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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.

Strategic Relationship Management Advice

By Pat Ryan – Arvo

Your suppliers are your external manufacturing department. They do what you don’t want to do; because it’s technologically impractical, they are better than you, you are concentrating on other things, or it could tie-up your resources.

FACT: You are trusting them with your future

Developing good connections with suppliers—sometimes called Supplier Relationship Management—is critical to business success.

Businesses are increasingly relying on suppliers to help reduce costs, innovate, improve quality and reduce lead time. Good relationships with suppliers can provide a competitive advantage.

First-rate supplier relations require continuous, long-term effort. Not all suppliers should be treated as special suppliers. Some of the suppliers may not be suitable for developing relationships.

  1. Evaluate all suppliers—Make sure they are the best ones for your business and that their products meet your needs. You want suppliers who are aligned with your strategy.
  2. Integrate key suppliers into your business—Learn how they operate, and make sure your systems work seamlessly with theirs in areas such as invoicing and order fulfilment.
  3. Collaborate on quality improvement, problem-solving and product development—Work together to improve capabilities and adopt best practices on both sides.
  4. Measure performance continually—Have structured ongoing discussions with your key suppliers about how to improve.

Ultimately, the idea is to work together as partners so both sides prosper.

BE BRAVE – NOT ALL COMPANIES CAN DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN A SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIP PROGRAMME.

Sometimes companies focus just on the short term and only demand cost reductions from suppliers, rather than thinking strategically. That doesn’t help in the long run.

Do’s and don’ts of supplier relationships

  1. DO—Take a long-term approach to supplier relationships. Commit to shared prosperity and mutual development. Help suppliers boost their technical and problem-solving capabilities.
  2. DO—Understand in detail how your key suppliers work. See how they operate, and learn their culture to ensure mutual trust and strong partnerships.
  3. DO—Periodically evaluate the performance of key suppliers with scorecards, and periodically scan the market for better and/or more cost-effective alternatives. While you want to nurture strong relationships with suppliers, you don’t want to become captive to them.
  4. DON’T—Focus only on short-term goals, such as cost-cutting. Don’t insist on unreasonable payment terms or pressure suppliers to assume the cost and risk of holding the bulk of your inventory.
  5. DON’T—Focus your efforts on all your suppliers. Save your special collaboration for only a handful of key strategic partners. Anything more is unsustainable.

Brexit Helpful Tools and Supports

With two years negotiation period since the 2016 Referendum and two further years expected with the transition period, there have been many helpful tools and supports developed to aid businesses navigate the Brexit quagmire. Many of these helpful tools and supports are available free-of-charge, more are highly subsidised or grant-aided while some paid solutions exist also.

As a starting point, Arvo have a range of Brexit specific tools, templates, reports and insights available online here. If you have any queries on these Arvo Tools, feel free to email [email protected] for a prompt response.

While Arvo are aware of many third-party tools and solutions also to support your Brexit risk management, with a selection outlined as follows

Brexit
Helpful
Tool
Description Website
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Brexit SM Scorecard (Enterprise Ireland) A Starting Point to help businesses to begin preparing a strategy and ready their teams in terms of planning and shinning a spotlight on some of the key operational areas that may be exposed.https://prepareforbrexit.virtual-adviser.com/

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Online
Assessment
Tool
Invest Northern Ireland’s assessment tool covers Business strategy, Operations, Innovation, Sales and Marketing, Finance, People and Management, Legal and regulatory. https://www.investni.com/get-ready-for-brexit/brexit-assessment-tool.html

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Tariff
Checker
Intertradeireland provide a quick guide to the potential WTO Tariffs that may be applied post-Brexit.https://intertradeireland.com/brexit/tariff-checker
  HMRC Trade Tariff: look up commodity codes, duty and VAT rates https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff

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Brexit
Online
Toolkit / “Brexit: a guide for your business”
IBEC offers an Online Toolkit to help business preparation online. A Guide for your Business. https://www.accenture.com/ie-en/insight-brexit-guide-your-business

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No Deal Brexit Plans /
Brexlist Brexit Checklist /
Brexsure Brexit /
Supply Chain Audit /
Brexit Directory
The Ready for Brexit platform is independent and objective. It aims to help businesses and organisations manage the challenges and opportunities that Brexit brings. https://readyforbrexit.co.uk
PS: Use ARVO190213 as a Discount Code

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In addition to the above tools/systems, there is a plethora of information available online with downloadable Templates, Documents and Files from many organisations such as those listed below. Many of these organisations also provide Brexit financial supports, experts, grants and initiatives available to assist most businesses through this unprecedented economic event e.g.

