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It’s more valuable to retain business than replace it.

Did you know that only 35% of public sector contracts are retained through re-tender?.

To put this another way, 65% of all re-tendered public contracts are awarded to a new supplier. On one side, this figure can only act as motivation for suppliers who aspire to enter the market or grow their public sector business; but on the other side, incumbents will be nervously looking ahead to the re-tender stage.

If you are an incumbent supplier what can you do? Well assuming you have met the SLA’s, KPI’s and been viewed as a ‘good’ contractor you are in a very strong position to re-win the contract, but it comes down to how you engage with the buyer prior to the tender and, of course, the tender itself. Because of the principles of fair and open competition, public contracts must be re-tendered on a level playing field and so, in theory, every bidder is treated equally.

There is an enormous amount you can do to influence the specification development and the re-tender requirement. Not many public buyers are experts in one field and so move from one procurement project to the next in a short space of time, attempting to decipher the nuances of each category quickly, to credibly tender the product or service. If they are not leaning on you for help, make sure they do! This is your chance to influence and make them see the merits of your offering.

If you have done the above, the tender itself shouldn’t be too worrying or unfamiliar and so, assuming you know how to complete it, retaining the contract is well within reach.

If you are nervous about the re-tender, focus on your win themes, drawing upon the successes delivered in your current contract, highlighting continuous improvement initiatives and emerging technologies that will add value and, most importantly, remind them what you have achieved and what they will be missing if they were to award the contract to somebody else. The challenge is including this within the confines of a prescriptive and standard public tender, with a restricted word or character count.

Hopefully, this has given you some useful insight into how to retain public contracts. If you need help understanding how to practically achieve this, please chat to us about how we can help. Why risk your most valuable customer relationships? We all know it’s more valuable to retain business than replace it.

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