How to write and win New Zealand Government tenders and contracts
Winning Government Contracts
The New Zealand government is one of the New Zealand economy’s largest procurers. Winning a government contract can be beneficial for all businesses across New Zealand by:
– Introducing a reliable income stream. Some government contracts we work on are panel contracts for three to five years. This enables for forward planning for businesses as well as more certain income forecasting for budgets. In addition, government contracts can add a lot of credibility to your business – which is particularly useful when bidding for other government contracts or for contracts in the private sector.
– Limiting any bad-debt risk. One of the constant risks facing any of our clients is the risk of not being paid. When you are working for the government on a government contract, you can rest assured that the risk of non-payment is substantially lower then working for private sector clients. Generally speaking, as long as your reporting and administration is correct, there is minimal chance of any payment issues which is reassuring for businesses.
– The projects are large. Whether you are an IT company or a building company, or irrespective of which industry you are from, government projects are often substantial. This means contracts with higher value and more interesting work. This is a major benefit both to your bottom line and your team structure.
Strategies and tips to help you win more NZ government tenders
Understand and research your target government agency: Different government agencies have different evaluation criteria and requirements in their contracts. When you are bidding for a contract, you need to understand the motivations behind the specific government agency going out to tender. You also need to understand the challenges the particularly agency or department is facing – and how the contract may help solve them. For example, the Earthquake Commission may have a different motivation to adopting a new IT system than Health New Zealand. Understanding their motivations will help you develop compelling win themes and will help you interweave them throughout your bid.
Bid for what you can win and comply with all of the requirements: This may seem obvious, however, here at Tsaks Consulting we often find ourselves having conversations with clients who are thinking of bidding for a government contract they don’t have a realistic chance of winning. We generally advise against this and are of the view that if you are going to bid for it, bid to win it. This means allocating resources and prioritising the bid. Either way, you will need to comply with all of the requirements of the bid in order to submit a compliant submission. A non-compliant response generally leads to disqualification at some point in the procurement process.
Develop win themes tailored to government: Once you have developed a compliant submission that answers all the questions, you have to ensure that you have interwoven win themes throughout your bid which will win you the tender. To create these win themes, you need to look from the outside in. I.e. what is the government agency going to see in your service offering that is different from your competitors and how will it address their needs. This is completely different to looking at your own business and identifying your unique selling points. You need to look at the selling points from the Government Agency perspectives and create ‘win themes’ from these. These key messages need to be interwoven throughout your tender response.
Write in plain English. Write clearly and concisely.
Over the years, we have attended many meetings and debriefs with members of government procurement panels. One of the biggest points of feedback we hear from them is the work involved in reading through multiple tenders and bids. It’s our job as bid writers to make this process easier for them. One way in which this can be made easier is to write concisely. Avoid using unnecessary words. Keep it simple. Another way – use simple and plain English. Technical jargon may sound great to you. However, not all members of the procurement panel understand it. It’s important to write in an easy-to-understand language.
Clearly explain how you will deliver value for money: This is important because many of our clients deliver a whole heap of value but don’t know how to articulate it. They are often beaten be a competitor who submits a lower price – with less inclusions, a poorer service offering and therefore less value for money. So how do you justify a mid-range or high-price?
Explain, explain and explain. You need to firstly convey to the reader the full scope of services you are providing. Go into detail so they can understand the level of quality and service. Put facts and figures around what you are proposing. You also need explain the how your proposal will benefit the government from a whole of life cost perspective. I.e. Let’s assume you are a builder. If your proposed materials are of high quality and will result in less cleaning costs for the government over the longer term, this will need to be communicated in the tender response.
How we will help you win government contracts across New Zealand
Our team of bid writers will leverage on our knowledge of New Zealand government procurement processes, as well as our industry leading bid writing capabilities, to help you win your next tender or bid. We have worked on bids and tenders to the following government departments:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – our team has also helped New Zealand based companies write bids and tender to and win contracts with foreign companies.
- Ministry of Health – for a range of medical and health industry tenders including both clinical work as well as product supply.
- Ministry of Education – for the provision of IT and other services as well as training and education contracts.
- Ministry of Justice – for a broad range of services.
- Ministry for Primary Industries – this includes grant and funding applications.
We have also written bids and tenders for professional services, construction and infrastructure, facilities management and other sectors and industries for the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Maori Development (Te Puni Kōkiri), Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Ministry of Pacific Peoples, Ministry of Women, Inland Revenue Department and the New Zealand Customs Service.
Contact our team today to discuss how we can assist with your next bid or tender. We will work with you to:
- Understand your business and your existing level of content and bid writing capability.
- Review your proposed bid and assist with your bid / no bid decision.
- Understand where you need assistance. Scope our proposed services.
- Put a plan in place and produce your bid.