7 Tips to Help You Win Your Next Train Tender

Published6th July 2021 AuthorJohn Hudson

How to formulate a train tender response

Knowing what to write for your train tender response can be a challenge. However, our 7 tips can help you see success when applying for your next train tender.

So, what type of train tenders are there? There are many reasons why a buyer will release a tender and train tenders can cover a number of subsections. They could be looking for a supplier to provide, stock and maintain train equipment, or replacement materials. Other train tenders could be used for:

  • Engineering
  • Maintenance
  • Cleaning
  • Construction
  • Refurbishment
  • Carriage removal
  • Management of services

Recently, you’ll find train tenders that encourage de-carbonisation solutions. For example, charging and battery-powered equipment for trains. This is because of the De-Carbonisation Network Strategy that’s in place. This strategy is in accordance with the UK governments initiative to remove all diesel trains off the track by 2040. This initiative is for both passenger and freight diesel services (not including diesel-hybrid trains).

Below are 7 tips to help you win your next train tender

  1. Read the tender documents carefully

Before you commit to responding to an invitation to tender (ITT), you should first read the tender documents carefully. They will state all the buyers’ requirements, terms and conditions. Even if it’s an 80-page document, you should read it all before you progress. You need to ensure you can meet the requirements. If you can’t, it won’t be worth putting the time and resources into a response. You should always assess whether to bid or not to bid.

  1. Answer the question in full

You should answer every question on the train tender you’re applying for. Half-finished or missed questions will put you in the bad books and likely have you eliminated. It will give off the impression that you aren’t capable of delivering the contract. If the question is asking for a 1,000-word response, simply writing a couple of bullet points won’t suffice. The evaluator is looking for a detailed response to the word/page/character count given. The same goes for going over the count, this will demonstrate you can’t follow instructions.

Top tip: breakdown the question. If the question has 3 sub-questions within it – break it down. Use those points as sub-headings to ensure you’ve answered every aspect of the question. This will also allow the buyer to see you’ve answered the question in full.

  1. Be innovative

Demonstrating innovation should now be a crucial aspect of your train tender response. As mentioned above, the UK government are keen to reward invention and innovation. This is particularly applicable for rail contracts to improve passenger experience, decarbonising the rail network.

Are you offering a more innovative solution than your competitors? Buyers would like to know that you are offering something unique in the marketplace.

  1. Expect to include details of previous contract examples

Your response will need to include 2 – 3 contract examples of contracts you’ve completed within the last 3 – 5 years. These case studies should be similar in scope, calibre, and complexity to the contract you’re applying for. A buyer wants to be reassured that you have the necessary experience to fulfil the contract.

Furthermore, you may be required to back up any statement you make with concrete evidence. This could include the contact information from the past contracts to ensure you’re telling the truth. Within these case studies, you should include how you overcame any unforeseen challenges. This will demonstrate your problem-solving abilities and flexibility.

  1. Consider added value

 Depending on the buyer, you should consider how you will add value to the contract. For public sector contracts, this is referred to as social value. It’s now obligatory for all public sector contracts to have a minimum social value weighting of 10%.

Here, a buyer wants to see how you will enable them to get the most for their money. You should consider the social, economic, and environmental aspects while carrying out the contract. What is your business promising to lessen the environmental impact? Are you giving anything back to the local community? Your business’s developmental goals should maximise and promote good social values. It pays to do some research into the buyer. You can then see what social values are important to them and use that for your response.

Remember that promises made in your train tender is likely contractually binding. Therefore, you don’t want to be making any promises you can’t keep. The social value model aims to:

  • Create new jobs and skills
  • Support COVID-19 recovery
  • Tackle climate change
  • Improve economic inequality
  • Give back to the local community
  1. Be persuasive

Your train tender bid response should be persuading the buyer that you’re the best company for the job. You should be direct, clear, and persuasive. Ask yourself, what would you like to know if you were the buyer? At the end of the day, buyers care about the quality of your written response, even if cost is weighted more. Stick to the formatting guidelines and demonstrate why you should win the contract over your competitors.

