Benefits of Tendersure Platform

Does your procurement system consist of a piece of paper that’s passed around until it eventually ends up in a dusty folder? Or does your department keep track of everything in a spreadsheet system, that’s just as easily lost in electronic sub-folders,if you remember to save it at all? If you’re still using the manual hard copy tendering process, it is time to consider Tendersure system which will both put you back in control of spending, and save your company time and money. Here are some top reasons it may be time to move to Tendersure e-tendering system.


E-tendering gives you centralized access to all your data. Track down a Bid, analyze metadata to find areas where you can improve your processes. This could mean tracking areas where procurement process take the longest and could be shortened, vendors you spend a lot of money with (and might be able to negotiate better terms), when to pay invoices to both take advantage of early pay discounts and optimize cash flow, on-contract vs. off-contract spend, and more. The sky’s the limit with what you can data-mine.


When you can view all of your Bids for a Tender in one place remarkable things start to happen, you can consolidate similar Bids to take advantage of bulk discounts, you can show vendors how much you spend with them in order to negotiate discounts, and you can see when non-preferred vendors are being used and even put a stop to those bids to save money there, too. This kind of metadata isn’t available with a manual tendering process.


When you can view all of your Bids for a Tender in one place remarkable things start to happen, you can consolidate similar Bids to take advantage of bulk discounts, you can show vendors how much you spend with them in order to negotiate discounts, and you can see when non-preferred vendors are being used and even put a stop to those bids to save money there, too. This kind of metadata isn’t available with a manual tendering process.

The Do’s and Don’ts of re-tendering

When you find yourself needing to retender for one of your contracts, there are a number of “do’s and don’ts” you should bear in mind. The retendering process can often be a very challenging situation, particularly if the contract you hold is coming to an end and it represents a large proportion of your existing business. The fear of losing can put you and your bid team under significant pressure, so here are our retendering guidelines on how to do everything you can to ensure the best outcome:

Do prepare in advance

As the current (incumbent) contract holder, you’ll know before anyone else when the contract is due to end, which gives you more time to prepare. Make sure you:

  • Record all the successes you’ve had with the client, no matter how small (or big)
  • Quantify the cost and time savings you’ve made
  • Look at the SLAs and KPIs for the current contract. Hopefully you’ve been recording results against them, if not, start now. Consider the meetings and discussions you’ve had with the client, what were their concerns through the contract, and what did you do to alleviate them?
  • Take a step back from the contract and try to see if any complacency has crept into the way you operate. If it has, address it – think about what you do for your other clients – can you duplicate the good stuff here? Make sure your service delivery is of high quality and your staff are aware the contract is up for re-tender soon
  • Talk to the buyer. Ask if there is anything they would like to see from you now and in the future. Are there things you could implement as a trial run/pilot for free in the last few months of your contract, that when the time comes, could provide an extra boost to your upcoming retender?

Do demonstrate your understanding of the buyer/commissioning authority

Being the current contract holder gives you a major advantage over your competitors – your understanding of the buyer. Other tenderers only have the tender documentation and publicly available information to guide them, you have insider knowledge of the buyer’s processes, systems, pain points, day to day operations etc. Make sure you use this in your bid and really personalise your proposal. Another advantage is that there will be no mobilisation, implementation or transition period or costs as there will be no change to supplier – ensure you highlight this, even if it seems obvious.

Do check the tender documentation/requirements thoroughly

When the new tender is released, make sure you read the tender documentation and guidelines thoroughly. The buyer may include new requirements in their specifications above and beyond the service you are already providing – you will need to ensure your response addresses these. Check the pricing too – can you offer any reduction in price whilst still making a profit?

Don’t make assumptions

Just because you already hold the contract, it’s easy to make assumptions about the upcoming tender process and what the buyer wants. However, it is important not to assume:

  • The buyer knows all about you
  • The buyer doesn’t want to change
  • It’s ‘in the bag’ because you’re doing a good job

Your contacts in the buyer’s organisation may not have much input into the tender process, particularly if it’s being run via a centralised procurement department (i.e. away from the actual department needing the service). The buyer will have an evaluation process to follow which needs to be fair to all tenderers, so you need to include all relevant information in your retender, even if you think the buyer already has that information. Likewise, if you feel you’ve been doing a good job, you need to quantify this in your bid so the buyer can clearly see the benefits you’ve brought them during the current contract term. Highlight any improvements you’ve made and where you’ve helped the client overcome significant challenges.

Don’t think it will be easier than winning a new contract

Again, because you hold the contract and won it the first time (or maybe even the second or third), it’s easy to underestimate what you might have to do in order to win it again. For example, do not underestimate:

  1. How complacency can set in without you realising, particularly if contracts have been extended and you’ve been providing the service for many years
  2. The buyer’s desire for change – perhaps they have a new board member, new procurement team, a new remit, new targets or have been talking to one or more of your competitors
  3. The amount of work you’ll need to do to submit a winning bid

You may have settled into a ‘business as usual’ routine in the contract, and not focused on new innovations or ideas recently. The contract may fall well and truly into your ‘comfort zone’ and is simply ticking along without much effort on your behalf. This may of course suit the buyer, but there may also be a desire in the buyer’s organisation to change – whether that be to save money, to increase ‘green’ credentials, or to focus more on social value; whatever that desire is, you need to make sure you address it in your response.

With the major advantage of you knowing the buyer, the opposite could be said of the buyer knowing you. They know how well you have delivered the current contract. When re-tendering, you can’t pretend to have delivered something you haven’t. Whilst you can’t assume they know all about you, at the same time you can’t claim to have introduced innovative ways of working or saved them money if you haven’t. However, there may still be ways of showing them that you have delivered things that they haven’t seen.

You should always use case studies/evidence in a bid; when re-tendering, at least some of those case studies should be for the buyer. You may think that the buyer doesn’t particularly want to hear about how their current contract holder has implemented some wonderful technology and/or processes at another client, but if it’s relevant to them and could help you win the contract, include it, and outline the ways in which it will help them specifically.

Don’t have all your eggs in one basket

Putting you and your business under excessive pressure to re-win a contract can be hazardous to health, as well as potentially affecting the quality of your tender. It is simply good business and good for mental health, to not have more than 20% of your turnover reliant on one customer. Most financial stability assessments (as part of a tender) would fail if the contract represented more than 50% of your turnover. The only way to avoid this pressure is to ensure you have a broad client base, such that if the worst happens and you do lose a contract, you have others in place to keep you occupied.

Social Value questions in tenders and contracts

1. Employment & Training

  • Number of new apprentices to be created by your organisation as a result of this contract?
  • No. of New Jobs to be created by your organisation as a result of the contract?
  • Will you pay the National Living Wage as a minimum to everyone working on the contract?
  • Number of individuals to be provided with work experience (minimum 5 days)
  • Unemployed residents to be supported into work

2. Support the Community

  • What support will be offered to local community organisations to support their development
  • What facilities to be provided for use by community groups and voluntary organisations as a direct result of this contract
  • Time allowed for your employees to volunteer for community work in the local area (No. expert hrs)
  • Donations to be made to local community funds to support local causes (Value)

3. Supporting Local Businesses

  • The total amount (Ksh.) to be spent in the local supply chain (within the local area through the contract (Value per year)
  • Support to be provided for local businesses to assist them to survive and grow (No. expert hrs)

4. Sustainable Environment

  • The amount of materials and products from sustainable sources
  • How will you build diverse supply chains with sustainable relationships
  • Reduction of carbon footprint to net zero and adapting to climate change (%CO2 reduction)
  • Create greener and cleaner places

Think carefully about these commitments, as they will form part of the contract and you will need to monitor and report on them, so they need to be achievable, and proportionate to the value of the contract. If you can’t afford to donate 5% of the contract value to local charitable causes, don’t say you will. Think about how you will go about fulfilling the contract. Will there be opportunities to spend money with local businesses and therefore support other SMEs? What do you know of the local community and is there anything you can do to help? Can you hold educational/informational events in the local community centre? Could/would any of your employees volunteer a number of hours a month at a local charity/community centre for the duration of the contract? Will the contract enable you to grow and permanently employ a number of local people? Could an apprenticeship be created? Is your company local to the buyer and so will save on transport emissions/reduce congestion on the roads?

What is a tender writer and why do I need one?

If you are serious about winning public sector contracts, finding an expert tender writer is essential.

So, what is a tender writer?

A tender writer, often linked with a bid writer or bid manager is the person you work with to read, review and respond to the tender documentation for a given contract opportunity.

They understand exactly what contract buyers, commissioners and procurement teams are looking for and are able to articulate your offering concisely and effectively, usually within strict word limits. Being removed from the day-to-day business, they are objective, decisive and sometimes ruthless!  Information you may feel passionate about sharing, but does not answer the tender question, will be deleted by a tender writer as they seek to answer the question properly, and without superfluous material.

Reviewing, reading, and responding to a tender accurately is time-consuming and is often subject to tight deadlines and last-minute changes, so a tender writer needs to be very organised, methodical, and diligent. They will also be calm and collected under pressure, with the strong communication skills needed to bring all of the different parties and pieces of information together to create a contract-winning bid.

What are the steps a tender writer needs to take?

1. Collate Invitation to Tender documents

Before the tender writer starts to complete the tender, they need to obtain all the Invitation to Tender documents, specifications, and evaluation criteria and read through them.

2. Assess tender documents

They will need to look at what information is required to deliver a strong tender and discern whether it’s readily available and of good quality. If not, the tender writer will either need to obtain access to it, request it from the relevant ‘subject matter’ expert, or craft some fresh material.

3. Plot timelines and create a tender project plan

They will also need to factor in timelines to ensure the tender deadline is met and quality work isn’t rushed. A good tender writer will have compiled an effective bid library in which they store useful information, key documentation, and contract-winning content, which will help the tender response process. A tender project plan will also outline key stakeholders/subject matter experts, roles, responsibilities, and dates for what is needed and by when.

4. Compile and assess tender documentation

Once all of the information required has been identified, the tender writer will work with the key stakeholders to gather it together and confirm it is of sufficient quality to score highly. They will also ensure the necessary evidence and supporting documentation is compiled to back up each statement with real experience.

5. Start tender writing

When there is enough information to form a good tender response, the tender writer will begin writing. They will be aware of the word count and the need to succinctly and accurately answer each tender question in a persuasive, evidence-driven way. Once the first draft is written it will be proofread (ideally by a peer or quality assurance manager) before being shared with the senior stakeholders who may be asked to confirm the accuracy of the responses or provide additional input.

This stage can be quite challenging as there are often ‘many cooks’ that want to add in more and more ‘flavour.’ However, it is the responsibility of an experienced tender writer to anticipate and distinguish quality from quantity and keep everyone on point so that the final product is exceptional.

6. Review and amend the tender response then submit

The final tender will be amended, sense-checked, and proofread by the tender writer before going through any final quality assurance, diligence, and sign-off stages. It will then be submitted, along with all the relevant supporting documentation to the appropriate procurement e-portal.

Why do I need a tender writer?

The ability to answer a set of tender questions correctly, factually and persuasively is a skill. The qualitative element of a tender is most often the area where businesses (that have approached us) have fallen down in the past. They know their company inside out, but being able to articulate this in the way that beats their competitors takes time to learn and techniques to master.

It can often be most valuable to outsource this role to a tender writing specialist. A professional tender writer will have honed their craft and developed their way of winning contracts, ensuring they learn from every past tender to continuously improve. They will also be skilled in project and client/stakeholder management to ensure deadlines are met, and be more than familiar with the workings and nuances of procurement teams and evaluation panels.