Bespoke Bid Consultancy – Q&A with our Bid Team

24th April 2019

Bespoke Bid Consultancy at Hudson

Last updated: Dec 17, 2021 @ 10:32 am

A Q&A session with our Bid Writers

At Hudson succeed, we pride ourselves in forming longstanding relationships through fully getting to know our clients and their company operations. Our bespoke tender consultancy services are entirely tailored toward our client’s needs, whilst helping streamline organisational strategies which create business growth. We are as invested in our client’s business growth as they are and always source, create and strengthen opportunities for expansion. No two clients are identical; hence, we remain flexible in our services and always provide our bid consultancy services bespoke to each client’s needs.

As any procurement worker can tell you, there is a lot to know about tendering. Tendering (also commonly referred to as bidding and procurement) is a relatively dense topic. Terminology that can be unfamiliar to the uninitiated and many different elements to learn about, all of which are vitally important!

Because of the seeming complexity of tendering, many companies wishing to tender employ tender consulting services.

At Hudson we provide expert bid writing services and many more come to us for guidance and information.

Tendering can seem impenetrable, but it doesn’t have to be! If you take the time to learn about the process and requirements, then it soon starts to make sense.

Lots of businesses must have received that memo because we’ve been receiving plenty of questions, ranging from ‘What is tender consulting?” to “What is the difference between an SQ and a PQQ?”.

Our FAQs

#1 – What is tendering?

I haven’t put this FAQ at number 1 for no reason, this is one of the questions we get asked the most. In essence, tendering (or procurement) is the way Buyers ensure that they are choosing the contractor who can offer the best value for money for a contract. Multiple suppliers will submit a bid, as part of the tender process, in line with the instructions from the Buyer, who will then score each tender in accordance with the evaluation criteria and the highest scoring Supplier will be offered the contract.

This process is meant to ensure a non-discriminatory approach to engaging supplier services through an open and fair procurement process. This prevents collusion and ensures a level playing field for all participants.

For more information about this topic, check out what our tender consulting guru, Daniel Hall, has to say about this in the Tender VLE video ‘What is Tendering?’.

#2 – What is a typical tender process like?

As any tender consultant should honestly tell you, there is no ‘one size fits all’ response to this question. Tenders can take several different forms which, depending on whether they fall above or below the EU threshold, may be one stage, or two-stage, processes. In public procurement, you will most likely encounter the Selection Questionnaire/Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (SQs and PQQs) and Invitation to Tender (ITT) processes the most often. For these types of tendering, you will most likely follow this process:

  • A Buyer will put out a Contract Notice explaining:
    • What the contract is for;
    • What the delivery length and contract value is;
    • Any qualifying criteria that potential Suppliers must meet;
    • The Evaluation criteria;
    • Timeline for the tender (submission deadline, contract award date etc);
    • The tendering process/particulars.
  • Each supplier will complete and submit a bid that is usually a combination of a written quality response and a commercial/pricing response. Both elements will be scored according to the evaluation criteria.
  • Once all of the tenders have been evaluated, the Buyer will either award the contract to the highest scoring supplier, or they will shortlist the highest-scoring tenders to a secondary stage. The process will continue until the Buyer is satisfied that they are able to award the contract to the most suitable supplier.

Although this covers the most basic process, you should expect some variance from tender to tender. This is influenced by such factors as the size of the contract, the time between the contract notice being realised and the required award and commencement of the contract.

For more information on what you can expect from a typical PQQ/SQ and ITT visit Tender VLE.

#3 – What is tender consulting?

This is another question that we get asked a lot! Put simply, if businesses don’t have a person (or persons!) internally who can produce tenders, then they will seek the services of a tender consulting business to help them produce tenders on a fee basis. This, at Hudson Succeed, is what we do. We work with clients across multiple sectors – from Construction to Creative and Technology, to Facilities and Logistics to name just a few – to help them produce top-quality, winning tenders. For a better understanding of the types of services you can expect from tender consulting, check out our Services page.

#4 – Can SMEs tender?

