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The UK is currently experiencing a skills shortage, with the demand for electricians exceeding the supply. In fact, an additional 15,000 fully qualified electricians will need to join the industry over the next five years to close the gap. However, the good news for existing electricians is that it’s the perfect time to win new, high-value contracts. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through each step of tendering for electrical work. We’ll also share how field service management software can help you easily manage your growing business.

How to Win Electrical Contracts in 4 Simple Steps

1. Find a Suitable Opportunity

The first step to winning more electrical work is to find a tender that is relevant to the services you offer. A good place to start is by checking Contracts Finder or Find a Tender, where you will find all public tender opportunities in the UK. You can search using keywords, so you don’t have to waste time searching through irrelevant tenders.

There are three different contracting procedures that you’ll need to be aware of:

1. Open Procedure
An open procedure means that:
  • Anyone can submit a tender.
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders.

There are no restrictions on when clients can use the above method, but they must evaluate all tenders they receive. As a result, clients often use an open procedure for simple procurements.

2. Restricted Procedure
A restricted procedure means that:
  • Any interested parties can express an interest in bidding.
  • The client must invite a minimum of five suppliers to bid — provided enough candidates have applied — so there is genuine competition.
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders, but they may clarify details and finalise terms.

Again, there are no restrictions on when clients can use the above process. Usually, restricted procedures are suited to less stable markets where there are many competitors.

3. Competitive Dialogue
A competitive dialogue means that:
  • Companies shortlist candidates who respond to their advertisement, and only those selected are invited to bid.
  • Clients can negotiate with bidders to seek better offers.

Often, clients use competitive dialogue when they require a more tailored approach. For example, if the client’s organisation cannot use a ready-made solution or product due to the complexity of its requirements.

Once you’ve found a tender you want to apply for, you’ll need to register your interest. The client will then likely issue you with a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) in most cases.

2. Complete the Pre-Qualification Process (PQQ)

The PQQ is designed to help the client shortlist applicants for the tender, so you’ll need to provide strong evidence that your company can take on the project. The questionnaire will cover topics such as:

  • Experience level
  • Geographical reach
  • Financial information
  • Past and current clients
  • Insurance details

Remember, the PQQ will serve as the client’s first impression of your company, so it’s worth spending some time on your answers and ensuring that you’ve covered all the vital information you need to share. If you’re successful, the client will invite you to tender for the contract officially.

3. Invitation to Tender (ITT)

At the ITT stage, the client should supply more details on the scope of works, criteria, instructions and an explanation on how they will assess applicants. After you’ve carefully read through their requirements, you’ll need to pull together information about the following:

  • Some details about your company
  • How you’ll approach the project
  • An estimate and breakdown of costs
  • Your project management process

However, the above list isn’t exhaustive. Some clients may want you to include more information or have a preference over the format of your response. For example, you may have to upload your answers via an online portal with a maximum word count.

With a field service management platform in place, gathering crucial data to impress the client needn’t be a headache. You’ll have a comprehensive record of all previous jobs, cost centres, price lists and more at the click of a button. The platform tracks data in real-time, so you can rest assured that everything is accurate and up-to-date.

4. Begin Writing Your Bid

You should open your bid submission with a brief overview of your company’s qualifications and why you should win the contract. Then, you’ll need to outline how you’ll carry out the project, answering each question concisely and backing up statements with facts and figures.

Although the bid is a chance to demonstrate your strengths as an organisation, you must ensure the focus remains on the client. They will want to read about how you can help them with their specific requirements. Therefore, it’s a good idea to search your bid document for the word ‘we’ and change them to ‘you’ where appropriate.

Most importantly, once you’ve proofread your submission, you should submit it before or on the deadline. Late entries are likely to be ignored by the client, costing you time and a potential customer.

Field Service Management Technology Simplifies the Tendering Process

The tendering process can be lengthy and complex at times. As such, it may be tempting to keep attending to one-off, ‘quick win’ jobs. But, electrical companies should take advantage of today’s high demand for electricians and bid for larger, higher value contracts that will maintain a steady income stream. 

The good news is, you can streamline the tendering process by arming yourself with the vital data you need to impress potential clients. With a field service management platform such as BigChange, you can view details such as:

  • Who is working for you, where, and what qualifications they hold
  • Your assets, equipment and stock
  • Your clients and their feedback 
  • Your health and safety procedures 
  • Payments and outstanding invoices

You’ll eliminate the need to search through spreadsheets, paper documents and various systems for crucial information. Instead, you’ll have everything you need to write a persuasive bid, plus time left over to focus on other activities that contribute directly to business growth.

Win More Electrical Work and Grow Your Business with BigChange

All the essential information you need at the click of a button.

BigChange’s job management software for electricians gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Find out how BigChange can help your businessbook a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.

