A Rock or a Hard Place: How to structure your bidding vehicle

A Rock or a Hard Place: How to structure your bidding vehicle

If you are involved in the decision of how to structure your multi-organisational team for a strategic bid e.g. as a prime, sub-contract, consortium etc., you need to watch out.  Recent court cases have shown “Here may be Dragons” for the less well informed! Bevan Brittan (a Procurement Law specialist) has helpfully summarised two recent court…

APMP Bid and Proposal Micro-certification
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APMP Bid and Proposal Micro-certification

Pass the Exam and Become Certified All courses will be run by Peter Lobl or Andy Haigh.  If you wish to know who will be leading any particular event, please contact us. The Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) is the professional association for people working in any sales environment where formal bidding and tendering…

When they ask you a question

When they ask you a question

When they ask YOU a clarification Question   Learn from the mistakes of other bidders. Gain insight from 3 lost bids We often help clients challenge poor decisions by evaluators.  I want to share some lessons from three bids that we were asked to look at after they were lost.  The tragedy is, that in our…

Don’t like the way an Authority is running a Procurement?

Don’t like the way an Authority is running a Procurement?

You may not be aware that you have a new resource available to you. Make use of official Cabinet Office guidanceWe’ve all been there. In preparing our response, we are horrified at some aspects of the Authority’s requirements, evaluation criteria or process.  We can take courage and ask a clarification question… in the hope of…

Sixfold provides the First Procurement Expert Witness in the UK High Court

Sixfold provides the First Procurement Expert Witness in the UK High Court

What we all can learn from the experience Provision of an Expert Witness Recently, one of Sixfold’s directors, Peter Lobl, appeared as an ex parte expert witness in a ground-breaking procurement case in the High Court in London.  The case was filed by an aggrieved bidder against the Ministry of Defence claiming an erroneous bid…

Data Protection and Its Impact upon Bids

Data Protection and Its Impact upon Bids

A few organisations are starting to pick up that on 25th May 2018, the new Data Protection Legislation (the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)), comes into force.  It is targeted at improving privacy and preventing data breaches.  It is based upon EU legislation.  However, we expect that it will continue after Brexit, essential unaltered.  The…

SMS Doesn’t Scare Us by Using Small Claims Court Bullying Tactics

SMS Doesn’t Scare Us by Using Small Claims Court Bullying Tactics

Last month, Sixfold was taken to court in Warrington by a vexatious and opportunist claim, lodged by Simply Mail Solutions (SMS) trading as Internet for Everything Ltd.  Colin Smith, a Director of SMS, decided that, even though SMS had not (and could not have) provided the Office 365 internet services it had promised Sixfold, Sixfold should…

John Fernau looks at the Future of Procurement and Selling to Government

John Fernau looks at the Future of Procurement and Selling to Government

I was at an event recently when the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Matt Hancock, raised a really interesting prospect.  He said that one of the things his team, presumably the Crown Commercial Service, are working on is a Crown Marketplace.  In essence this is the extension of the G-Cloud concept into non-ICT categories.  According…

Doing Business with Government – Tips from an ex-Home Office Commercial Director

Doing Business with Government – Tips from an ex-Home Office Commercial Director

John Fernau was previously commercial director at the Home Office and has now joined Sixfold International to help its clients win public sector contracts. He draws on his experience to provide an insight into the way Whitehall engages with small business suppliers and shares advice on how to win work from national and local government. …

They Have to Tell You!

They Have to Tell You!

November 2015 We have just seen that a court has annulled a tender award decision for “lack of adequate reasoning”.  This decision was made when Ricoh bid for a contract for the purchase or hire of printers and their associated maintenance services.  Ricoh was informed its bid was unsuccessful for 3 of the 5 lots…

The European Single Procurement Document ESPD Comes Into Force Today!

The European Single Procurement Document ESPD Comes Into Force Today!

26th January 2016 The European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) is now a standard form for part of the Public Sector tendering selection process.  The Public Contracts Regulations requires a contracting authority to accept an ESPD from bidders as part of the selection process to reduce the administrative burden on bidders and the authority by simplifying…

A Potential Hazard: The New Competitive Procedure with Negotiation

A Potential Hazard: The New Competitive Procedure with Negotiation

If you think that the procedure chosen by your client will not affect your win chance, think again! It is vital you understand the possible impact.

The Competitive Dialogue has been around for some time and we have seen many instances of its use (and misuse) to date. We are now getting some practical understanding of the Competitive Procedure with Negotiation and this note outlines how this experience is giving us more insight and warns of the impact this could have on your win chance.

Transparency Hits You!

Transparency Hits You!

Like it or not, the new Public Contracts Regulations 2015 are going to make a big difference to how you bid for Public Sector contracts. Sixfold is all about how to finesse the Public Sector procurement to create a competitive edge. We have often focused on how the fundamental principles – equal treatment, proportionality and transparency – can be used as a tool to your advantage.

Rescuing A Major Bid

Rescuing A Major Bid

Sixfold has been called in to help a large company resolve a strange issue with the evaluation of its multi-million pound tender. The company had been told that it had come second and, in accordance with the procurement requirements, it was sent the scores both it and the winning bidder had been allocated.

Beating Your Competition Through Differentiation

Beating Your Competition Through Differentiation

The Public Sector bidding processes appear to force you to bid exactly the same proposal as everyone else. This process is set up to allow the evaluators to be able to compare one bid against another as easily as they can. The processes seem to stifle any ability to differentiate your offering and slaps down any attempt at innovation! However, we all know that we must stand out from the other bidders if we are to win the bid.

Going the Extra Mile

Going the Extra Mile

As a Bid Director I have been interested for a long time in what it is that motivates bid team members to work extended hours (sometimes 24 hours and longer without a break). Despite being under high pressure they perform willingly, enthusiastically and, usually, for no financial reward above their normal salary. This does not occur in every case.

I don’t have to worry – We are the “incumbent”!

I don’t have to worry – We are the “incumbent”!

You are the incumbent supplier in a Public Sector contract and it has come around for a rebid. You and your team have been doing a fantastic job for years. You know you have the client’s staff on your side because they tell you that your team is doing a good job and you have rescued the client’s business from several, indeed many, disasters of their making in recent months.

Three golden rules for proposal writing

Three golden rules for proposal writing

I have been around and about proposal writing for many years. I have seen fabulous successes and devastating failures all attributed to the quality of the written word. And in that time I have learned a few lessons. They seem so obvious to me. However, whenever I meet up with a new bid team (and sometimes even experienced bid teams who aren’t doing so well), I see the same problems.

Worth It to Win It, or Bad Losers?

Worth It to Win It, or Bad Losers?

It’s a delicate decision to challenge a lost bid decision and possibly alienate yourself as a “troublemaker”. Should you acquiesce or fight for what’s right for everyone?

I don’t think that there is an easy answer to this. However, I think that often, bid teams get their answer wrong, back off a justifiable challenge and potentially lose business that should have been theirs.