Performancing Metrics

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Gaining Your Competitive Edge in Tenders

It may sound obvious, but the goal of writing tenders is to score more points than your competitors and to win any bid you decide to compete for. That is easier said than done. Gaining that advantage over your competition is one of the most difficult aspects of the job. If you can show in your tender response that you fully understand what the buyers want and how you would deliver it effectively, that’s half the battle. Markets are often highly competitive and, as a result, high standard responses are required to win over tenders. Time frames are short and there’s lots of information to digest at once. Besides, the amount of small details needed to be care for does not make the task any easier. Is there a easier way to free up time and relevant information needed to increase your competitive edge?

Before trying to answer this question, make sure to keep these basic principles in mind. Firstly, tenders which are far from your abilities and past experiences should not be selected. Secondly, complying to bid criteria is very important, at least all knock-out criteria (and more) should be met. This way you will not only prevent your application from getting excluded for the job but also make it stand out among the others. Lastly, you must understand your competitors and develop a clear view of your unique, comparative and holistic differentiators.

Based on the above mentioned principles, we came up with the following three tips that will definitely help you gain that competitive advantage:

  1. Gather relevant additional information
  2. Engage with key stakeholders
  3. Free up time to focus on making the difference

Additional Information

Although tender documents and its appendixes contain lots of information, even more information is needed to make the difference. Especially when engaging with a customer for the first time, additional information can really help you to gain more relevant insights. Ideally, you would like to automatically generate a profile with information about the customer, companies involved, related people, relevant themes and topics and the related context and content, without having to do all the manual research yourself. It is really helpful if you have a dashboard generated with for example a link to the company website, LinkedIn page, an overview of key stakeholders, the latest annual report and the latest news. That information and insights can be used to write a tailor-made tender response in which the client identifies itself with the specific wording, relevant themes and tone of voice. Let us gather the information, while you focus on what’s important – interpreting it!  

Key Stakeholders

Building good relationships with stakeholders is not an  one-off exercise and it is essential to gaining a competitive edge. Although it requires extra time and effort, it can really make the difference between winning or losing a bid. For public tenders, communicating with the customer during a bid is not allowed. Engage stakeholders and share your vision with them prior to the tender announcement. This is where notifications for anticipated tenders would come in handy. We save you time by allowing you to automatically and continuously perform stakeholder and environment analyses at the push of a button. With more insights and information about the customer, you can prepare your conversations, your tender responses and your vision well in advance. Stakeholders are busy people, so come prepared and let them know that the purpose of the meeting is to uncover anything that can help them achieve their goals and how you can help them providing a unique solution to their challenges.

Free Up Time

Save time by automating the more simple and tedious tasks of the tender process. This will free up some time to focus on the high-value tasks, making the difference and gaining your competitive edge in tenders. Not having to manually search for relevant information about the customer and the associated themes and not having to perform a stakeholder analysis manually contributes to saving time. There are more ways to get rid of the more simple and tedious tasks. Firstly, automatically analyze tenders and extract award criteria, weight, scoring mechanisms, key dates and conduct a risk assessment. This helps you spending less time prior to the bid / no bid decision, also meaning spending less time on tenders you qualify out. Secondly, save time in finding relevant information by having intelligent search functionalities where you can search, filter and drill down on all information in the current and historical tender documents. Those are all examples that will help you saving some time so you can focus on making the difference.

We need to start doing things differently and make smarter use of the technologies around us. Embrace a digital tender assistant, and make sure you can focus on the high-value tasks and make sure you can gain the competitive edge in tenders. If you are interested to know more, contact Brainial or request a demo.

Author: Fedor Klinkenberg is the co-founder and chief executive officer at Brainial. He leads the company’s overall commercial strategy and teams. Fedor has over 11 years experience working at one of the fastest growing tech companies in the Netherlands: Mendix. Fedor holds a Master of Science degree from RSM Erasmus University Rotterdam.