One of the big misconceptions about procurement is that it is just for the big, multi-million earning companies. We are very pleased to tell you this is emphatically not the case! In fact, in 2014 the UK government completely overhauled its legislation concerning public procurement to a) make it fairer and b) encourage SME business to get into tendering. In fact, it has been so successful that today most of our tender consulting work is for SMEs!

#5 – What is the difference between Private and Public sector tendering?

The main difference between the public and private sector is this: public sector is not for profit and private sector is for profit.

Public sector tenders mainly refer to contracts which are paid for using public money, for example; state-run schools, the NHS, local authorities, central government or public services.

Private sector tenders are offered by privately-owned companies, where the contracts are paid for using private money. For example, a privately-owned construction company might put out a contract for website development, which they will pay for from the business.

Getting to know and understand your business

Vital to tackling the world of bid management and tendering is understanding what makes you stand out from the crowd. Part of our bespoke bid consultancy services is understanding what areas of specialism your company has. The way in which we do this is:

  • Developing CVs

We get to know each team member who operates within your company individually, understand their key roles, responsibilities, experiences and specialisms. We have an in-house design team who can develop high-quality branded CVs. As well as this, we can develop CVs which are bespoke to projects which you are bidding for, helping you to streamline specific team members who will work on certain projects. This allows you to showcase your team in the best possible light.

In the cleaning sector, for example, let’s say a tender asks you about your management team’s experience. Here, it will be vital to ensure you submit CVs that outline your management team’s ability in delivering to projects of similar size and scope. If you are bidding for cleaning services for a school, having CVs that are tailored toward your management’s experience in educational environments will allow you to stand out and showcase the best of your abilities.

  • Developing case studies

Part of our bespoke tendering consultancy service is getting to know your company’s key areas of specialisms through your successful past projects. We work closely alongside you to develop case studies which showcase your business’ greatest achievements and can be specifically tailored toward each proposal we develop. For example, let’s say you are a Chartered Surveying firm who specialise in a wide array of surveying and engineering services, our team can develop specially designed case studies which showcase your experience across a wide array of projects you have delivered, streamlining your tendering efforts so they are specific to each proposal you go for, which in turn, can aid in maximising success rates.

  • Sourcing your opportunities for growth

We understand that not everybody has the time to source opportunities whilst balancing running a business. Our bespoke bids consultancy services take the stress of sourcing new areas for growth from you. We get to know your company’s areas of specialist growth and streamline opportunity tracking based off of this information. Our team can meet you face-to-face or liaise via the telephone, understand your key areas for growth, or perhaps, new areas for expansion. We often source new areas for growth for our clients and can help in developing content that tackles new and innovative avenues for growth backed up by current organisational experience.

In sectors such as Creative and Technology where development is constant, it is vital that you search for new opportunities and ways in which you can stay relevant. Our team are constantly researching new ways of developing business growth and can aid you in finding new and exciting avenues for progression.

  • Developing bespoke tender responses

Fundamental to the bespoke Tender Writing services that we provide are developing high-quality responses which showcase your abilities in the best possible manner.

Our sector experience

Our Bid Writers are experienced in creating high quality, technical responses across multiple different sectors and can quickly adapt to different clients to help improve content development. Hudson’s sister company, Hudson Discover, houses 11 sector-specific tendering portals. We often assist our portal subscribers in their tender writing efforts to help them succeed. Our Hudson Discover portals include:

Our ever-widening client group combined with our growing team means that we are constantly on the lookout for new opportunities for content creation, so no matter the sector, our bespoke bid consultancy services are for you.

Each individual in our team brings a wealth of experience and knowledge and can assure you that no matter what level of company experience or sector you work in, we can provide bespoke bid consultancy that helps you succeed and grow.

What are the benefits of having your own bespoke Bid Consultant?

Tendering can often be a difficult and daunting prospect for any business looking to venture into the public sector. With tenders ranging from numerous different scopes and sizes they can also be presented in the following formats:

Tenders can often be in excess of 10,000 words, with multiple documents needing to be attached and sometimes designed.

