There should be a great deal more pre-bid dialogue prior to applying for public sector work, according to Darren Ford, Head of Procurement at Serco.
Speaking at the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce Expo, he was expansive in his advice on how to win more public sector work. He provided 16 top tips under the headings of pre-bid, bidding phase and interview phase. Underpinning it all, he said that there are 3 critical C’s: Confidence, Competence and Collaboration. I’ll add a 4th: Competitiveness!
These are top tips that my team and I will be following in order to win more event production work for our local services, plus promotional company videos and explainer animation –
- Get to know who your procurement team are, and what makes them tick in order to build relationships. We’ll be doing this by finding out more about what their overall event production and video production needs are for 2019;
- Research the priorities for your future public sector partner and ensure you always defer to these;
- Understand the local political landscape, the key drivers and the political dynamics;
- Ensure you develop a forensic understanding of the requirements which will be detailed in the tender document- try not to deviate too much from this document but feel free to innovate;
- Read all documentation carefully and then read it again. Make notes on key outputs and outcomes;
- Ask intelligent, sensible questions (ensuring the answers are not in the documents) prior to preparing your response;
- Understand the evaluation criteria and if you have any queries, ask for clarification;
- Prepare a deliverables matrix before writing your response;
- Stress: low cost base (assuming you can); local knowledge; experience in the area; local CSR; fast response time; commitment to sustainability; environmental impact awareness; innovation; local employment opportunities
- Ask if there’s an opportunity for an internal interview practice;
- Keep it simple, brief and on point. Your challenge is to generate a real sense of excitement in the procurement team.
- Stress a point of difference; added value; innovation; market leadership; a can-do attitude; passion for the project
- practice, practice, practice