More bid trends for 2022

AM Bid founder Andrew Morrison and managing director David Gray

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AS MORE businesses look to bid for new contracts both in Scotland and further afield, bid experts Andrew Morrison and David Gray, directors at AM Bid, continue their list of bid trends for the new year

  • Connection to buyers’ strategies: More attention is now being given to alignment with buyers’ overarching strategies (e.g. NHS bids requiring bidders to overtly align themselves with strategic objectives such as reducing waiting times/lists, etc and state how their solution will help them achieve these). It is very important that your bid research goes further than just reading the tender documents. Give attention to the buyer’s strategic documents, stated policies and even to recent news releases/press coverage – all of these elements could have a bearing on your tender quality/technical scoring, especially in the areas of standing out i.e. differentiation.  
  • Knowledge Management: We are seeing enhanced requirements to provide back-up evidence in bids (e.g. requiring any client quotes/testimonials/proof points relating to previous delivery to be accompanied by contact details of a source who can verify them). Having evidence, not just testimonials, but also statistics, measured outcomes, case studies, examples of resolved complaints, innovations, added value and social value is becoming too important to just be picked up during a bid window. We recommend that bidders give thought to having someone responsible for curating the knowledge within a business and marshalling it together into a library that is kept updated. This will be a great resource for the bid writers to draw upon; it will be time-saving, reducing the calls on other staff to continually be providing similar information for different bids and importantly will also increase bid success rates. 
  • Cyber Security: Both the public and private sectors continue to experience some significant data breaches, system hacks, etc. Many public sector contracts mean that a bidder has access to confidential personal service user data. Many buyers are now requiring Cyber Essentials accreditation at minimum and ISO 27001 Information Security Management for larger contracts. Keep up with, and in some cases get ahead of, your competition by improving your cyber security arrangements and securing external validation of this at the highest level your business can afford for this.
  • SME bidding: The UK Government Cabinet Office and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all would like to see SME businesses getting a greater share of the public procurement pie. However, there remain some barriers to achieving the maximum potential from this. Research continues to show that the vast majority of SMEs find the public procurement process challenging, and while the sector is already reacting to some of these barriers and trying to encourage greater SME engagement. The online tender training programme covers the end-to-end bid process, provides the knowledge and expertise SMEs need to improve their bid writing and gives them the help and support they need to win more public sector contracts.
  • Data – Analytics and modelling: Using data insights to drive decision-making, for example, with identifying trends, demand and spend analysis, predictive service delivery (getting to something before it becomes an issue) and providing options for streamlining efficiencies are just some of the ways that bidders who can evidence how they will use data to benefit their buyer can help to differentiate their bids. Using data visualisation tools and advance analytics and modelling will certainly help but you must make clear how their use will benefit your client.  
  • New technologies: Such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud technology, machine learning, 3D printing and blockchain could have parts to play within your contracts. Your buyer will be interested in how your deployment of new technologies will make things better for them so the usual bid win themes of better, faster, cheaper, safer, greener may be brought to life with examples of how technology will be used to deliver better outcomes. Compatibility with any of your client systems the technologies may need to integrate with will also be important – you do not want to be marked down for a proposition that could not be used at your client end, if that was a requirement.
  • Global opportunities: Both Brexit and the pandemic have brought about changes on how and where we can do business. UK-based firms are increasingly looking to global markets and trade deals are being struck with many countries which could open up new markets. Whilst the main focus will be on the shape of a future trade deal with the USA, other trade deals will likely be of more than passing interest to many UK businesses e.g. with the Trans-Pacific Pact countries of Japan, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, Chile and Malaysia – this pact removes 95% of trade tariffs between its members. Also, many Middle Eastern states are starting to contemplate a life beyond oil and ploughing major investment into construction, travel destination options and of course renewables. 

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