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How to win a public sector contract

Guest blog by Senior Bid and Proposal Consultant Irina Didoiu

Public sector work provides many business opportunities for language service companies. European institutions and International Organisations regularly launch new tenders for language services, interpreting, editing and related services, but tender writing is an involved, time-consuming process and for many language service companies the question is often, “Should I bid or not?

To me, the answer is always “yes”. Winning a public sector contract will have an important impact on revenue growth, but it will also give your business credibility amongst your clients and their employees. It is very attractive to participate in Public Tenders, due to high contract values and due to the length of the contracts. In generally, the duration of a contract varies between 4 up to 5 years, depending on the Public Body.

Many small or medium LSPs have changed their overall strategy from providing services solely to the private sector, to expanding to the public sector; having the possibility to increase their revenue by 50% or more, over 4 years. For instance, in the UK market, Governmental Bodies are launching public tenders on a regular basis, every month.

Despite the current situation with the pandemic, for the past several months, I still have been noticing in the Public Sector a tendency to increase demand, with Public Bodies launching bids for Translation Services, Interpreting, Editing Services and related.

Taking part in the bidding process and writing a tender application

The main steps in a typical public sector bidding process are:

· To identify the Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Quotation (RFQ), and Invitation to Tender (ITT)

· To express interest to apply, in order to be considered accepted for submitting a Proposal

· To examine the tender specification, in order to make sure that you will comply with the requirements

· To write a compelling bid, in order to increase your chances to win the tender and be successful in your application

· To review and submit your bid

· To follow-up for a debriefing – even if you are not awarded a Contract, you have the possibility to learn from your failures for improving our future applications.

Public sector authorities set-up rigorous evaluation criteria and you need to make sure that your bid is compliant.

Three of the main elements that are required to allow you to take part in public tenders for LSPs are:

· Previous experience in providing similar services;

· ISO Certifications;

· A vendor team that will be assigned for managing the project.

The main questions from Senior Management at an LSPs is often, “How I will ensure that my Proposal will be successful?” There are a few key aspects to be considered in order to increase the success rate and below I share my 5 top tips for achieving your aspiration to win:

5 tips for writing a compelling bid:

1. Create a strong message as your value proposition and underline your competitive advantage in terms of service offering;

2. Write a clear Executive Summary, describing your approach for delivering the services;

3. Use simple language, be specific and follow a simple structure;

4. Always pay attention to provide responses to all questions from the Qualification Questionnaire. It is good to include graphics also in your proposal; and

5. Include supporting documents and evidence that proves your previous experience for similar assignments.

Great, but I don’t have the time!

Writing winning tenders takes a lot of time and expertise, and most large companies have their own tender writing teams for just this purpose. In a small company, it’s a challenge to dedicate enough time to putting together a credible, comprehensive bid – one that gives you a fighting chance to win.

This is where a professional bid and proposal writer can help: creating and submitting your tender application or even searching for future tender opportunities.

Irina Didoiu

Senior Bid and Proposal Consultant

 

Over 20 years of experience in the Localization industry. For more than 15 years, I have been acting as Bid Manager and Proposal Writer for large companies, with great achievements in winning new contracts for European Institutions (European Parliament, EC-DGT, Court of Justice of the European Union) and international organisations (United Nations, UNDP, UNICEF, etc.). I was also Operations Manager and Production Manager. My objective is to help my clients to win more bids and tenders and to contribute to revenue growth. Contact Details: Phone number: + 40 723 448 215

LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/irina-d-1563b457/

Website: https://www.tenders-expert.com/

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