Tendering after a year “unlike any other…”
2020, COVID-19, annus horribilis…
Amazingly enough, despite all the social and economic upheaval of the past few months – there are plenty of tendering teams around the country desperate for a holiday.
In this ‘living with COVID/post COVID’ world, what do we see? Like countries all around the world, there is recognition in New Zealand that the post-GFC approach of clamping down was a key driver of the extended recession thatfollowed. Post Covid-19, every Government including New Zealand’s, must find ways to balance spend to stimulate the economy and in social support vsfunding the debt accrued to fight their Covid response. Fortunately:
- infrastructure investment will remain one of the most likely ‘go-to’ outlets for that stimulatory spend – for many years to come
- the big spenders will undoubtedly be Central Government, Local Authorities (hopefully, increasingly supported by Central Government) and Crown Agencies
- where we have seen a lot of thought about new procurement forms like Agile, it appears this will lead to more collaborative approaches focused on ‘value for money’. In its paper “Procurement in the Water Sector”, The Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit made some compelling observations around Agile procurement. Noting the challenges faced, the paper stated “… Local Government will need to become more agile in their thinking and enable faster and more effective infrastructure delivery. This will involve working more collaboratively, including with its contractors, providing confidence to the market and supporting the sector through the procurement and delivery process.”
- ‘Broader Outcomes’ will become more influential in procurement
- increasingly Tier 2 players are pitching into the Tier 1 space (where the money is) and going the extra mile to convince clients of their best for project outcomes and extended value in their local communities. And, with the right support, they’re succeeding. In the case of one agency, well-put-together submissions from Tier 2 players which referenced Broader Outcomes, potential innovations and specialist skills, saw that agency going outside its existing panel to Open Tender
- it is clear that suppliers must make ‘Broader Outcomes’ a strategic pillar in their operating model. This requires serious consideration, long-term planning and commitment. To win – business strategy, policies, systems, supply chain and active contribution to the local community must all be aligned, encapsulated and communicated through coherent win themes
- and – Presentations must be aligned – the right team, and the right format aligned to authentic, differentiating tender win themes.
In the words of one CEO: “If you have inspired bid leaders and good writers on-board, you can get full marks on those attributes by putting a bit of thought into it…”
- The big spend is Government, Local Authorities and Agencies
- There is massive focus on Broader Outcomes – Social Outcomes
- Increasingly tier 2 players are pitching into the tier 1 space.
And with the right support – they’re succeeding.
- Discussions around ‘Agile’ and ‘Lean and Agile’ Procurement are taking two different turns. At Government level ‘Agile’ is tending toward increased focus on overall value and broader outcomes – and to ‘Alternative Procurement Models’. ‘Lean and Agile’ works where the need is clear, but the solution is uncertain – and leads to more interactive-based approaches.
What this means for tenderers:
- Broader Outcomes, Social Outcomes require serious consideration, long-term planning and commitment
- To win – your business strategy, policies, systems, supply chain and commitment to local community must all be aligned and evidenced
- And, when you present – be authentic. Also, pick the right team, ensure they’re aligned on the win themes and confident in demonstrating how they live by them.
We have worked closely with clients across these three areas in addition to our ‘business as usual’ work over the months following the first lock-down – and we know how to make the difference count!