Keeping your cool!

So, it’s great news. You’ve just received notification that – subject to the ten day standstill period – your company has been awared the contract that you tendered for! Time to get the champagne out, right? Wrong! The letter you have received is a notification of intent, so don’t start celebrating just yet. You can, by all means, contact the awarding body and make preparations for the contract award, but until the standstill period has concluded, and you receive confirmation of signature of the contract, it is possible that a challenge may be launched by another bidder who was unsuccessful. There have been many high profile examples of this, including the West Coast Rail franchise award, where ultimately the whole process was abandoned due to an error in the scoring process.

There is also a tendency, once you have won the contract and you have signed the contract, to breathe a sigh of relief, relax and think that everything is great. Winning the contract is just the beginning of the hard work. You need to forge relationships with the people you will now be working with, establish exactly what they require and how they require it. A familiarisation process needs to take place where you get to know their team and vice-versa.

The other piece of advice I would offer to you is this. Once you have secured the contract, ask for candid feedback about your submission. What were the good points? What needed to be improved? What made your bid the stand out document that led to the contract award. Very few, if any, companies who win contracts ever ask for feedback, but this is critical if you are to use that knowledge to help you with future bids.

Congratulations on winning that bid, celebrate at the appropriate time, but make sure you learn from the process too – that learning will help you to go on and win other tenders.

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