Tendering to Public Sector Organisations

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1 Tendering to Public Sector Organisations Introduction Authorities have to meet contract regulations and must ensure they provide equal opportunity and achieve the best value for money. Other factors include innovation, environmental issues, risk management, environmental and sustainability considerations. It is important that suppliers provide all the information requested and respond by the due date otherwise they may be rejected from the process. If you do not understand any part of the specification you should ring the officer named in the tender documentation and request further information. Answers to written questions to the tendering organisation should be responded to promptly and will be circulated to all tenderers. You can specifically request that your company name is not divulged. The information to include with your bid will be requested in a pre qualification questionnaire or the tender itself. It will include some or all of the information shown on the following pages Do not be put off from tendering because you are unsure what to do - contact the person named in the documents for clarification.

2 2 Guidance for Suppliers Company details Confirm a business contact address and telephone number Financial Information Show that you are registered for tax and hold a valid certificate where appropriate If account information is requested, also forward a copy of credit rating information (inforcheck D&B CIC) If you are a small company without three years financial accounts, you can still apply. In your application state why these accounts are not available Insurance Cover Provide proof of an acceptable level of public liability insurance and where appropriate other necessary insurances References Provide two independent referees from whom reference may be sought for contracts completed within the last three years. References may be required from previous customers, bankers or business information companies. In some cases an inspection visit may be made to a company Management and business structure Organisational culture What is your organisational culture? Explain how it benefits your business, an example of this could be customer orientated culture. A culture of open communication could involve sharing information, ideas and involving people. A culture of partnering could include working with other like minded companies to share experiences and resolve problems. Cooperation Prove your track record on team working or partnering Approach public bodies with suggestions for partnership Actively collaborate with potential subcontractors or other commercial partners from the earliest possible stages Promote an integrated supply chain approach to make the most of skills and resources Could your product or service complement or enhance any provided by a public body

3 3 Explain how you will manage the project Demonstrate your understanding of the roles, responsibilities, liabilities and expectations of the parties in the contract Develop a framework to provide and maintain quality services for the quoted price Set reasonable targets and performance measures Make sure proposed timetables are realistic Plan for risk management, seek to mitigate disruptions, delays, and additional costs Show you ve thought about and can manage potential financial commercial and legal risks that could cause contract failure. Tackle possible worries about future maintenance and staffing implications Plan for quality improvement Keywords: Plan, Strategy, Risk Management, Communication, Sharing Personnel Resources and staff training Demonstrate commitment on staffing levels, skills and competencies Make sure you can match the technical skill and experience requirements Define capabilities, skills, products and resources, respective strengths and limitations Demonstrate commitment to continuous improvement, innovation and best practice Actively respect and value staff through training, health and safety and equality commitments Expertise Give details of your team, emphasise strengths and highlight successes with similar projects as well as qualifications and experience. Outline their responsibilities if you win the contract Fill posts on projects with staff that have the necessary experience, knowledge and expertise Express technical ability and specialist expertise Equipment Show that you own or have secured access to any necessary equipment or premises required for the contract Outline any innovative or specialist provision Keywords: Skills, Experience, Suitability, Expertise, Facilities

4 4 Quality Be aware of quality assurance standards that affect your industry and comply with standards If your firm operates an ISO 9000 system, you should be able to guarantee to provide consistent quality of your products or services Construction firms working on domestic repair, maintenance and improvement should state if they have joined Quality Mark Dedication to achieving IIP will demonstrate that you are dynamic and forward thinking, offering a quality product by quality people On completing a job, ensure that the client signs a Satisfaction Certificate Provide written acclamations from recent clients Provide any articles that have appeared in the trade press regarding your products or information or test results Controls Outline the quality control systems you operate Explain how you continue to monitor products to ensure they develop in line with client requirements Service Prove that you are keen to succeed for the good of the customer and not just for profit motives Demonstrate high quality, efficient, responsive and customer focused services. Show willingness to work collaboratively with the customer and other parties, as appropriate to ensure that the focus is on the customer After Sales The after sales service should be addressed in your promotional literature, with examples of highest standards and most comprehensive service. Technological support, maintenance and re-supply are essential considerations. Offer guarantees backed by an insurance policy if necessary. Keywords: Quality Management, Customer Satisfaction, Standards Sustainablility Public Procurement adheres to Sustainability policy. The core values of the policy are engagement, equality, environmental protection and economic and social development. Some examples of how your business activity may contribute to increased sustainability are: Maximising local labour eg. through sub-contracts Contribution to community well-being contribution to local Regeneration Increased social progress that recognises the needs of everyone Increased economic development that recognises the needs of everyone Keywords: Trading Fairly, Environment, Equality, Ethical

