City of London Bids and Tenders: Everything You Need to Know

4th August 2021

City of London bids and tenders explained

Applying for City of London bids and tenders is a great way to grow your business. Local London authorities spend approximately £9billion annually on a wide variety of goods and services.

As an SME, you shouldn’t be missing out on City of London bids and tenders. If you’re thinking that these contracts are only awarded to big companies, you’d be mistaken. As a matter of fact, 23% of government contracts up for bid are awarded to SMEs. This gives you a good chance of competing if you’re a smaller business.

The City of London bids and tenders target outcomes are:

  • Sustainable cost assurance guaranteed for the future
  • Key people across the organisation being upskilled in commercialism, contract management and procurement
  • Their services provide what’s needed and are easy to use
  • Opportunities to leverage responsible outcomes are maximised

There can be many advantages when applying for City of London bids and tenders. Below are just three ways tendering for contracts can benefit your business:

Prompt Payment

If you become a supplier to the City of London, you will have guaranteed and prompt payment. This is because The City of London takes part in the Chartered Institute of Credit Management’s (CIMC) Prompt Payment Code. That means they pledge to:

  • Pay suppliers on time

The City Corporation aims to pay undisputed invoices that quote a purchase number within 10 days of invoicing. This applies to the invoice arriving anywhere in the City Corporation for SMEs.

  • Give clear guidance to suppliers

All invoices should be attached when contacting the Accounts Payable team and include the following information:

  • An identifying number
  • The supplier’s name, address, VAT number
  • Time of supply
  • Date of issue
  • Type of supply (E.g. sale, hire, loan, etc.)
  • Description of the goods or services supplied
  • Customer’s name (or trading name) and address

The City of London prefers to pay their suppliers via BACS. It’s encouraged that as a supplier, you include your bank details and valid email address on all invoices for remittance.

Secure a pipeline of work

Bidding for City of London bids and tenders can help you secure a pipeline of work for your business. Particularly if you secure a place on a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) or framework agreement. These tendering processes are often used within an array of sectors including construction and healthcare. The benefit of these is that they can run for years at a time. Some even have the possibility of an extension.

Build experience

City of London bids and tenders are a great way to gain experience as a business. Buyers will require 2 – 3 case studies of past contracts you have delivered. They need to be within the last 3 – 5 years. They should be similar in scope and style to the one you’re applying for. Securing smaller contracts can help you build up that experience. The more experience you have, the bigger the contracts you can go for. The bigger bids you can go for, the bigger your business can grow. Securing a place on a DPS or framework is a great place to start.

Where can I find City of London bids and tenders?

So, you now know some of the advantages of City of London bids and tenders. Next, you may be wondering where to find them. As they’re offered for pretty much every sector it can be hard finding the right one for your business. This is where a sector-specific portal could help optimise your search.

Simply relying on CPV codes could result in you missing out on up to a third of relevant opportunities. This is because we researched that up to a third of them are mislabelled.

Our sister company, Hudson Discover, hosts 11 sector-specific tendering portals. You are able to filter the results and search by keyword, budget, location and more. This streamlines the process, making it easier to find government contracts.

These sectors consist of;

Before you apply to any tender, you should ask if your business:

  • Is able to deliver the work
  • Meets the economic and financial standing
  • Have the resources and time to fulfil the contract
  • Has the necessary experience
  • Is able to write a winning response before the submission deadline

Remember to be the MEAT

Like all government contracts, the contract will be awarded to the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT). The buyer will be looking for bids that provide the most value for money while delivering the contract. The MEAT means that the buyer is looking at more than just the price. The cheapest bid does not win here. You should consider a range of factors including, but not limited to:

  • Cost
  • Quality
  • Innovation
  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability
  • Technical ability
  • Customer service
  • Environmental benefits
  • Ability to deliver on time.

Each buyer will be wanting something different depending on their needs. This will be outlined in the specification. You should demonstrate added value in your response. This is because government authorities want to be assured that they are getting the most for taxpayer’s money.

Don’t skimp on social value

There is now a minimum mandatory weighting of 10% on social value for public sector contracts. In some cases, it can be as much as 30%. This means it is not something you should consider as an afterthought.

The promises you make in City of London bids and tenders are contractually binding. Therefore, you should be making promises you can keep. Social value is the social, economic and environmental aspects that you’ll consider while fulfilling the contract. It was launched with five key themes in mind that should be addressed where possible. These are:

  • Supporting COVID-19 recovery
  • Tackling economic inequality
  • Fighting climate change
  • Improving equal opportunities
  • Showing commitment to health and wellbeing.

Social value is an opportunity for SMEs to differentiate themselves from their competitors, adding commercial value to their bids.

So now, you should be more aware of what’s expected from City of London bids and tenders. Following this advice should help you get on the path to success and winning your next tender.

Need assistance when writing your next City of London bids and tenders?

Now you’re a bit more familiar with what’s required, you may be looking for some writing support. Writing isn’t everyone’s strong suit and that’s ok. Outsourcing a bid you’ve found to bid writing specialists can help you secure that next contract.

Here at Hudson Succeed, we pride ourselves on being bid writing experts. We hold an 87% success rate and have over 60 years of collective bid writing experience. We offer four levels of bid writing support to suit every business need. You may not need the whole bid written for you; you may simply need it proofread before you submit. We can help with that. Our services include:

Tender Writing

Once you’ve found the perfect bid for your business, send it our way. Our Bid Writers can take care of the whole thing for you they’ll even submit it on your behalf. They’ll let you know what they need from you, providing you with a full Tender Writing breakdown.

Tender Ready

Our Tender Ready 4-week programme is perfect for businesses that have never tendered before. A Bid Writer will work with you to ensure you have everything in place to tender successfully. Tender Ready offers your business:

  • A 12-month subscription to one Hudson Discover
  • Access to Global Bid Directors and Senior Bidding Professionals.
  • An Organisation-wide Bid library, including 3 case studies, 5 CVs and policies.
  • Additional flexible benefits.

Tender Improvement

If you’ve been tendering but aren’t seeing success from your current efforts, our Tender Improvement package can help. Our Bid Team will assess your previous responses and tender documents. They will work with you to improve for future submissions. This package includes a 12-month subscription to a Hudson Discover portal and additional tendering development services.

Tender Mentor

If you’ve written your own tender response and need it double-checked for errors, Tender Mentor can help. A Bid Writer will proofread your work for any inconsistencies, grammar or spelling mistakes. They will also ensure it’s in line with the specification before you submit.

Discover Elite

Upgrading to Discover Elite can help optimise your tendering efforts – even when you’re busy. Our two new time-saving tools can improve your competitor awareness and success rate when bidding for a contract.

The Ultimate Time Saver package offers your business:

  • A maximum of five tender breakdowns per month.
  • An annual subscription to a maximum of two Hudson Discover sector-specific portals. This option can help businesses that overlap two industries such as Healthcare and Technology, for example.
  • Pre-market and award engagement notices monitored on your behalf.
  • Buyer portal management, including registration, password management, downloading documents and assessing viability based on your bid or no-bid strategy.
  • Weekly phone calls with your dedicated Account Manager to discuss viable tendering opportunities.

The Become a Pre-Bid Master package also includes:

  • All of the above.
  • Up to seven tender breakdowns per month.
  • Bid Strategy delivered by a Senior Bid Manager with a minimum of 5 years of experience. It will also be managed by our Global Bid Director.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business grow.

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

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