Utilities include the water, gas, and electricity industries.
In this highly-regulated sector, bids have to demonstrate extensive relevant experience, compliance with national and international law and regulation and protection for the environment. Given their very nature and our reliance on them as a country, utility bids are often associated with the civil engineering and construction, security and facilities management sectors
Common questions our bid writers prepare for utilities’ bids include:
- Compliance with legislation and regulation
- Programme management
- Management of risks, issues and opportunities
- Staff recruitment and training
- TUPE transfer
- IT systems (design, build and integration)
- Information assurance
- Physical and procedural security
- Health, safety and welfare
- Contingency planning
- Partnership working and stakeholder engagement
- Procurement and management of supply chains
- Logistical planning
- Quality Management
- Sustainability, including environmental management
- Delivering value for money.
Our approach to Utilities Bid Writing
We adopt a flexible approach to preparing these types of bids as each one is different and our clients have different requirements.
Given utility bids are often large and complex, we typically produce and agree a bid plan at the start of the project with you that includes bid phases, key deliverables and milestones.
The bid plan is likely to include:
- Holding an initial workshop with those people in your company who will have an input into the bid so that we all understand the nature of the bid, your strategy, key milestones and deadlines.
- Identifying subject matter experts – those people in your company who hold the information we need to prepare the tender.
- Creating a storyboard for each question – that is an outline of the content, win themes and evidence – by interviewing the subject matter experts and holding workshops.
- Producing a first draft of the responses to each question for review by the subject matter experts to check for factual accuracy. These are sometimes called Amber Reviews.
- Identifying from the narrative opportunity to enhance the bid by providing diagrams, graphs and other forms of visual evidence.
- Refining the responses following feedback from the Amber Reviews ahead of presenting the draft bid to a wider team within your company who will be responsible for approving its content. These are sometimes called Red Reviews.
- Final polishing of the narrative ahead of a final sign-off by your management team and its submission to you client (Gold Reviews).
Our experience in Utilities Bid Writing
The following provides an overview of the types of bids we have supported that have utilities as a major element.
Drainage systems are an integral to prevent flooding and the risk of disease
Water Management and Drainage Bid Writing
Drainage systems are integral to infrastructure and transfer waste and surface water from buildings, roads and rail networks to prevent flooding and the spread of disease. There is a whole industry behind the installation and maintenance of effective drainage systems that can quickly become blocked and ineffective if not inspected and treated regularly. Maintenance works often happen underground and in confined space and require particular skills, qualifications and rigorous procedures to keep operatives safe.
We have supported a number of bids for a leading draining and waste water management company over the last 3 years, helping it to grow its business significantly with new contract wins. Bids included:
- The operation of call centres to respond to emergencies
- Installation of new drainage systems
- Planned and preventative maintenance of drainage systems including pipe-lining
- Use of technology to reduce health and safety risks and undertake works more efficiently.
Bids demonstrated not only the client’s expertise in this industry but we focused the narrative on how the end client would benefit from contracting with them through innovation and cost saving measures.
Civil Engineering and Construction Bid Writing
Civil engineering and construction bids often have large utility elements attached to them. They range from the way energy is purchased (or even generated on site) to initiatives to reduce its consumption. In the case of roads and rail networks, bid questions often focus on how waste water is diverted quickly away from the asset and returned to the environment without causing flooding.
Bids we have supported that have such elements include initiatives to harvest and re-use grey water, the way buildings can be exploited to generate energy through wind and solar sources and the use of green infrastructure to control flood risk and remove pollutive particles from the atmosphere. Bids with utilities attached to them include:
- Construction of new prisons
- Operation and management of detention centres
- Refurbishment of rail stations
- Construction of London’s Cross Rail line.
Construction and civil engineering bids often have large utility elements attached to them
Government utility contracts require bidders to demonstrate the integrity of security given they are integral to the economy
Security Bid Writing
Utilities are such an integral part of our economy that the security of power stations, water treatment works and gas installations is paramount. It is therefore not surprising that Government requires potential contractors to demonstrate in their bids how they will secure the integrity of facilities during their construction and as they are commissioned for operation.
We have extensive experience of preparing security bids that include:
- The use of technology to control access and detect attempted intrusions
- Procedural security that uses personnel to provide manned guarding and patrols
- Development of contingency plans
- Joint working with the police, NHS and fire service to test the integrity of security arrangements and responses to serious incident.