  1. Proofread your response before submitting

The final thing to do before you submit your train tender response is proofread. This is an integral step you need to do to ensure your response is the best it can be. It’s easy to miss mistakes when you’re completing a multi-page response. The last thing you want to do is submit a bid with easily avoidable and correctable grammar or spelling mistakes. It could give the impression that you’re lazy and not bothered about the quality of your written response.

This can easily be avoided by leaving a day or two before doing the final read through. Additionally, you can get someone else to do a proof as a fresh pair of eyes can spot anything missed. Printing off your response as a hard copy can also help you spot any errors. This is why it’s a good idea to finish your bid response well before the submission deadline where possible. It will allow you plenty of time to edit without stressing two minutes before the cut off.

Need support when writing your next train tender?

If you’re still unsure about where to begin when formulating your tender response, we can help. Our sister company, Hudson Succeed, provide four levels of bid support writing services. Our Bid Writers have over 60 years of collective bid writing experience and an 87% success rate. Whether you’re completely new to tendering or need your response proofread – we can help.

Tender Writing

Once you’ve found the perfect train tender for your business, why not send it to Hudson Succeed? Our Bid Writers will let you know what they need from you, providing you with a full Tender Writing breakdown. They’ll even submit it on your behalf.

Tender Ready

Our Tender Ready programme is perfect for those who have never tendered before. A Bid Writers will work with you to make sure you have everything you need in place to tender successfully. The 4-week programme offers your business:

  • A 12-month subscription to Transport Tenders
  • Access to Global Bid Directors and Senior Bidding professionals
  • An organisation-wide Bid Library, including 3 case studies, 5 CV’s and 8 policies
  • Additional flexible benefit options.

Tender Improvement

If you’ve been tendering but aren’t seeing the results you want, our Tender Improvement package can help. Our Bid Team will assess your previous responses and tender documents, working with you to improve for future submissions. The Tender Improvement package also includes the above perks from Tender Ready.

Tender Mentor

If you’ve written your tender response and need someone to double-check it for errors, Tender Mentor can help. The Bid Team will proofread your work for any inconsistencies, grammar or spelling mistakes. They’ll also ensure that it’s in line with the specification before you submit it.

Where can I find a train tender for my business?

Finding the right tendering opportunity for your business can take a large amount of time out of your day. There are many websites that post multi-sector opportunities but finding the right one for you can take time. However, you’ve come to the right place.

Transport Tenders hosts hundreds of new tendering opportunities from the logistics industry across the UK. Our Opportunity Trackers manually source and upload leads from both the public and private sectors. You can filter the results by budget, location, keyword and more. This means no reliance on inaccurate CPV codes, streamlining the process.

Below are previous train tenders sourced on our portal:

Interim Rolling Stock and Maintenance Provision

East West Railway Company – Location- London Budget: £44,000,000

The Provision of Fault Free Train Running

First Greater Western Ltd – Location- South West Budget: £400,000

Design, Manufacture, Supply and Support of Train Simulators

First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Ltd – Location- London Budget: £1,100,000

Bilston and Crescent Rail Replacement

West Midlands Combined Authority – Location- West Midlands Budget: Undisclosed

DHSC International Freight and Logistics Solutions

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) – Location- London Budget: Undisclosed

A subscription to Transport Tenders offers your business:

  • Unlimited access to hundreds of logistics leads and tendering opportunities from public and private sectors.
  • A dedicated Account Manager to help answer any questions you may have about a train tender.
  • A daily email bulletin of all the logistics tender’s uploaded that day helping you stay ahead of the game.
  • 20-minutes of free phone consultation with one of our Bid Writers.

On Transport Tenders, we post contracts for:

Book a free live demo today for a quick tour of our portal. Get in touch to learn more about our bespoke bid writing services.

Want to save even more time?

Upgrading to Discover Elite can save you even more time, helping you identify tendering opportunities even when you’re busy. Our two time-saving tools can improve your competitor awareness and bidding success rate.

Contact us for more information on how we can help your business grow.

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