Bids, contracts, tenders…they’re a part of daily life for many businesses, no matter what your sector or circumstance.

It’s obvious why so many owner-manager businesses might feel fatigued by the process of making submissions, particularly if the scale or longevity of the organisation is such that you might feel you’re ‘starting from scratch’ to get yourself into the race.

And yet, those who succeed in securing a place in a vital supply chain tend to find themselves gaining repeat business and building on the formation of significant contacts.

Take, for example, the scope currently becoming increasingly apparent for those wanting to be part of future delivery for Sizewell C. This one scenario could be a ‘game changer’ for many businesses if their initial pitch and positioning are well timed and considered.

Osborne Studios Sizewell C supply chain
Drawing by Rebecca Osborne from Osborne Studios to summarise the Sizewell C supply chain event.

This all points to the need to focus on ‘preparedness’ so that you are in the best position to bid or tender when the opportunity arises.

So where do you start, and what should you be looking to set in place?

Read our top tips on some of the critical considerations:

Do your homework, investigate your market and where you fit

In preparing yourself for such important supply chain pitching and participation, it’s important you’ve fully assessed what competition is out there – and who might likely bid against you – and that you know what the scope of opportunity is.

Consider what changes and innovations are happening in how that market opportunity is served, what barriers to entry there are, and who is making great strides in this arena.

How does your offer compare and what sets you apart?

Assess your capacity and capability

  • Knowing your own viability for the likely or publicly available contract in such scenarios may feel like a brutal case of ‘holding the mirror up’, but it’s vitally important.
  • Do you have the right resources?
  • What more will you need?
  • Does this align with your growth plans?

At MAD-HR we identify businesses as either Acorns (start-up and early stages), Saplings (preparing for growth), or Oaks (navigating significant change and growth).

Where you are in these phases will help you understand what you can realistically achieve or might want to, and how you’ll get there with the right help.

Also, look at your own supply chain that supports your business. Is it stable, reliable, and able to meet not only your current but also your future requirements? It is important to get your own house in order.

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“Through their strategic service, MAD-HR helped us to recognise the opportunities and then worked with us on a plan to seize them.” Read the full review

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Review your compliance and contracts

One of the biggest things which can catch novice supply chain bidders unawares is having to pull together lots of compliance and contract material in order to make a submission in time for a deadline.

  • Use this advance time wisely. Look over what contracts and compliance documentation you have. Is it legally accurate and up to date?
    Do you meet all the regulatory requirements for your industry?
  • Are there more documents you need to update or create before you could begin bidding?
  • Could you work with an external agent to aid in the completion of this work?

Network, collaborate and connect

Don’t underestimate the importance of connecting with others likely to be involved in the supply chain, or already instrumental in the initiative or offering.

  • Seek out further opportunities to attend business sessions where key speakers may be discussing the very project you’re keen on.
    Look for insight and training events which aid your understanding of supply chain submissions.
  • Explore whether other members of your team might need to access networking or training events in order to boost their education and knowledge ahead of the bidding process.
  • If you are taken through to the next stage, you may need to call upon your team to help showcase what you can do and importantly, who will be doing it.

If you’re keen to play a fuller part in supply chain activity, we would be pleased to chat about how we can help you with preparedness and proactive participation.

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