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Three Core Procurement Contracts

Bid writers have seen many changes in the structure of the competitive contract and processes.

The development of small and medium-sized company involvement has led to new opportunities, outlined below. Winning Tenders have a team of experts who can help you traverse these opportunities and write that winning bid.

Contract Notice:

Fortunately, all notices are now required to indicate if the opportunity is suitable for an SME or VSO (voluntary sector organisation). This will save you time in identifying whether or not a contract is suitable for your organisation.

Additional information is presented on clear payment terms and the commitment to meet the government terms of payment for public sector organisations. This has reduced the need for “invoice factoring” as more detail enables effective planning. This in itself allows for a more efficient bid writing process as relevant information is present at the start.

The type of contract must be clearly outlined:

    1. A contract for services or works – one supplier for a fixed term
    2. A Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) – an open contract generally enabling up to 999 participants. Each can be asked to quote for a specific piece of work through mini-competitions and straight requests for quotes. This system ensures more local businesses are included in the competitive process and they bid for the size of the job they can fulfil.

A provider can apply to join at any stage of the contract for the duration of the DPS. An excellent starting point for time tendering and national programs, run by Crown Commercial Services.

Please note – Many are still operating as frameworks at present however, the new rounds are reverting to the DPS model (if you’d like more information or advice on this, please call us on 01392 247997).

3. Procurement Framework – these are contracts that limit the number of competitors because they have been prequalified. This guarantees (theoretically) that every opportunity for competitive bidding is managed through the framework and open to those members only.

Often this is a full bid process and requires the same planning and disciplines as the Contract for Services or works. This locks the buyer into a closed relationship and the spending agreed is tendered throughout the life of the framework. The duration varies and many are being replaced by DPS.


Winning Tenders can help you throughout the process, no matter what stage your organisation is at. Please contact us for more information on how we can help you secure that bid.

Follow up

For many small businesses, the issue remains that this can be perceived as guaranteed competitive income. It is still necessary to work the framework as there could be several buyers involved or being on a framework opens the way for one of your specific targets to approach you if they are aware of your prequalification.

So, the principle is that all contracts won require not only the effort to secure the work but then the same energy to build the opportunity for future business.


Winning Tenders can help you get ahead of the competition.

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Call us on 01392 247997


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Top Tendering Tips

We recently asked our amazing team of experts at Winning Tenders, what their Top Tips would be for the tendering process. Here is what they said.

  • Read ALL bid documentation (including clarification responses) BEFORE you start responding to the invitation to tender (ITT).
  • Read the specification at least twice and the last time going through it, highlight key words and requirements so that you can ensure you cover everything they ask for in your response.
  • Planning and communicating your strategy for delivering the contract.  When deciding whether to bid for a new opportunity and how you will be able to deliver the client requirements, first consider the following questions:
    • can we deliver exactly what they are looking for?
    • does our approach match with the priorities the client has set out for the contract?
    • in this contract, what can we do better than our competitors?
    • can we do all of these things and still make money?
  • Include a covering letter or executive summary to summarise your approach and highlight how your organisation is similar to the client organisation.
  • Qualify the tender – the requirement for qualification applies in all sectors. Typically, sales management will see just the potential revenue and be blind to whether the contract is actually do-able. Issues may include capability, contract size, whether existing work will affect implementation, previous relationship, how the incumbent is performing, who has influenced the tender, etc.

Bottom line is if you don’t know anything about the tender until it’s released you are unlikely to win it

  • Make an absolute decision on whether to bid or not, weighing up all the pros and cons – is your business really qualified, do you have the capability, who are you likely to be competing against, can you price it competitively and make a good profit, will it affect your existing business, do you really want the contract?

If you decide to bid, really go for it, involve all contributors and put together a winning bid.

Watch our video on bid/no bid decisions

  • Consider Client Perspective (what they want, not what you think they want)
  • The buyer is restricted by the strategic plans of the local councils or public health bodies therefore, before you begin to bid on anything read the strategy with the specification.

It is the difference between scoring 7 – explaining what you will provide and 9 – explaining how your service enhances their strategic delivery.

Preparation is critical. 

  • Don’t add lots of ‘flowery’ language at the expense of addressing key parts of the tender specification, equally don’t simply re-work a sales brochure.  Ultimately, your potential clients need to know you can deliver what they want on schedule and at a competitive price.


Tendering is a multifaceted process. Let our expert team help you win that bid.

Contact us for more information or fill in our questionnaire and receive our ‘Pocket Guide for Winners’


Read more about our Tender Readiness Check


A fish out of water…

Robert Enever was the winner of our competition to win a ticket for last week’s Like Minds event “From Startup to Scaleup” and I asked him for his thoughts… had he met like minds?


In short, I help prevent seabirds, sharks, dolphins, whales and turtles getting accidentally caught in fishing nets.


Looking for great ideas to grow your business this Friday?


Do you have a clear diary on Friday
29th September?

Can you get to central Exeter for 8am?

We have a spare ticket for Like Minds… do you want to join our CEO Ian Smith for the day plus a hundred or so other Like Minds?

THE COMPETITION is nice and easy…

Tell us how we helped a friendly dragon recently?

Sorry. This competition is now closed.

Pushing out at 9am Wednesday morning simply complete the entry form and the winner will be selected at random first thing Thursday morning and notified immediately so you can get ready to mix with Like Minds.

Thank you.