Public Transport Tenders: A Guide to Sourcing and Winning Bids

Published2nd December 2021 AuthorJohn Hudson

After reading this guide, you’ll be more prepared to win public transport tenders

Due to COP26 and the move for more green transport options, we expect to see more public transport tenders.

With this guide on securing public transport tenders, you’ll be on your way to winning those contracts.

What’s different about public transport tenders?

If it’s rail, bus, or anything else, public transport tenders are short in their timeframe, especially after the pandemic.

Where before contracts would range over years, now it’s usually 18 months long.

Also, the diversity of contracts within public transport tenders can be dizzying, with for instance rail contracts including:

  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Refurbishment
  • Cleaning
  • Carriage removal
  • Maintenance
  • Essential materials
  • Specialist training
  • Management of services.

The first step is conducting your research into the industry and looking into the specific requirements of the contract.

How do you source public transport tenders?

You could search through the government websites; however, their search engines have a certain flaw. CPV codes. We’ve found through experience that these codes are inaccurate and incredibly inefficient in finding tenders.

But there’s another way.

Our service, Hudson Discover. Specifically, our Transport Tenders portal.

Every day, our portals are manually updated and researched by our team of Opportunity Trackers. We don’t use CPV codes, which means you can filter your search via keyword, budget and location.

These findings can then be sent to your mailbox, once you subscribe.

For your queries around public transport tenders or any industry within logistics, Transport Tenders is an efficient solution.

 9 tips for winning public transport tenders

  1. Read the question carefully

It is important to read and understand exactly what the question is asking.

Then, you can highlight the core requirements and derive relevant sub-headings from this.

  1. Respond in full to the question

Again, using sub-headings will help you significantly with this, ensuring that each requirement is fully addressed.

Make sure you demonstrate your understanding of the service required by providing recent and relevant information.

Where does your company add value?

How would they serve the public transport tender?

  1. Don’t assume the buyer already knows about you

Address your company’s capabilities, strengths and resources as if they are unknown.

How are your resources appropriate for the buyer’s specific needs?

  1. Provide specific examples

Ensure you are providing specific case studies, relating directly to the key requirements set out by the buyer.

  1. Embrace duplication 

It is important to answer each question in full – even if it sometimes seems repetitive.

Repetition can reinforce your company’s experience and capabilities.

  1. Submit a complete response

Don’t risk being disqualified because you neglected the quality check. The best thing to do is to make a clear, defined submission checklist of the required tender documents.

  1. Make the right impression

Your bid is not only about the quality of your responses, but also about the impression you give the buyer.

Every instance of contact will be your chance to impress the buyer!

When you’re asking clarification questions on the portal, make sure your spelling and grammar is top quality.

Remain professional and ensure that every question you ask is original and not repeated.

Asking the right questions helps build the best bid for your organisation.

8.  Use time wisely and plan your deadlines  

The buyer can’t view any documents on tendering portals until the deadline has passed, so use this time!

Quality aside, technical issues won’t be looked upon favourably, and the time invested will have returned nothing.

Most systems are open to a draft bid submission, which you can then finalise with any information you’re waiting on.

It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised just how many failed submissions there are due to poor time management.

Keeping on top of the following components will help to improve your chances of success with public transport tenders:

A good rule of thumb is to factor in enough time for any potential unexpected delays. This extra time should allow for any last-minute changes before you submit the tender response.

Ultimately, time management is key to bid submissions – it’s no different if you’re bidding for public transport tenders.

  1. Feedback

If you’ve lost a bid, the contracting authority can elaborate on why.

It’s wise to check the reasons behind the successful bid winning the contract. You can then cross-reference this with your bid and see where you went wrong.

Not many know this, but it’s the government’s legal obligation to provide feedback. Any feedback that’s given puts you one step closer to winning your next bid. And public transport tenders are no exception.

In Summary

After reading this blog, you have a greater idea of what it takes to source and win public transport tenders.

Although you’re a bit more familiar with the tender process, you might still be looking for some bid writing support.

Writing isn’t everyone’s strong suit and that’s ok. Outsourcing your tender to bid specialists can help you secure your next contract.

At our sister division, Hudson Succeed, they pride themselves on being bid writing experts.

They hold an 87% success rate and have over 60 years of collective bid writing experience.

They offer four levels of bid writing support to suit every business need.

You may not need the whole bid written for you; you may simply want someone to proofread your response before submission. They can help with that too.

Our services include:

Tender Mentor

If you’ve written a tender response and want someone to double-check it for errors, then Tender Mentor is for you. One of their Bid Writers will proofread it for any grammar or spelling mistakes. They’ll also check it’s in line with the specification before you submit.

Tender Writing

If you’ve found the perfect tender for your business, but don’t know where to start – send it our way. Their Bid Team will take care of it all for you, providing you with a full Tender Writing breakdown. They’ll let you know what they need from you and even submit it on your behalf!

Tender Ready

Their Tender Ready programme is designed for those who are completely new to the tendering process. This programme works with you to ensure you have everything in place to tender successfully. The programme also includes bid writing support and a 12-month Discover subscription to a portal of your choice.

Tender Improvement

If you’ve already been tendering for work, but aren’t seeing success, their Improvement programme can help. During the programme, their Bid Writers will assess your previous submissions and supporting documents. They’ll then give you feedback and guidance on how to improve.

Both Tender Ready, and Tender Improvement offer:

  • A 12-month subscription to the sector-specific portal of your choice.
  • Access to our Global Bid Director and Senior Bidding Professionals with 60 years of bidding experience.
  • A dedicated Bid Consultant with the programme, lasting up to three months.
  • The development of an organisation-wide bid library. This includes 3 case studies, 5 company CVs and 8 policies.

Try their free live demo to see how their portals work for you!

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