Are Your Tenders Putting You in the Frame or Out of the Picture?

framework-constructionFrom housing to utilities infrastructure, the big news in the construction sector at the moment is all about frameworks.

For the winners, it’s not just big news; it’s great news. A place on a framework is a virtual guarantee of future work and a significant feather in the cap. For those that miss out, however, frameworks can become a closed door to working for that particular client for several years!

The fact that so many public and private sector clients are moving to framework-based working to streamline procurement not only affects the major construction firms; it affects the entire delivery chain. Only by working with trusted subcontractor partners can main contractors demonstrate the level of accountability, quality and cost management required to bid successfully for frameworks.

So how does this impact on the world of construction marketing?

Firstly it makes the tender process more important than ever before. Creating a tender template and doing a copy and paste on the project details is not enough; each tender must be entirely tailored to the specific requirements of the client and the project, demonstrating context, relevant experience and added value at every opportunity.

Tender documents must look eye-catching and contain impressive content, both in terms of technical information and in terms of compelling ‘reasons to buy’. It’s important to remember, too, that decisions are made not only on the basis of the tender submission itself but are also influenced by general impressions, so getting your website, collateral and PR right are also key.

Secondly, framework-based contracts put relationships at the heart of the delivery chain. There must be complete confidence in the ability of every delivery partner to offer a high quality and cost effective service, from the main contractor interfacing with the client through to every subcontractor on the scheme.

And, of course, communication is the foundation of any relationship, making networking, social media and regular content such as newsletters and blogs part of a toolkit that will help you build and maintain key contacts.

The irony is that, during the sector’s lean years, the in-house marketing teams responsible for putting the polish on tender submissions were the first casualties of value engineered head counts. Since then, the possibilities for ensuring presentations stand out against the competition have increased dramatically – the question is, do you now need a marketing specialist to help yours rise to the top?

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