Standing out from the crowd can be difficult in tendering. Having a bid consultant on hand to guide you through this process can be very beneficial for your business’ growth.

Managing tender submissions and searching for opportunities whilst handling your business’ daily operations can be difficult. Having a bid consultant to alleviate this stress can be one way to ensure growth when public sector tendering.

What is a Bid Consultant?

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is ‘Do I need a bid consultant?’, and to answer that, it is first of all necessary to break down what a bid consultant is and the responsibilities that they have. A bid consultant carries out the following:

Each of our clients has their own Bid Writer who operates as a point of contact for all things tender related. Each Bid Writer works with our clients from day one and forms an integral part of their team. The benefits which this can bring to you and your company are as follows:

1. Specialist knowledge

Many of our Bid Writers have sector-specific knowledge and experience that they can bring to you and your company. This allows us to hit the ground running with tender submissions and form a part of your team that understands you and your operations. This is vital in developing content for sectors like Construction and Technology where buyers are often looking for a very specific solution to their response. For example, let’s say you are writing a bid for website development, the technical terms you use will be industry standard and it is key to be able to demonstrate your company’s knowledge of this in a manner that is not over complicated. Our team can bring to bear the knowledge and experience that they have to provide effective and bespoke tender solutions that display your technical capabilities in a simple, effective manner.

2. Keeping on top of market changes

Staying ahead of legislative changes can be vital to ensuring your bid strategy remains current and that you plan ahead for market changes. Bid consultants can remain abreast of all legislative changes and ensure that your strategy is aligned with all market changes. Bid consultants can assess all changes and provide you with insight into the impacts this can have on your business and certain changes to be aware of.

3. Researching the incumbent supplier

This can be vital in ensuring your strategic approach to writing winning bids. Bid consultants can conduct thorough research into the incumbent supplier of contracts and can understand what is needed for you to go above and beyond what they provide. If a buyer can see that you are proposing a better, more efficient way of carrying out the services than what is currently being provided then you will score highly in your submissions.

4. Outsourcing time and effort

For many businesses, tendering can be a very time-consuming task, especially when trying to factor in other organisational operations. Our bid writer services can alleviate this, providing bespoke services that work around your business’ needs. If you work in very practical and hands-on sectors like utilities, logistics and construction, your forte may not be writing. Outsourcing this can allow you to succeed in your tender writing whilst focusing on what it is that you do best. Our bespoke bid consultancy allows you to focus your energy on your everyday operations whilst ensuring you submit high-quality tender responses.

5. Opportunity tracking

Bid consultants can also take the strain of hunting for opportunities off your hands. Bid consultants can work alongside your business to understand every key aspect of your operations and track opportunities that are relevant to you.

6. Creating high-quality company literature

Vital to success in the tendering world is ensuring you have the right policies developed. Some bids may ask you to attach four policies which ultimately outline your ability to deal with certain vital business aspects. For example, having an inefficient or non-existent business continuity and disaster recovery plan will often outline to buyers that you are incapable of providing security should obstacles occur toward service provision. Our bespoke Bid Consultants can ensure all company literature is of a high standard and will help you outline to buyers your organisations wider ability to provide the services they are looking for.

7. Tender Management

Bid consultants can help you with managing your tender submissions on an ongoing basis. This involves organising all of your company literature, developing detailed case studiestracking opportunities, writing responses and assessing strategic growth.

Outsourcing this can provide your business with the breathing space to carry on with its normal operations safe in the knowledge that all your tendering endeavours are being looked after by experts.

We have a bespoke Tender Management service which provides our retained clients with full management of all tender sourcing, submission and feedback/clarifications. Each service we provide is entirely bespoke to our client’s specific needs and we do not shoehorn strict and standard processes on every client we have.

8. Tender Writing

One of the major aspects to tender submissions is, of course, tender writing. Bid consultants can work alongside your business to develop high quality, detailed responses that help you stand out from your competitors.

