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Compiling a Tender Library

The primary purpose of a Tender Library is to maximise the Return on investment from your Tender Activity, while delivering objectives such as;

  1. Ensure your company is presenting a consistent company message
  2. Ensure Tender information is not held with an individual or small team
  3. Eliminate time wasted searching for previous information
  4. Ensure only the most up to date company documentation is accessible to staff completing PQQs and tenders e.g. policies, procedures, insurance certificates, risk assessments, licenses, CVs etc.
  5. Minimise problems of different writing styles from contributors (including formats)
  6. Control company information and its use, protecting the company brand i.e. have current and compliant information to help you answer the questions asked
  7. Managing information effectively is essential so as not to end up with a huge amount of information in hundreds of different files, versions or formats.

Tender Library Advice

  1. The worst time to create a bid library is when you are writing a tender – start now before a submission is live
  2. The Tender Library has to be easily accessible for your bid team, whether that is shared folders, Dropbox, Google Apps, Wiki, Microsoft Office 365 SharePoint, OneDrive or similar file sharing solutions (even considering third-party software solutions)
  3. Consider a Library structure that facilitates keyword searches, filters by question type, client type or project type, which meets the needs of the business.
  4. The Tender Library has to be kept up-to-date with recent company marketing materials, client references, awards, policies, licenses, insurance details, CV’s etc. Identify content owners, and put in place regular content reviews.
  5. The Tender Library is an evolving asset and should be continually improved with feedback/comments derived after the Tender Award e.g. if you have a poor scoring
    response or section, this should be noted within the Library to ensure the whole team knows work is required on this section in future Feedback allows you to see the strongest and weakest parts of your responses, which can then be corrected for future contracts. The more you tender, the better your Tender library will become, saving you time and vastly improving the quality of your submissions1.
  6. Build a bid content library based on the topic / subject area approach is better than purely Q&A focused. Great content is easier to find and easy to update plus your writers are free to write a customer-focused response and do not resort to boiler plate answers
  7. Every 18-24 months, schedule a Tender Library Audit to;
    # Assess the quality of the content
    # Assess the quantity of the content
    # Understand the existing content demands from the market

Tender Library Contents

There are a number of requirements that appear in nearly every tender. This content list below will allow you spend more time customising the response to meet the specific questions, specification and evaluation criteria;

  1. Corporate Information including Organisation Chart and Company history (consider visual time-line)
  2. Company policies (most commonly requested are Health & Safety, Environmental, Equality/Diversity, Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Continuity, Data Protection, Quality Assurance, Quality Control and Complaints Management). Ensure that these are up to date with legislation and have been reviewed within the last 12 months.
  3. Case studies (impactful, relevant and fact filled – not woolly!).
  4. Testimonials & Awards (make sure these are up to date)
  5. Reference clients (including the contact details of clients who have given permission to use them in a tender)
  6. Most recent 3 years accounts (Balance Sheet & P&L)
  7. Current insurance certificates
  8. Corporate memberships / Accreditations (e.g. Chambers, Certificates, ISO, SafePass, FirstAid etc)
  9. Licensing specifics – required for some industries.
  10. A list of all major contract clients including date of award, length of contract, annual value and nature of supply (organised by industry, location, public/private etc)
  11. Model answers: A selection of model answers based on previous submissions or commonly occurring questions. This is the most flexible part of the Tender library and is constantly changing with feedback.
  12. Method Statements (Policies and Operating Procedures relating your work methods)
  13. Added Value Extracts (Unique Selling Points, Differentiators, Value propositions, Innovations or technology; which benefit the client with defined tangible value)
  14. Visuals & Professional Photography (Relevant existing graphics or images, to replace certain paragraphs or augment the visual impact)
  15. Pricing Matrix (Detailed breakdown of rates, per service. Securely stored)
  16. Account Management (Standard details of client management systems, processes, meeting and reporting schedules (Purpose, Type and Frequency etc)
  17. Training Records (Summary of Learning & Development approach, with access to detailed Training Records of each staff member)
  18. Profiles of key members of your team – include relevant qualifications, length of service with your company, experience and an overview of their CV – max 1 page).
  19. Sample management information (likely to include financial, performance related, future growth plans etc.)
  20. Sample service level agreement (demonstrating your proposed KPIs)
  21. Sample Contract Transition/Mobilisation Plan (likely to be in Table or Gantt chart format showing the individual steps required to implement a new contract.)
  22. Short company introduction in PDF format (Similar to a brochure)
  23. Opening Address, Executive summary & conclusion excerpts (corporate overview with mission statement and strong value proposition to be adapted to the specific bid)
  24. Best-in-Class Templates (If not using the buyer’s template (which is advisable), have branded ready-made templates per service offering and sector)

Contact us today to discuss how we can maximise the return from
your next Tender.

Category Management

Many sophisticated Procurement Functions are implementing Category Management best practices and proven methodologies to migrate “from good to great”. This is usually triggered as the current operating model is focused on the delivery of predominant tactical delivery of value;

While developing a strategic Category Management approach channels procurement resources and services towards improved efficiencies and effectiveness for the betterment of internal and external stakeholders.

With the following major benefits:

Category Management benefits the entire organisation

  • Raises the strategic contribution of procurement to business
  • Improves stakeholder buy-in to results
  • Improves total cost of ownership
  • Reduces risk in the entire supply chain of contracts
  • Uses resources more effectively
  • Fulfils stakeholder needs in terms of availability, quality, and service levels
  • Fosters supplier innovation and capability development

Category Management Approach

The methodology and approach to strategic procurement involves robust research, analysis and planning that results in a procurement strategy that influences and shapes the market to meet your needs.