Organisation Description Website

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Enterprise Ireland Enterprise Ireland has a wide range of supports, including free Online Courses and Webinars, and fully-funded and partly-funded Consultancy engagements, to enable Irish businesses to take critical action and address their exposure to Brexit https://prepareforbrexit.com

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Intertradeireland IntertradeIreland offers 2 Vouchers to provide financial support to help understanding Brexit, Online Courses to help SMEs to prepare for Brexit and beyond, also Tariff Checkers and Events that offer information and Topics about Brexit, advises and outcomes. https://intertradeireland.com/brexit/

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Invest Northern Ireland Invest Northern Ireland offers an Online assessment tool, Regional Workshops a financial assistance in form of a Preparation Grant and a one-stop resource of best practice guides, information advice and support to help in preparing for Brexit on their Brexit website. https://www.investni.com/features/invest-northern-ireland-launches-get-ready-for-brexit-campaign.html

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Bord Bia Bord Bia offer a Supply Chain Mentoring Program, to identify key challenges with clients supply chain and export markets. Regional Customs Training, which aims to provide practical training on the basic principle and requirements of customs, tariffs and non-EU trade. A Dublin Custom Training trains Clients in all aspects of customs and tariffs management. A Currency Risk Training prepares for buyer negotiations and new business arising from non-Eurozone market opportunities. Supply Chai Workshops are offered too.

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Revenue Revenue offers helpful links and Videos on how to deal with the upcoming trade with non-EU Countries, Planning Details and Seminars that prepare and help with Brexit related issues. https://www.revenue.ie/en/customs-traders-and-agents/brexit/index.aspx

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HMRC – Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs HMRC offers 2 grants to help with business to complete customs declaration in preparing for the Brexit. Training Grant and IT improvements are covered in those grants. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/grants-for-businesses-that-complete-customs-declarations

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NSAI – National Standards Authority of Ireland NSAI offers several factsheets with useful information, downloads from previous Brexit Workshops. https://www.nsai.ie/brexit/

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HSA – Health and Safety Authority HSA offers useful information and downloads for informational Sheets and publications about Brexit. https://www.hsa.ie/eng/Topics/Brexit/

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SBCI – Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland SBCI in partnership with the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) offers a Brexit Loan Scheme. The Loan can be used for future working capital requirements, or to fund innovation, change or adaption of the business to mitigate the impact of Brexit. https://sbci.gov.ie/schemes/brexit-loan-scheme

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IBEC – Irish Business and Employers Confederation IBEC offers several very informative Guides on the topic of Brexit, Future of Ireland and the EU and the Technology of Ireland and the EU. Several Reports on Brexit and its Future. http://www.ibec.ie/brexit

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Local Enterprise Office Local Enterprise Office offers a Currency Risk Management Booklet, a Customs Insight Course, the InterTradeIreland Start to Plan Voucher Scheme, the Brexit SME Scorecard Online Tool, A Brexit Loan Scheme, a Brexit Mentor Programme, the Enterprise Europe Network, Trading Online Voucher Schemes, Training and Management Development Courses, Microfinance Loan, Micro Lean, Co-Innovate Programme, Technical Assistance for Micro-Exporters. https://www.localenterprise.ie/Discover-Business-Supports/Brexit-Information

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EU Commission
Information on Brexit
All Information regarding the Brexit on the Website of the European Union Commission.  
https://ec.europa.eu/info/brexit_en

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EU Commission 
Brexit Preparedness
The European Union Commission and its Brexit Preparedness Information Site. All Information regarding Brexit and regarding the EU Commission.  
https://ec.europa.eu/info/brexit/brexit-preparedness_en

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Contact Us ([email protected]) or the agencies above to get support for your Strategic Sourcing Brexit risk

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 supply.ie 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 (supply.ie), 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…

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