Here at Hudson, we have a team of expert Tender Writers who operate across multiple different sectors and can work alongside your business to create stand out detailed and technical content.

9. A wide array of ad-hoc services

We understand that not every business can afford ongoing tender writing services, and with this in mind we offer a wide array of ad-hoc services for our clients. We understand with starting up as a company you may not have loads of extra cash to spend on a monthly basis, that is why we can provide services to you no matter your company’s size. Whether you are a graphic design agency just starting out looking to tackle tendering or need some advice, or you are a multi-million-pound construction agency, we have the knowledge, expertise and care to provide you with bespoke tender consultancy.

Whether it’s a busy month for your company and you haven’t time to submit that all-important proposal you wish to go for, or you merely require a one-off service, we provide multiple services which can help assist your tendering efforts.

10. Understanding your strategic goals

Although this sounds simple, understanding what strategy to take in public sector tendering can be vital in hitting the ground running and seeing consistent growth. Having a bid consultant who is invested in your business’ growth can assist you with the following:

  • Who are your main competitors?

Understanding your key competitors and what it is they offer can help you understand how you can stand out and exceed. Bid consultants can assess this for you and help you understand the direction you should be taking in submitting winning responses.

  • Breaking down tender documents

Although this does not sound like a huge challenge, tender documents can often be well in excess of 50 pages long with very specific requirements. Bid consultants can go over each aspect of the tender documents with a fine-tooth comb to ensure every aspect of what the buyer is looking for is covered.

Understand the right bids to go for can save your business a lot of time, money and effort in tendering. Bid consultants can help you with refining your approach towards the decision-making process and can ensure that the opportunities you go for are right for you. Being halfway through a tender and realising that the opportunity isn’t quite right for you can be a waste of your business’ precious time.

11. Assessing previous tender responses:

Seeing a lack of consistent success in your tender responses can be a frustrating affair and not taking the time to step back and understand why can lead to you consistently repeating your past failures. Hiring a bid consultant to help you with this can provide you with:

  • Analysis of past failures

Bid consultants can go over your past responses and work out trends. Bid consultants will assess your feedback from past buyers and feed this into a strategy for positive change moving forward. There may be aspects of your responses which are scoring you lower than your competitors, for example, you may be forgetting to mention key aspects of your organisation such as relevant experience, accreditations or processes.

  • Analysis of past success

Receiving feedback that you lost a bid can often be hard to take, especially when you feel like you have put plenty of time and effort into developing your responses. However, hiring a bid consultant to look over your past responses can help you understand that not every loss needs to be taken in a negative sense. There may be aspects of your responses that you are scoring really well on and a bid consultant can help you build upon these aspects and really play on your strengths, whilst helping improve other aspects.

12. Assessing added value:

A key aspect of developing winning content is going above and beyond what the buyer is expecting. Bid consultants can help you assess what added value you can bring to the table and will ensure your business go above and beyond other competitors. For example, bid consultants can:

  • Review your social value offering

This is a key aspect of tender writing and is becoming more and more of a common requirement in public sector tendering. Bid consultants can help you establish what social value offerings you can provide and can help you with developing responses which provide tangible social value benefits to a contract.

  • Assessing your company’s unique attributes

Bid consultants can help you in assessing and establishing your company’s unique selling point that can help you stand out from the crowd. Whether you have a wealth of experience in previous contracts or specialist individuals who work for your company, implementing this into your responses can help strengthen your tender submission.

In Conclusion

Having bespoke bid writers who work alongside your company can take the stress away from tendering for contracts. Having expert writers on hand to develop high-quality content can be massively beneficial in seeing long-term, continuous growth.

Whether it is a lack of time, knowledge about tendering or writing capabilities, we can provide you with bespoke bid consultancy and assistance that can help your business tackle the world of tendering.

To find out more about this, call or email our Hudson Succeed team today. Also, do not forget to check out our Tender VLE platform, the first of its kind to provide free virtual tendering advice.

Find more helpful tips and advice in our blogs. We cover topics including:


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