Are you trying to keep your team busy whilst working from home during the current coronavirus situation? If you regularly write tender, proposal, grant or award submissions for your business or organisation and find the whole ordeal of submission writing a huge challenge, now may be the perfect opportunity to construct a tender library.
What is a tender library?
A tender library is a fancy term for a repository of information about your business or organisation that can be used in submissions so you don’t have to ‘reinvent the wheel’ every time you respond to an opportunity. It may also include standard responses to questions that often appear in tender, funding or grant documents so you have an agreed way for how your organisation answers these questions.
Having this repository of information doesn’t mean that all the writing is done for you next time a tender, grant or funding opportunity comes your way. It will mean however, that you have a very strong foundation from which to develop your next written submission. Given that every tender, grant and funding opportunity is different, it is likely that you will have to customise the information you have developed in your tender library to suit the questions asked. But this starting point of information is very, very helpful when embarking on the tender writing process. It means you are not starting from zero.
What content should I develop?
A well-constructed tender library can save your organisation a huge amount of time when writing submissions. In practice it will reduce time scrolling through past submissions or trying to find that great paragraph you wrote about your organisation six months ago (but you can’t remember where you saved it.)
When developing the content for your tender library, you need to consider what key pieces of information about your business or organisation are regularly asked for in written submissions. These will generally differ according to the sector or industry you are in. It is true however, that there are often some regular questions that are asked in tenders, grants and funding submissions and responses to these questions should be the basis for your tender library.
Tender library content ideas
If you are unsure where to start with your tender library, the following list should help you construct some solid content that may be helpful for your next written submission:
- Organisation key facts – information such as your organisation’s Australian Business Number, Australian Company Number, registered address, phone number, website, organisation email address and organisation legal structure e.g. Sole Trader, Australian Public Company.
- About your organisation – this could include introductory information about your business such as when it was established, who founded it, what it does, what it specialises in, its mission or vision, who are its customers or clients, what regions/areas that it serves and how many employees or offices that it has.
- Organisational structure – this section could include a description of the structure of the organisation, as well as a diagram showing how it is organised. For larger organisations, information on governance and board members could be included.
- Your key products and services – the key products or services your organisation offers could be included in this section, as well as a description of each.
- Experience in providing products or services – keep a list of any past contracts or projects your organisation has completed by date. Make sure you include details on what your organisation provided, who the client was, the value of the contract and key dates, as well as a brief description of each contract.
- Testimonials – maintain a database of any compliments your organisation has received from customers by date. It is generally a good idea to obtain approval from customers before using these testimonials. Record these approvals next to each testimonial.
- Key people – develop small biographies or resumes on key personnel in your organisation such as management and those who are responsible for delivering important tasks.
- Organisational systems and processes – this section could include paragraphs on important systems and processes in your organisation such as Finance, Human Resources, IT, Risk Management and Work, Health and Safety.
- Training and education – detail how your organisation provides training and education to its employees including the type of training, how often it takes place, how it is delivered and where training information is stored and maintained.
- Environmental management – this section could include all the activities your organisation undertakes to reduce its carbon footprint and be more sustainable.
- Insurances – maintain current details on your organisation’s insurances such as the policy number, insurer, policy expiry date and amount of coverage.
Keep your content current
To ensure that your tender library continues to be a valuable resource, it is important that you keep the content updated with any changes that happen in your organisation. Therefore, make sure you update it with for example, details of recent contracts or projects completed, key personnel changes and modifications to your processes. The more current you keep your content, the more useful it will be and the more time you will save next time you have a tender, grant or funding opportunity.
Do you need help developing your tender library?
If you think you need some assistance with writing your tender library, or would like your information reviewed, TenderOne can help. We have huge amounts of experience in developing tender libraries and can provide writing assistance or advice. For more information, click here.