Killer PQQ’s – Effectively delivering your message – Top 10 tips from Simply Marcomms

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PQQ Tender Writing Services

We’ve all seen the predicted decline in the amount of government tenders begin to trickle through, with the number of tenders on offer declining and even tenders submitted some months ago effectively ‘on hold’ for an undisclosed period of time.

The contracts are still out there, and they are still incredibly lucrative and long term; there are still (too many!) potholes to be filled and schools and hospitals to maintain and redeveloped, housing stock still requires constant maintenance and  all of these contracts are still up for grabs, along with tens of millions of pounds worth of other public sector contracts across a spectrum of industries. However, the value of the contracts is under scrutiny, leading to more and more contracts left in limbo for the next few weeks at least.

The new coalition Government will soon establish itself and set out policies.  The hit to the public sector is already well publicised, if not well understood due to lack of clarity and detail about exactly where savings and costs cuts are to hit, and how hard.

It is absolutely crucial therefore that organisations bidding for public sector work at this time make every effort to ensure that their business is in the best position to offer procurement teams the best quality, service and value over the coming months and years, as partnerships forged now are likely to be in place for some time.

Effectively promoting your organisation is no longer exclusively achieved on the golf course, thankfully (as I never could play golf!) the government has levelled the playing field when it comes to sourcing products and services to deliver public sector contracts through the multi-stage procurement process and the often dreaded Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQ) and Tender submission. Further information on the tender process can be found on the Simply Marcomms SMPR website

In essence, organisations now have one shot at being shortlisted, after which the door is closed for the remainder of the contract period. It is vital therefore that every effort is made to ensure that Pre-Qualification Questionnaires pack the necessary punch to ensure the buyer know you mean business and are in the best position to deliver contracts successfully ahead of your competitors.

The message from each organisation bidding for the business, is to a greater or lesser degree going to be similar, everyone will claim they have the best systems, people and equipment to innovatively deliver contracts more cheaply than the competition, with industry leading quality standards.

The message however is not all in the text response, although I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to ensure that test responses spell out concisely how you will meet the requirements of the contract.

Presentation of your information is also key, the best written PQQ in history may not make it past the first hurdle if sloppily presented, I recently heard from a midlands based company who had been informed by a local authority that ‘a PQQ will not make it past my desk unless presented professionally’. Although this is not in the spirit of the procurement process, it does beg the question ‘ why’?

This is just a personal view, however  to me it’s simple, if I had a contract on offer, I am likely to offer it to the company who best meets the requirements of the contract AND delivers that message in the most professional and compelling manner. Professional delivery of a business proposal personally instils confidence that organisations are serious about their own business. Working with companies who believe in their own services or products, coupled to a strong brand identity and the effective promotion of it demonstrates confidence, and confidence is likely to influence buyers across the country in today’s uncertain times.

We’ve covered general PQQ Do’s and don’ts in a previous blog post here but here are the top ten tips for getting the presentation just right:

1. Ensure your corporate identity is consistent throughout the document, promote yourself!

2. Wherever possible, include an executive summary

3. Ensure that the document is indexed clearly and concisely in line with the PQQ requirements

4. Use images to support your responses, just make sure they are your own images!

5. Use innovative graphics to highlight points and processes, don’t rely on a generic word processing package alone.

6. Use a consistent font and corporate theme with every document submitted, including references and appendix items.

7. If you do not have adequate printing facilities in house – outsource the printing to maximise the feel of the document.

8. Don’t just stick the contents in a standard ring binder; consider generating a bespoke corporate themed cover. Also consider the use of similar themed documents throughout the company, not just for PQQ’s.  Consistency in internal documentation gives everyone in the organisation a sense of brand identity, and makes subsequent PQQ submissions easier as documentation is already available in a consistent format

9. Bind the documents neatly, and’s likely to be read by a number of people and you want each to fully appreciate the work you’ve put in!

10. If an electronic copy is required, use a pdf version and include links within the document for ease of navigation.

And don’t forget to print sustainably!

Simply Marcomms SMPR has for over five years, successfully delivered competition winning solutions on behalf of our clients, helping them to become sector leading, award winning organisations in their field.   Through raising brand awareness and ensuring that our clients compete effectively throughout the PQQ and tender process, we aim to ensure our clients continue to be successful, and progress smoothly through the procurement competition to tender invitation.

Why not contact Simply Marcomms PR (SMPR) or give them a call on 0870 199 4044 to see how their tender services can help your pre-qualification questionnaires and tender submissions stand out from the crowd.

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