How to Bid for HVAC Service Contracts
According to data from the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme UK (CHAS UK), the COVID-19 pandemic decreased overall HVAC business turnover by 70%. As a result, just under half (45%) of stakeholders believe their company is under threat.
With that in mind, it’s never been more necessary to bid for larger contracts that will provide enough work in the long run. However, if you usually deal with residential customers exclusively, taking the leap to bid on a commercial agreement may be intimidating.
In this article, we’ll explain how to bid for HVAC service contracts in a few simple steps and share how field service management technology can streamline the process.
How to Bid for HVAC Contract Work
1. Find Appropriate Contracts to Bid On
Before you can begin bidding on a contract, you must first find one you believe your business will be able to manage. A good place to start is by looking on the Contracts Finder page of the GOV.UK website. The Contracts Finder allows you to filter searches by sector. You can also see upcoming contracts and search for details of previous agreements.
You should then familiarise yourself with the three most common contracting procedures, which we’ll explain below.
1. Open Procedure
An open procedure means that:
- Anyone is permitted to 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 such, an open procedure is often used for straightforward procurements.
2. Restricted Procedure
A restricted procedure means that:
- Any interested parties can express their interest in bidding.
- A minimum of five suppliers must be invited to bid — provided enough candidates have applied — so there is genuine competition.
- Clients cannot negotiate with bidders, although they can clarify details and finalise terms.
Again, there are no restrictions on when clients can use the process above. Often, restricted procedures are suited to less stable markets where there are several 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 are permitted to negotiate with bidders to seek better offers.
Often, competitive dialogue is used when a more tailored approach is needed. For example, if the client’s organisation cannot use a ready-made solution or product due to the complexity of its requirements.
2. Gather Accurate Data About Your Business
Once you’ve selected the HVAC contract work that you want to bid for, it’s time to gather some data. To justify your quote, you need factual evidence and accurate numbers — so you should calculate the following:
- Labour costs
- Prices of supplies
- Equipment usage costs
- Profit margin
- Average timescales to complete work
Remember, although the price is important, it’s not a race to the bottom. Your company’s experience, certifications, qualifications and track record are also crucial factors, so clients will be looking at more than just who can offer the lowest bid.
Collecting all the vital information you need to share about your business can seem daunting — but it doesn’t have to be. With field service management software, you can obtain real-time, accurate data on anything from your inventory to finances in just a few clicks. Consequently, you’ll have all the details you need to write a successful bid without the headache of sifting through mountains of paperwork.
3. Put Your Bid Together
Begin your bid submission with a brief overview of your company’s qualifications and why you should win the contract. Then, explain how you will complete the job by answering each question concisely and sharing all the relevant information you sourced earlier. Don’t forget to submit any additional paperwork that the client has requested, such as proof of insurance, certifications, or a list of key personnel.
Whilst it’s beneficial to mention the positive aspects of your organisation, you must ensure you keep the focus on the client. The reader will want to know how you can help them with their specific requirements. Search your document for incidences of the word ‘we’ and consider how you can change them to ‘you’ instead.
Above all else, once you’ve double-checked your bid for errors, you must ensure that you submit it before or on the deadline. Failure to do so will likely cause the client to discount your submission entirely, meaning you’ve lost both valuable time and a potential customer.
Field Service Management Technology Speeds Up the Bidding Process
Bid writing is a time-consuming process and, when there’s no guarantee that you’ll win the contract in the end, it can be tempting to simply continue attending to one-off jobs. But, to survive in a post-COVID world, HVAC organisations will need to secure a steady pipeline of work, which you can achieve by winning contracts.
Fortunately, you can cut down your time writing bids by arming yourself with the vital data you need to impress potential clients. With field service management software such as BigChange, you can view details:
- Who is working for you, where, and what qualifications they hold
- Your clients and their feedback
- Your assets, equipment and stock
- Payments and outstanding invoices
- Your health and safety procedures
As a result, you can 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 business-critical activities.
Win More HVAC Contract Work with BigChange
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