This approach demonstrates how:

• Research and planning add value to sourcing, implementation and results

• Collaborative cross-disciplinary team work leads to strengthened solutions

• Good governance and project management ensure delivery is on time, on budget and to specification

• Professionalism and ethics support due process, accountability and transparency.

This approach to Category Management is initiated with a baseline review to capture the Vision and Objectives clearly, while undertaking a detailed Stakeholder engagement exercise. The forensic spend analysis then follows against key levers and assessment frameworks. Prior to discovering the competency, maturity and capability within the team plus an expert review of the entire process flow of current procurement activities on-and-off-line. A number of key milestones will be planned throughout the program where gap analyses will provide current challenges and issues, and risks that need to be addressed or be aware of. Practical reports and  recommendations will emerge throughout to focus on the potential benefits to implementing Category Management while guiding the entire project roadmap.

This approach has been successfully implemented in many projects with IDDea and the following key procurement levers used in our Category Management analysis, also enlighten the powerful work of the Procurement Transformation Institute;

  • Culture
  • People
  • Process
  • Knowledge
  • Technology

Talk to us today to discuss how we can support your Category Management journey;


Review my Procurement Team

The main questions Arvo encounter when we meet potential customers are:

  • EFFECTIVENESS IN OUTCOME: What does good look like? Are we effective? What are the best practices and where can we improve? What would the benefits be if we invest in these improvements? What are the risks if we do not invest? How do we compare to similar Procurement Teams?
  • EFFICIENCY IN PROCESS: Are we efficient in everything we do? Can we work smarter, faster, better, cheaper? Where can we become leaner?
  • SKILLED FOR IMPACT: Do we have the right skill-set for the growth of our business? Do my team require new learning and development opportunities?

Other customers also ask more direct questions for support:

  • I might have the expertise but I do not have the time. I might have the time but I do not have the expertise.
  • I just need help to get better costs, quality, service, flexibility, innovation, but I do not know where to start.
  • There is too much happening, what is my priority?
  • I know my team is working hard but I do not know if they are working smart. Can I measure the improvements when we invest in them?

Ultimately, these questions always come back to the 5 key pillars that support sustainable growth: trusted people, efficient process, procurement strategy, fit for purpose use of technology, empowering knowledge.

Within Arvo’s Procurement Reviews, we benchmark the People, Process, Knowledge, Technology and Culture. We have answered the above questions for many clients.


We spend time with our customers to understand their business and specific challenges and where they want to be in 3 to 5 years’ time. We measure where they are now and then we design the procurement roadmap they need to reach to their destination. Over the last 5 years, we have supported the development and structure of award winning procurement functions, with many references available here.

We are proud to collaborate with our customers, to engage and empower their resources, to be part of their procurement strategy design and to enable their sustainable growth by doing things right and doing the right things.

We would very much welcome the opportunity to discuss your Procurement Objectives further so feel free to contact for a quick initial discussion.

While the outcome of the process assessment will be a customised efficiency roadmap where targets can be tracked against the improvement of the procurement team’s engagement across the business, for example:


Arvo Procurement Dashboard image


Contact Us Today to discuss your Procurement Team’s Improvement Plans

Past, Present and Future

Arvo Cost Management Energy audits consultancy tactical procurement

Recently the wonderful team at IGNITE in UCC, produced this fantastic infographic documenting the Arvo story from humble beginnings to the current range of sourcing, consultancy and training offerings under the Arvo umbrella. Our focus for the past 10 years to “help companies to save time, money and hassle” has not changed but our solutions to address your evolving market needs, have matured with our growth.

In the beginning, our eSourcing platform (, was used by over 5,000 Irish businesses to source 3 quotes quickly for goods and services. The success of this simple tendering solution led to an appointment in 2012 to the European Commission e-Tendering Expert Group, which has advised EU Government’s with regards eProcurement. At home, saving SME’s money on Print & Stationery soon led to a demand to reduce costs in other areas, such as Utilities, whereby our Smart Energy Services helped businesses to correct MICs/Tariffs, Group Buy to leverage scale and deliver instant cost savings, while proactive businesses then invest the savings in Energy Efficient Equipment.

Presently, the Arvo business is delivering value for a range of Procurement Stakeholders with;

1. Our Brexit Sourcing Services helping businesses prepare for the imminent supply chain threats posed by Britain’s exit from the EU, especially if a “no deal” or hard-Brexit transpires

2. Our Tendering Services help both buyers and suppliers, by supporting buyers through every stage of the Strategic Sourcing event, while assisting suppliers prepare, identify, qualify and respond professionally to appropriate bid opportunities

3. While our Strategic Procurement Services and Tactical Procurement Supports help both public and private-sector clients, with their strategic focus to deliver long-term value and impact, while our Tactical Procurement expertise supports the day-to- day operational aspects of sourcing and procurement.

While predicting what the future holds is an almost impossible task, but as outlined in this Business & Finance CEO Interview, Arvo’s focus is to grow the Procurement Transformation Institute (PTI), which is a competency centre that provides a gateway to procurement education, thought leadership and training while empowering the buying community. While we will continue to research the merits of creating a decentralised group trading platform with distributed ledger technologies, to enable seamless trading experience for unknown buyers and sellers. Stay tuned for this next (r)evolution…