Electrical contractor MEDLEC has seen a 40 percent improvement in worker productivity since introducing a mobile workforce management system from BigChange.

The 5 in 1 system has allowed MEDLEC to completely eliminate paper by equipping field engineers with mobile devices linked to vehicle trackers giving the company real-time 24/7 visibility of the status of all jobs.

MEDLEC is a fast-growing multi-discipline electrical contractor covering the South of England. Although MEDLEC works in all sectors, they specialise in retail, hospitality and leisure, operating across a variety of facilities and sites. Working closely with prominent companies such as Mitchells and Butlers – whose headline brands include All Bar One, Miller and Carter, Harvester, O’Neil’s and Toby Carvery – MEDLEC also work for Everyman Media and famous Michelin Star restaurants.

“BigChange really has transformed the way we work, having replaced all the paperwork our engineers and admin staff had to process, therefore making our working day more productive”

Christian Tonna, Managing Director of MEDLEC.

“The system has put an end to laborious paperwork and data entry, and as jobs come in they are instantly available to our engineers. It means we can be more reactive and efficient with our time, therefore around 40 percent more productive, allowing us to take on more work with the same resources.”

BigChange is an all-in-one platform CRM, job scheduling, mobile app and vehicle tracking and management reporting solution, and it manages all of MEDLEC’s stringent compliance requirements. As part of a seamless end-to-end business solution, MEDLEC has taken advantage of full integration with their Xero accounting software with a new API interface that gives improved management insight into financial performance.  MEDLEC first implemented BigChange in 2018.

MEDLEC offers a rapid response service, so being informed and in control is crucial to delivering good customer service. BigChange’s job management software for electricians means that the company is better equipped to deliver that service and now achieves a 92 percent first-time fix rate across 120 jobs a day.  It also ensures there is complete transparency across operations. Clients are kept informed instantly, receiving ETA updates and completed job sheets that include time-stamped and geo-located photographs captured on the engineers’ tablet.

Tonna commented:

“BigChange gives us complete visibility, and we can access everything we need anywhere, at any time. It’s really the ultimate management tool and enables us to deliver an exceptional level of service at the same time as making us a lot more efficient. This is an advantage for both the client and us and we couldn’t be happier.”

MEDLEC also discovered an added bonus from being a BigChange customer, and that was the BigChange Network that connects other BigChange users across the country. Through the network MEDLEC recently connected with SES Homecare, a major provider of plumbing and heating services also headquartered in Surrey.    

Tonna explains:

“Thanks to the BigChange Network, we are now the recommended SES Homecare contractor for electrical services, which has been fantastic to offer our services and the best thing is our engineers use exactly the same BigChange platform, so for SES, it is completely seamless with reports being received in exactly the same way as reports from their own engineers.”

MEDLEC Van

McNally EV, installers of electric vehicle charging points is using mobile workforce management technology from BigChange to power paperless working and reduce unnecessary mileage.

From lead management through to job completion reporting and invoicing, the cloud-based, 5-in-1 solution, provides a single source for all information needed to run the mobile workforce. Accessible from any internet-enabled device, BigChange’s job management software for electricians is improving efficiency, boosting customer service and reducing the environmental impact of the business.

“We are committed to making the world greener by providing the infrastructure to encourage and make accessible the use of electric vehicles, and BigChange is helping us on our journey, using BigChange, we don’t need to produce unnecessary paper copies of work schedules and job completion reports and our installers and engineers are able to access relevant client records and technical documents, including photographs, through the mobile app. This makes them more efficient and is contributing to a reduction in mileage.” 

Nicky McNally, Managing Director of McNally EV.

McNally EV is a Yorkshire-based, family run business which has been specialising in the installation of both commercial and home electric vehicle chargers for more than 10 years. Working independently and with national partners including the Shell group, McNally EV has installed over 9,000 electric vehicle charging points across the UK and is committed to improving EV infrastructure for all drivers.

“We trialled a number of systems but BigChange is the solution that consistently works well for us, the BigChange CRM functionality allows us to keep track of customers past, present and future, meaning our customer interactions are always informed and up to date. Our engineers can also check and allocate stock remotely, which leads to further gains in efficiency and is improving communication within the business.”

McNally EV uses the single platform CRM, Job Scheduling, Mobile App, Tracking and Customer Portal from BigChange to support all aspects of its business. Engineers working in the field can access work schedules, client records and stock levels whilst back-office staff and management have complete visibility of the mobile operation 24/7 from any location, allowing them to react to changing circumstances and keep customers informed.

“Being cloud-based is also an important factor for us, as an essential business, we needed to operate as normal throughout the recent lockdowns, and BigChange allowed us to maintain business as usual. BigChange is also extremely adaptable to the needs of our business, allowing flexibility in the way things are organised.” 

McNally Van Fleet

BigChange

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