Our quick guide to answering one…
The PQQ/SSQ/SQ stage of a submission is the buyer’s way of finding out basic compliance/due diligence type details on the companies looking to provide the services or products out to tender. It is also typically a ‘looking backwards’ document. So all responses tend to be about what you have done and where, rather than what you’ll do specifically for this client.
Unless you are re-tendering this can be the first glimpse of you and your business so you need to get it right, even if you are re-tendering it is an important way of reminding the buyer of why they looked at your company in the first place.
- Bid or No Bid – Focus on those tenders you are more likely to win. i.e. you meet all the mandatory requirements
- Understand – Read all the documents. Know what and how they want the PQQ completing. Check you are compliant with all the requirements, both in terms of your accreditation but also the requirements for the response documents. Making a list of these requirements in a central file that everyone involved can access will help with consistency and ensure a compliant bid.
- Answer – You may find you need input from different departments, and others may be more suited to answer financial questions, produce a Response document that shows all the questions and who is answering what and also what information you are missing.
- Design – Depending on the Buyer you will sometimes have a free rein on the layout of your response or to the other extreme that you have a very control response format. The most important thing is to always follow the instructions!
If you have room to add your companies design to the document think carefully about the following:
- Colour – pick a colour that relates to your company but also gives the right opinion.
- Images – Put your logo on the document and if possible the buyers logo.
- Layout – Think about the document format, alignment, font type and size etc.
- Graphics – These can add value to a response if they have a purpose, don’t be tempted to just add images to break up text that have no real value to your response.
5. Responses – Make sure you answer all the questions, and in a way that is easy for the customer to understand. Subheadings using the question can be an easy way to ensure you have covered all the points in your response. Make sure you are in the word count/ page limit. Remember spell check!
6. Evidence – If the buyer has requested copies of documents make sure you have submitted them and also referenced them if needed and named them correctly.
If you follow these tips you should find your way to successfully completing your first PQQ/SQ/SSQ submission. Remember to have your document reviewed and checked before you hit the submit button, keep copies of your submissions so you can build up a library of responses.
Whether your bid submission is followed by success or failure make sure that you get feedback so you can amend your responses on future bids to continuously improve.
At Bid & Tender Support we are well practised in completing all aspects of bid and tender submissions. If you would like some support on your submission, it is your first or hundredth bid please contact us to find out how we can support you 01908 382 414 or firstname.lastname@example.org