Top tips for tendering with Brighton & Hove City Council

Compiled by our tender evaluators

Some of these tips may seem obvious, but real contracts have been lost because contractors have not followed them. They apply to most public sector tender processes:

First steps

  • Don't be put off by the tender documentation -  always ask for help. It is part of our job to assist you.
     
  • Read the documentation thoroughly and understand the requirements.  If you have any concerns ring up for clarification straight away.
     
  • Understand your customer, look at their website and read their procurement documents if you have time - it will help to understand their priorities, processes and requirements.

Filling in your return

  • Do answer in full  - do not assume anything is obvious, or 'goes without saying'.  If you tend to write just three or four sentence answers, it will definitely be worth going into more detail.
     
  • Even if you have already done some work for the council, even if you are the present contractor, we will only evaluate on what is written down in your answer.  This has led to disappointment more than once.
     
  • Make it clear which question your answer refers to - clearly numbered paragraphs are easier and clearer to evaluate than a page of writing.  Make it easy for our team to give you points!
     
  • Work out the most important questions from the evaluation criteria weightings in the tender documents, and take extra care to answer them fully.
     
  • Be clear on your pricing model - state any assumptions you made when pricing (e.g. availability of resources, timing etc)

Ready to send it back to us?

  • Check that you have provided us with all of the information requested.  If for some reason you are struggling to provide all the information, ask us for advice.
     
  • Complete and return the documents by the date and time given.  Check that you have signed everything you should have.  Return in an unmarked envelope with the Tender reference number clearly visible.
     
  • Don't include publicity or promotional material in your submission unless you are asked to do so.
     
  • Keep electronic copies of all submissions.  You will be able to cut and paste answers into future council PQQs and ITTs and save time.
     
  • Do ask for feedback if you are unsuccessful, it will help you with the next tender.
     
  • Do give us feedback about our tender process, just email us at procurement@brighton-hove.gov.uk .  Thanks - this will help us improve.

'Winning the Contract' training

If you would like further help with public sector tendering, why not access this free online training.  It was designed by the government particularly for smaller contractors wanting to tender for public sector contracts.