5 5 Environmental Matters The use of raw materials, manufacture of goods, distribution, use and disposal can all cause damage to the environment or public health. Businesses have legal and moral duties to make sure that their product does not pollute the environment. Investigate and introduce environmentally friendly processes and products Specify use of environmentally friendly materials and products Outline environmental requirements fulfilled in previous contracts Submit prices for environmentally friendly alternatives where possible Environmental Protection Policy Commitment to an environmental policy that ensures a continuous improvement in environmental performance and has implemented a structured Environmental management System: Recycling of paper within special containers Diligent use of various power sources Use of public transport wherever practical Communication internally and with other businesses electronically wherever possible Recycling of materials (other than paper) where possible, eg refilling ink cartridges Purchase of paper from managed forestry suppliers Policy on hazardous materials Uses scanning and printing, where paper copying is unavoidable All employees will be made aware of their environmental responsibilities Consider additional environmental issues where they are cost effective: Green Electricity Using the most energy efficient products Use of energy saving measures in products or construction Re-refined mineral oils where possible Organically grown food Use of environmental labels from recognised eco-labelling schemes to help identify environmentally preferable products Prudent transport of goods eg. smaller distances, less journeys Keywords: Recycle, Protect, Energy Efficiency, Waste Reduction

6 6 Equality and diversity policies Make sure you are acting within the law and that your policies and practices are not discriminatory. Have equal opportunities policies and statements in place and be committed to them. Provide evidence of good race equality practice, both in terms of employment and customer service. Equal Opportunities Policy Introduction should provide an overview of the company policy, ie that it ensures that no job applicant, employee or visitor receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, race, disability, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, marital status, sexuality, responsibility for dependants, religion, trade union activity or age. Separate paragraphs Employment selection critera; job descriptions; advertisements Recruitment vacancies advertised internally and externally; circulated to job centres etc Selection monitored and recorded for ethnic origin of candidates; criteria kept under review to ensure that they are justifiable on nondiscriminatory grounds; reasons for selection and rejection of applicants for vacancies must be recorded Promotion employees will be promoted on a fair and nondiscriminatory basis Training all persons responsible for recruitment, selection, promotion and transfer of staff will receive ongoing training in equal opportunities Dismissal in any cases of dismissal or redundancy the management will ensure that there is no discrimination on racial, sex or other grounds Outline measures you have taken reduce inequalities and increase social inclusion. Provide examples. Supporting items These could include documents containing instructions to staff or outlining advertisements, recruitment, selection, access to training and opportunities for promotion, copies of recruitment advertisements, copies of leaflets for customers, extracts from staff handbooks or other materials and proof of previous success in delivering services, increasing usage or partnering with to hard to reach communities. Keywords: Inclusion, Eequality, Community, Progression

7 7 Health and safety practices As an employer you should: Demonstrate your commitment to manage risks and meet legal duties for safety. Tell people in your business what their duties are for health and safety Explain the steps that staff must take to meet their duties Demonstrate that you are able to develop safe systems of working. If your company employs fewer than 5 employees then you are not required to have a formal Health and Safety statement. Where a policy is submitted you should ensure that it is signed. Health & Safety Policy General statement Arrangements (Systems & Procedures) Consultations with employees Contractors Display screen equipment Fire First aid Management Manual handling Safety signs Smoking control Violence and bullying Work equipment Working time regulations Workplace accidents Keywords: Responsibility, Risk Management, Personal Safety Value for Money Value for money in procurement defined as the optimum combination of whole life cost and quality (fitness for purpose) to meet the user s requirement. Your bid should offer long term value for money. Price is important, but in relation to quality, reliability, safety, good design, timely delivery, maintenance and after-sales support. Explain the benefits and value for the money of your bid Offer value for the customer and allow your business a reasonable profit Account for all costs ie. Staff training & full lifetime costs Reduce the customers costs with better practices in areas such as receipt of goods, invoice process disposal etc Lowest price may not be the best option to deliver value and increase chances of winning further business Keywords: Cost Effective, Quality, Whole Life Cost

