Helpful Hints and Tips

Make use of our hints and tips to ensure you avoid common tendering pitfalls and submit a great response.

Talk to Us

If you’ve got a query about University Procurement pick up the phone and call us, or drop us an email and we will happily help you with your query.  If you want to talk to us about a current tender opportunity that you are bidding for, you must use the Message Function in Bravo Solution – all communication for a running project must go through this route for audit purposes and where appropriate, all bidders will receive the question and response to make sure the process is fair and transparent.  Don’t be afraid to ask clarification questions, if you don’t understand something and provide us with the totally wrong response this could be detrimental to your tender submission.

Sign up to all of the Advertising Portals

Make sure you sign up to all of the Advertising Portals we use.  If you do, you should never miss a University opportunity.  It is also a good idea to monitor the Tender opportunities and awarded Contracts on Contracts Finder, or on our Contracts Register – that way you can work out when we are likely to be advertising the subsequent re-tender!

Mandatory Requirements

Please take note of the mandatory requirements of a tender opportunity.  Do you require any special accreditations such as ISO9001, ISO18000, ISO14000, Constructionline, SSIP? What Insurance and Turnover Levels are stipulated in the tender documentation?  If you cannot meet the mandatory requirements of the tender you should consider whether it is worth the effort in submitting a bid.  As outlined here [link to tender process page] the first stage of tender evaluation is to go through the Pass/Fail questions – if you ‘Fail’ i.e. do not meet the mandatory requirements the rest of your submission will not be evaluated. Where certifications are asked for please ensure these are valid.

Best Price First Time

When submitting your Pricing Schedules ensure you provide the best Price First Time and do not deviate from the format in the pricing schedule.  Public Sector Regulations for below threshold and standard Open and Restricted Processes do not allow us to negotiate.  So if you come in high on price this may be the deciding factor in you not winning the Contract.  Always be competitive.  Importantly however, we will also asses Quality.  

The importance of each will be listed in the tender documentation under Award Criteria – it may be 40% Price, 60% Quality for example.  Each tender exercise is different – and the importance of each of the qualitative elements in the tender will also be made available to you so you know which questions are the most important and which will get you the highest marks.

Read the Question and only answer that

When it comes to your Qualitative response, read the question carefully and only answer that question.  Please do not submit additional material that has not been requested or relevant to the question, it will not be scored. 

Similarly, if you answer a question in a different section and feel that you don’t need to say it again because you already think it’s covered, this will not be accepted and each question must be answered in the relevant area. The questions are responses are evaluated and scored on their own merit. 

A Fresh Start

We cannot take any previous relationships or knowledge of suppliers into account unless it has been specifically requested as part of the Tender process. We must only evaluate on what is submitted as a response to the specific tender. If you have worked with us previously we are not able to take any prior knowledge into consideration, ensure you provide full details within a tender and assume we do not know your capabilities. 

Innovation and Added Value

Don’t forget about innovation and added value – this is what is going to make your submission stand out from the rest and is what we are always looking for.  Tender evaluations consider Environmental, Social and Economic impacts. In addition the Public Services Social Value Act 2012 requires us as procurers to include Social Value aspects into the Award Criteria of Tenders, so start making a log of everything you do as a business that improves the social, environmental and economic well-being of your communities because you will be asked about it.  Can you employ apprentices, offer student work experience or graduate placements?  Do you have a zero landfill policy?  Do you endeavour to use the local supply chain?  Etc.

Don’t make promises you can’t deliver

Importantly however, don’t make promises you can’t deliver.  If you state you can provide a graduate placement for one of our students and you are not able to deliver this will not bode well for a good relationship.

Check, check and check again

When it comes to submitting your response, please ensure it is reviewed prior to submission to ensure it is relevant and references our institution.

Time

Please ensure you give yourself plenty of time to upload your submission onto Bravo, any technical issues must be reported to Bravo for audit purposes. Late submissions are not normally included. If you do have a technical problem please also contact the tender representative to advise them of your problems.