As a tradie you've probably been tempted to put a bid in for a tender, but I know it can be a daunting process if you're not a great writer or if you're unsure how to tackle the response. Tenders can be issued by Government, commercial businesses or - increasingly - facilities management organisations such as Spotless, Programmed FM and Sodexo.
So where do you start? Well the first thing I always do is read through the response documentation very carefully (and be warned, there will probably be a LOT of it!) so I understand exactly what is required for the response, and what format it needs to be completed in.
The next step is to start gathering all the information you'll need for the response. Most tender requests will ask you to demonstrate how you manage quality control, environmental management, OH&S and staff training. Usually you will be asked to submit a copy of your plans for these and other operational procedures, and it's not uncommon for the tender document to specifically ask if these are ISO-accredited.
Gaining ISO accreditation is no small task, but if you have the right documentation you can state that is has been prepared in accordance with ISO guidelines. If you don't have the documentation you need, and you need help with your tender response, your tender response writer (someone like me!) should be able to write everything you need including a Quality Management Plan, Environmental Management Plan, Health and Safety Management System and Staff Training Plan. If your tender writer doesn't do this, find one who can.
The next thing to consider when writing your response is how well your experience as a business and the experience of your people met the tender scope of works. It's a good idea to highlight similar work that you've done, including the work scope, timeframe, value and results. Make sure you include any value-added services that you offered as this will help you to stand out from other responses. If you're not sure how you've added extra value, your tender writer should be skilled at developing this information.
You'll be asked to submit copies of licences and certificates. It's a no-brainer but make sure they are current and the scans you take are clear.
Finally, my last piece of advice - make sure your response reads well, is clear and easy to understand and is in a format that has some eye-appeal. If you need help, I'm only an email or phone call away and it costs nothing for a chat! You can contact me (Pauline) on 0400 514579 or email me: email@example.com