8 8 Innovation Demonstrate competitive advantage and added value by developing innovative processes, products or methods of working. Identify and share with the customer practices and market advances which clients could use to increase performance and value. Continuously challenge accepted methods and practices and allow the freedom to look for and exploit new opportunities. Areas of innovation could include Improved production processes Shared contracts/alternative delivery solutions Proactive in identification and promotion of improved ways of working or trading Creating markets for recycled materials Better designed learning resources for schools Promoting better designed urban spaces and public buildings E-commerce, utilising new opportunities, quicker and easier business methods Any exercise that has achieved measurable change and improvement in the cost/quality of a service Keywords: New ideas, Improvement, Advancement Business Needs Satisfy the actual need of your potential customer not the need that you perceive your customer to have. Talk about their needs and how you can solve their problems Become aware of their needs, concerns, developments and pressures. Take into account the wider business goals Are there clear outputs and outcomes? Put forward your ideas on how these can be achieved Supply specialist products and services Provide clear definition of the goods and services to be provided and responsibilities Demonstrate sound business knowledge of what can and cannot be compromised Express energy in relationships, actively generate new ideas and develop processes Be flexible and willing to tailor a product or service to meet specific customer needs Offer high quality personal levels of service Respond quickly to changing requirements Understand manage and meet the customers expectations Keywords: Goals, Outcomes, Problem Solving, Specialisation

9 9 Fit for purpose Show you have the resources to do the work and a feasible cost effective way to meet the client s needs, hit deadlines and respond flexibly to changing situations. Introduce your company services and mention other clients of yours who are in a similar line of business to this client Give examples of successful and recent competitive tendering Express knowledge of your market, new developments, concerns, etc Emphasise business benefits, service improvements, risk reduction, low maintenance, quality, reliability, previous satisfied customers, lifetime costs Keywords: Function Design, Experience, Awareness, Responsive, Flexible Deliverability Potential suppliers must demonstrate their financial, commercial and technical capability to fully meet the contractual requirements under the tender. Prove you have the capability to deliver including staff, support systems and experience. Detail when and how goods and services are to be delivered and provide a timetable Ensure reasonable timeframes for delivery Offer goods or services of the right quality standards and at a reasonable price Provide evidence of past supply record with reference to contracts of a similar nature Provide assurances on how you ensure your suppliers deliver effectively to yourself Define the precise geographical and operational area you are capable of supplying, locally nationwide or beyond. Minimise exposure to risk, be practical and identify potential problems without promising what s impossible for you to deliver Keywords: Reliability, Performance, Quality, Quantity, Timing, Schedule Debriefing If you have tendered for any government contract and were unsuccessful always ask to be debriefed. If you contact the authority to request the reasons they have 15 days to provide them. You can use this to improve your next bid and your performance in the future. The debriefing will provide positive constructive feedback on performance Debriefing can be written, in person at a meeting or a phone call Ask for the characteristics and relative advantages of the successful tender and the name of the person awarded the contract Have a list of questions ready Keywords: Improvement, Assessment, Development

10 10 General The tender advertisement may have been limited to a certain number of words, ask for further information Organisation and presentation of information is as important as the content Include a covering letter that responds to the bid invitation, summarises your main message and explains how the documents are organised Include brief promotional material for recognition that demonstrates key elements pertaining to your product or service State the purpose and origin of the bid Summarise your bid and why it answers the client s needs, put it at the beginning of your tender Remember to include your supporting information Check you have signed each page as required with the correct signature specified Place your tender presentation in a package that does not name your company and remember to use the label or envelope provided by the client make sure your franking machine does not print the name of your company and that a courier does not attach a label displaying your company name Never withdraw out of any stage of the tendering procedure without proffering a full written explanation Be aware that information from your tender may be disclosed in the future under the Freedom of Information Act. Clearly indicate which information is commercially confidential, although the public body cannot guarantee that such information will not be disclosed

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