Categories: Breaking News, Safety

IFSJ Exclusive: Strategies for winning fire safety tenders

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Jason Cooney, Director of Tsaks Consulting, a global bid and tender writing consultancy based in London, talks fire safety tender strategy.

For fire safety professionals looking to secure private or public-sector contracts, the process of writing a winning bid submission can be both time consuming and costly. We outline below some useful strategies and tips to help your company win more fire safety tenders.

Understanding the client’s needs and requirements

When you’re looking to secure a fire safety tender, or any tender for that matter, it is important to understand the clients needs and meet all requirements set out in the tender documentation. What specific need do they have or problem do they need solved?

For example, do they need adequate fire safety training for staff, for better protection of site guests. Or do they require something more technical, like the provision and installation of fire sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers and ancillary products.

If their concern is with location or accessibility, study schematics or diagrams to plan and suggest how you will meet and exceed all requirements and concerns. You may also spot some new or potential concerns which you can bring to light.

It is also important to read between the lines when it comes to the requirements of a fire safety tender. For example, does the fire maintenance service need to integrate with the whole of building facilities management service? Another point to consider with a fire maintenance tender is whether or not it is complex enough to warrant appointing a specialist fire maintenance company or is it designed for an electrician to be able to deliver?

Accreditation and equipment

It is assumed that all fire safety providers applying for fire safety tenders are accredited and certified by relevant fire industry bodies. That being said, it is important to list, in detail, all relevant certifications (e.g., LPS 1197, ISO 9001, LPS 1048, and BAFE).

Ensure all accreditations are up to date and documented correctly. Even if the tender documentation doesn’t recommend adding them to your response, it is recommended that you have them ready and organised should they be asked for by the client during the tender process.

List all the latest technology and equipment you use, detailing how you store and maintain it. Where there is a strategic advantage in adopting the technology you use, ensure this is clearly communicated in the tender response.

For example, you may use a fire panel with a 45 second alarm verification facility to address the issue of false alarms. This can be an advantage to clients who have a large amount of false alarms and call outs. It is important to illustrate how you will adopt this innovation and if so, how you will do it in a manner that doesn’t compromise safety.

Training and qualifications of staff

Provide details of what qualifications and experience your staff have. Include evidence of licenses and certificates, ensuring they are all up to date. Detail the commitment you have to the ongoing training and professionalism of you staff, including regular upskilling and courses you have scheduled throughout the year.

When you list your staff qualifications, it is also important to illustrate your team’s experience and present them as fire safety specialists. There is a difference between a tradesperson who specialises in fire safety and a generalist tradesperson.

It is one thing to have your sprinkler fitters licence, and another to have your licence as well as ten years experience fitting sprinklers. Make sure when you present your team, you present a team of highly experience fire industry professionals with the correct licences and know-how to deliver the project.

Commitment to health, safety, and environment

Robust WHS processes are critical and the right supporting documentation is just as important. When putting forward WHS risk assessments, it is important to tailor your proposed assessment and system for the proposed project. List the risks you have identified based on what you know about the project so far – thereby demonstrating that you and your team have thought through the project.

Clients want to ensure that workers on both sides will be safe, with the safe execution of services throughout the lifespan of the project. Also you have the opportunity to leave behind a set of safety procedures and a culture for continued safe work practices once you have finished the project — enhancing your company’s reputation and chances of securing future tenders.

Articulating your claims in a well-written bid document

Once you have considered all requirements of the documentation and are satisfied you not only meet them, but can fulfil them, it’s time to develop a quality bid submission.

You’re applying for a service which, if not done to the highest standards, can have enormous health, environmental, and legal repercussions. Evaluators want to be sure they have the most qualified and suitable fire safety service provider.

Not only is it important to demonstrate your professionalism through your experience, equipment, staff, and qualifications. It is also important to strengthen your submission with high quality bid writing strategies and techniques which will put you ahead at every stage of the bidding process. Particularly when competing against companies with similar services and prices.

The writing you use is important, and it should be concise and positive. Furthermore, it should be customised to the project you are tendering for and backed up by relevant information and evidence.

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