Understanding & Implementing Tender Feedback

15th February 2018

Tender Feedback

Tender feedback, we all dread it, don’t we? – When the doomed ‘Contract Award’ notification hits our inbox with an attached letter titled ‘unsuccessful’ or ‘regret letter’. This can be one of the very few things that make our business-fueled hearts completely shatter!

To put it simply- we have never met a company that hasn’t had some sort of failure whilst tendering. It is very unlikely that you will win every tender you bid for – in fact – around 98% of well-established companies will tell you about a time they failed at tendering.

This could be down to a whole range of things that contribute to the evaluation of a typical tender. Bidding for a job is not just about putting your fingers on a keyboard and writing some profound content (or getting specialist support to do this for you)- there are other key factors that could let you down which you need to take control of and act upon, ready for the next tender!

Buying organisations (especially in the public sector) are now obliged to provide a decent amount of tender feedback as part of their evaluations. This is to support the supplier organisations better their chances next time. We are always advising clients to use this to their advantage and encourage them to receive as much detailed feedback as possible. If you only receive scores out of 100, ask for qualitative feedback to how the winner was successful and you weren’t. As mentioned, this is becoming increasingly provided as part of the Contract Award process.

Tender Example:

Below is an example of what you should do when receiving the feedback and using this to your advantage towards future bid writing efforts.

EXAMPLE Maximum Score Available Your Score Winners Score
Quality 60% 32% 52%
Costing 40% 40% 30%
Total 100% 72% 82%
  1. Understand the key area[s] to why you were unsuccessful- this will be translated clearly in numerical scores using a ratio of Qualty & Pricing (and in some added cases, Interview/Presentation)- this will be your main focus to implement improvements;

    e.g. if you score 32% out of 60% for quality but 40% out of 40% for cost – this shows you were the cheapest supplier but lacked in your technical responses. It turns out you were only 11% away from beating the winner in total.

  1. Once quantitative data is identified, source the qualitative feedback provided (if none has been provided- ask for further detail)- this should be broken down clearly on the contract award notification to enable stringent focus on where to improve;

    e.g. out of the 60% maximum score for quality, a major section of this was a ‘Contract Management’ question, which accounts for 30%- the score and feedback provided suggests your contract management arrangements lack innovation and fundamental traits compared to those of the winner (incl. lack of efficient MI system etc.)

  1. Make sure an internal meeting is held with key members of your staff, in order to collaborate and discuss improvements where necessary;

    e.g. Assess all traits regarding Contract Management that was provided as feedback – research best practice – due to the lack of an effective management information (MI) system, it is best to find out which is the most affordable systems on the market- ask yourselves what are your competitors using? What was the winner using? – Companywide Idea generation sessions help massively to ensure a firm approach and wider understanding of what’s needed.

  1. Undergo regular sustainability reviews to ensure improvements are fully established across your organisation;

    e.g. ask yourselves – do we have an effective MI system now? Have we implemented innovative approaches? How do we compare to our competitors? Can we write a better response to Contract management now?

One of the biggest things you SHOULD NOT do is operate a ‘blame culture’ within your organisation. Not only will that upset staff and ignite resentment but will likely damage your efforts of improvements going forward. We are strict believers that when tendering if you win together, you have to lose together also.

One of the most important things about tendering for contracts is making sure your colleagues are proofreading and checking EVERYTHING before submission. The more eyes, the better! If you find that a mistake was made by a member of your team which had huge effects on your succession of the work, then this should be an issue that was missed by the whole team and treated with solidarity, to effectively improve.

Remember- we offer a Tender Consultancy service to support the development and even review your work prior to submission.
Get in touch if you need further support with managing those all-important opportunities!

Need assistance when writing your next 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. This is a great way of improving your skills and understanding of how to polish your tender.

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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