How to Win Homecare Tenders & Increase Your Win Rate:
Whether you’re a new or experienced homecare provider, there are many UK homecare tender opportunities available for you to win. Here’s a summary of how you can increase your tender win rate for homecare contracts.
Make Great Bid / No-Bid Decisions
Homecare tenders come in many shapes and sizes. Choosing which homecare tender to bid for is crucial to maximise your chance of winning. If you’re a new provider, bidding for a £multi-million prime provider homecare contract is likely to end in failure. In this case, it’s much better to find opportunities where multiple providers have an opportunity to win smaller pots of work from a tender. Framework agreements and dynamic purchasing systems (DPS) are good examples of these. Read the tender details carefully, because even some frameworks can restrict the number of homecare providers to less than a handful.
You should also ensure the tender aligns with your company’s vision. Some homecare tenders include multiple services as a combined contract such as discharge to assess, reablement, domiciliary care, complex care, winter pressures teams etc. Others split these services into lots which gives providers an opportunity to choose which services to bid for. The key is to not bid for any services which you do not wish to deliver – or are likely to deliver poorly otherwise this could damage your company’s reputation.
Maximise Your Quality Evaluation Scores
Most homecare tenders are evaluated based on the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT). This usually means a combination of quality and price. Quality scores are calculated through the evaluation of tender responses (often on a scale of 0 ‘unacceptable’ to 5 ‘excellent’). Each tender will contain details of the evaluation criteria and weightings to be allocated to each response.
To score highly, you must directly answer each question (as opposed to answering questions you wished they’d asked instead) and ensure your responses meet the requirements of the evaluation criteria for the highest score. All statements of quality must be backed up and supported by evidence – the more specific, the better. This may include case studies, satisfaction survey results, CQC reports, feedback, results against key performance indicators achieved in similar contracts etc. Responses should address the requirements of the service (detailed in the service specification) together with your company’s proven approach and solution.
Price Competitively but Realistically
Instructions on pricing within tenders can vary considerably. Homecare tenders may require all tenderers to accept the same fixed rate (i.e. 100% evaluated on quality). Others may cap rates and ask providers to pitch their rates as low below the cap as is reasonably possible. Some homecare tenders may provide price bands (minimum and maximum) from which providers choose a rate. Other tenders may be completely open, permitting bidders to submit their own rates without any restrictions.
Homecare tenders are competitive and to give yourself the most flexibility with price, you should maximise your quality scores. You still need to be competitive, but if you do well on quality, you can price fairly to deliver a quality service and still make a profit. Evaluators will also be on the look out for abnormally low tenders where the price offered by a bidder raises doubts as to whether the offer is economically sustainable and will result in the contract requirements being unmet. Any bidder submitting an abnormally low tender will usually have their tender rejected.
Use Expert Homecare Bid Writers
If you employ bid writers within your company, ensure they read all of the tender documents (particularly the invitation to tender (ITT), evaluation criteria and service specification) and have a strong bid library from which to source evidence. Once the tender decision is made, review your evaluation scores and use these to continually improve your quality responses, tender after tender.
If your company does not employ bid writers, then you can outsource this work to consultant bid writers. BFT Consult has over 8 years’ experience of winning homecare tenders for our clients and we achieve an average win rate of 85%. This includes for prime provider contracts and for extra care tenders, where there can be only one winner. If your company needs help with a homecare tender, contact BFT Consult today to ensure you have the best tender team on your side. We look forward to winning homecare tenders for you.
Interested in current homecare tenders? View live homecare tender opportunities here.
View all UK public sector tender opportunities here