Put simply, bidding means participating in a competition run by the Buyer (the Government, Local Authority, etc.) to assess each company’s experience, capabilities, and price to provide goods or run services.
Many differing jobs, roles, and projects are outsourced by the public sector. For example, a school may need a construction company to design and build a new classroom. A local authority may require a facilities management company to maintain its buildings. A major Government department may need a contractor to deliver a large-scale project of national importance.
Large or small, the law sets out how, in most instances, Buyers need to run competitions to appoint the contractors offering the best value services. Companies who want to participate in those competitions are, therefore, bidders.
Public procurement exercises are run as competitions (or tenders), where potential suppliers are invited to submit responses to questions by a set deadline. They are strictly governed by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 to encourage free and open competition. Tenders will include documentation such as the Buyer’s requirements, historic data, or policies. Suppliers will be typically evaluated on:
The winner(s) are usually selected based on the highest combined (quality and price) score. The weightings of these vary from bid to bid – sometimes a straight 50/50, but it can be 60/40 or even 20/80, depending on the Buyer’s priority!
Whilst bidding can be time consuming and difficult (it is a competition!), it can be incredibly beneficial. Benefits can include:
Procurement departments are constantly working to make their tenders more accessible. However, bidding can still be a daunting prospect to many companies. Many are very good at what they do, but struggle to articulate this well on paper. Tenders may also include topics with which companies are unfamiliar, such as how to demonstrate their commitment to environmental and social value aspects.
This is where we can help. Below you can see the list of services that we offer: