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What does Supply Chain mean to you?

Supply Chain Toolkit

The journey for SMEs to navigate through the supply chain process can be a daunting task.

We have developed a Toolkit which breaks down the complexity of the many elements of supply chain into bite-sized modules delivered through a variety of formats to provide information and advice to help businesses get ‘tender ready’ and to understand what is involved in putting a tender together.

Common questions for SMEs are:
  • Do you need help to get your business ready for supply chain opportunities? Call us on 0844 257 84 50.
  • Where to find contract opportunities?
  • How to navigate the procurement process?
  • Why can I get answers to common questions?

How do I get my business ‘tender ready’?

Key Steps in the Tender Process

There are many different and often varying steps to a tender process. However, large organisations often share some common elements in their tender process.

1. Register your interest

Many large organisations invite suppliers to register their interests in working with them. This important step will keep you up to date on any tender information sessions as such the announcement of a tender, meet the buyer events etc.

2. Attend tender information sessions

Your registration will keep you informed of any upcoming events. These events are valuable opportunities to ask questions and make contact with the company. There may also be an opportunity to meet other businesses and sub-contractors. The is particularly useful when the path along the supply chain may require you to collaborate with another business.

3. PQQ and Tender

PQQ means Pre Qualification Questionnaire. Often for large and complex contracts, companies who are procuring want to ensure they invite the right businesses to tender for the work.

PQQ is like an application form and will ask a company about all its experience, capabilities and essential qualifications.If you have been successfully shortlisted after completing the PQQ, you will be invited to tender for the contract.

A tender is a formal document issued by a company looking to buy products or services from the marketplace. The document will specify what they want to buy and how they want the quote to be presented. Issuing the tender document typically begins the tender process.

The Growth Hub have a team of business advisers, training workshops and specialist consultants to help you prepare your bid.

The potential supplier will need to complete a bid. A bid is a written response to the tender, usually laid out in a format requested by the company looking to procure. The format can range from the type and size of fonts used, the presentation style to the structure of the pricing schedules.

4. Preparing the tender

A well planned tender strategy is key to winning contracts. Whether it is a high value or a low value contract, careful planning is needed.

Typical questions to consider are:

  • How much will it cost to prepare the tender?
  • What information do you need to gather?
  • What resources do you need to fulfil the tenders?
  • Who are the competition? What are our chances of winning the contract?

Help and advice through the Growth Hub are available to help you prepare your bid.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and research

If you are unclear about any requirements in the tender request, contact the tender coordinator to see clarification. Check out the company’s previous contract awards to get some idea of their suppliers.

6. Presenting your bid

In some cases,following the submission of a written bid, the panel may request a formal presentation from bidders. If you need to present your offer to a valuation panel, stay focused on your key messages in your proposal.

Put in time for preparation and rehearsal for your presentation. If you don’t feel you are a strong presenter, we have training socialists who can offer coaching on presentation skills.

7. Request a debriefing

Always request a debriefing on the tender after the process, especially if your bid is unsuccessful. Feedback from the panel can be extremely useful in understanding how your offering can be improved and can assist you in preparing your next tender.

Where can I find tender opportunites?

We are working hard with businesses to ensure you have access to tender notifications through the Growth Hub portal. We are currently developing a registration process that will allow you to register your interest in receiving tender opportunities. This will be available shortly.Here are some useful tender portals worth visiting from time to time.

  • The Chest This is the North West’s Local Authority Procurement Portal.
  • TED Tender Electronic Daily is an online version of the Supplement to the Official Journal of the EU, dedicated to European public procurement.
  • Tenders Direct This is the UK’s most comprehensive and accurate tender alert service.
  • Contracts Finder Publishes information about contracts worth over £10,000 with the government and its agencies.
  • Compete For Matching buyers and suppliers and focuses on opportunities in the supply chains of major infrastructure projects.
  • Nuclear Market Essential support for the nuclear industry for business development, procurement and recruitment.
  • Public Contracts Scotland Access to contracts opportunities in Scotland.Membership fees apply.
  • My Tenders e-Procurement made simple.

Quick Guide to Competition Law Compliance

Competition law is designed to protect businesses and consumers from anti-competitive bahaviour.

The law stimulates effective competition in order to deliver open, dynamic markets and enhanced productivity, innovation and value for customers.

Access interactive tools and guidance to help with your supply chain journey at a time and place convenient to you.

Download your Guide to Competition Law Compliance (PDF).

Growth Hub Business Support

Cumbria Business Growth Hub aims to help your business unleash its potential with free business support for growth.

A focal point for businesses looking to increase their competitiveness and grow, it offers a great choice of advice, training networking and more, all tailored to your needs.

Call us now for the answers to your questions on 0844 257 84 50

Business support is vital to any business wishing to succeed.

You could be eligible for a minimum of 12 hours free support.

You could benefit from:Business Advice Cumbria Business Growth Hub has a team of business advisers who have professional experience in a range of sectors and can provide a fresh perspective on your business and expertise in a number of areas, from marketing & HR issues to exporting barriers & access to finance.

Funding support through the Growth Hub – Cumbria Growth Fund (PDF), Action Plan Implementation Subsidy (PDF) and Start-Up Subsidy (PDF).

We offer businesses opportunities to network through a range of events from after-work social networking, speed networking through to high profile lunch and dinners.

Contact us now and we will connect you to the right resources to help you through your tender process 0844 257 84 50

We run a variety of training courses from personal development programmes through to enhancing skills and acquiring accreditations and certifications to help with your business growth.

The Growth Hub website gives you access to media rich information such as webinars, podcasts, videos, online forums and even live broadcasts on events.