especially if you’re a new business), as you may have better tools, better ideas and more cost-effective solutions at your disposal that other businesses (with experience) lack. It’s all about assessing the relevancy of your experience and using this to benefit the contract at hand. This is where Case Studies will support your tendering efforts going forward.
A few Do’s and Don’ts to building case studies include:
- DO – get in touch with your current clients and ask for testimonials- these can be added to support a strong case for why the buyer should choose you;
e.g. The CEO of ‘Company X’ has stated we are “an impeccable & efficient company, who has not only delivered the most engaging content with brochures but has supported our marketing efforts overall”;
- DON’T – just pick a client and submit ‘static’ material already developed – always make sure you adapt your content and client to align with the specified requirements of the buyer – ensure similar scope, nature and size is used every time, where possible;
e.g. if you need to supply 500 brochures to a hospital, the buyer probably won’t care if you supplied 5 to a retail store previously- this is way different in size AND scope;
- DO – use the STAR format when developing your Case Studies to clearly outline the Situation (brief context), Task (the work you faced), Action (what you’ve done) and Results (what were the results etc.);
e.g. this helps to break down each case study – you may do this several times depending on the requirements within the tender – but it is a very good start to show the buyer/evaluator what needed to be done, what & how it was done, along with success rates and statistics outlining benefits/improvements to the client;
This will be one of the most important elements you use as part of your tender submission and almost 99% of Stage 1/PQQ submissions nowadays have the experience and/or contract example requests embedded.
We encourage you to start working on your case studies as soon as your contract with a client begins, so you can at least get the basic information gathered using the STAR format and then adapt these case studies to align with future buyer’s requirements as part of tenders!
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