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 field service management system 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.
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