Construction Tenders

Construction contracts can be some of the most lucrative public sector contracts on the market with many frameworks valued in the hundreds of millions and some even reaching the billion-pound mark. This makes these dynamic purchasing systems attractive propositions to SMEs. The UK construction industry has an output of more than £110 billion per annum. Approximately a quarter of this spend is in the public sector. This highlights some of the potential for SMEs when submitting construction tenders.

Due to the size and often high value nature of construction tenders, many are advertised on the OJEU, so long as the threshold is surpassed. This is an online portal where public sector and thus construction tenders are published. The current thresholds are as follows:

  • £118,133 for Central Government
  • £363,424 for Defence and Security
  • £181,302 for other contracting authorities
  • £65,630 for small Lots

The OJEU allows you to set up specific search terms that are tailored to find tenders that suit your company. This would enable you to set up a construction tender specific search and receive daily alerts to stay on top of all construction tenders published. Staying up to date will benefit you as an SME to give you ample time to prepare construction tenders giving you the best chance of winning.

The Government also advertises its frameworks through Crown Commercial Services. Government construction tenders are lucrative options to SMEs. The government has committed 33% of central government procurement spend to go to SMEs by 2022. This means that there will be more opportunities than ever before for SMEs to compete for construction tenders. The current frameworks available are listed below:

Framework IDNameLotsSuppliersRenewal Date
RM3837Construction Products Consumables and Materials92516/10/2019
RM6014Modular Building Solutions72301/04/2023
RM3741Project Management and Full Design Team Services63202/05/2021
RM6063Standby and Emergency Generators DPS1-21/08/2022
  • Construction Products Consumables and Materials: this framework is for the provision of construction products, consumables and materials and associated services to all public sector and UK Government departments, developed administration as well as the wider public sector.
  • Modular Building Solutions: This framework is for the provision of a simple, low cost way of addressing public sector modular building requirements. It is seen as an alternative to traditionally built accommodation and will allow public sector customers to buy or lease modular buildings designed to specific requirements.
  • Project Management and Full Design Team Services: This is a framework for the provision of broad, strategic advice for a range of disciplines and functions. Several lots include environmental services. This framework is supported by others such as Estates professional services, Facilities management services, Building materials, Modular buildings, Furniture and energy services.
  • Standby and Emergency Generators DPS: This framework uses a Dynamic Purchasing System to help customers find appropriate suppliers using a system of filtering.

As well as Crown Commercial Services, there are other public sector frameworks that present themselves as opportunities for SMEs to win business. Some of these are listed below:

  • Scape

    Scape functions as a public-sector partnership to help improve buildings and infrastructure in the UK. They began in 2006 and offer fully managed frameworks, property services, design solutions, community investment opportunities and joint ventures. These opportunities are available to all UK public bodies. The national construction framework has a cumulative value of £7 billion with 85% of sub-contractor spend going to SMEs.

  • Homes England

    Acting as the government body responsible for housing, Homes England are committed to increasing the number of homes that are built in England as well as improving existing affordable homes. They plan toinvest over £4 billion in building new homes as well as selling land to help build around 6,000 more homes in the future.

  • HS2

    The development of HS2 requires construction work. Extensive work will be required to construct the stations and railway line for HS2 and so will provide opportunities for SMEs to submit construction tenders.

  • NHS

    The NHS have their own frameworks for construction tenders relating to the health industry. An example of such frameworks is ProCure 22. Under ProCure 22, there is an estimated £3,326.6 million available in capital value to improve 73 NHS clients.

  • MoD

    The Ministry of Defence have the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to support the armed forces with the building of infrastructure. They have an annual spend of c.£3 billion on construction and infrastructure services. As such MoD construction frameworks are significant opportunities for SMEs.

  • MoJ

    The Ministry of Justice require construction services to build and renovate prisons, courts and related services. They are actively trying to involve SMEs in their frameworks, for example, HMP Berwyn’s build had terms within the contract to specifically promote opportunities for SMEs. In 2017/18, £238.6 million was spent by the MoJ on construction giving an idea of the scope of spending in this area.

    The Process

    Bids into the construction industry are typical complex, multi-phased and require large diverse teams. The invitation to tender is the initial stage to streamline applicants and create competition. The value of construction contracts attracts a lot of competition. This means it important to ensure your bid is up to the highest of standards to stand your company in the best position to win. Understanding the tenderer is a vital part of positioning the bid. It is important to understand the needs of the client and make sure your answer directly conveys this understanding and provides a suitable response covering all issues. It is crucial to tailor your bid to the wants and needs of the provider. Writing answers that appeal to the culture of the organisation and suits their structure will help separate your answer from the competition. This will make your answer stand out as well as more appealing to the company supplying the contract. This will help you score highly in your bid submission responses.

    Bidders are expected to produce high-specification submissions in terms of content, graphics and media. The audience for the submission can vary from a technical evaluation team through to full public consultation. The approach must therefore encompass a high degree of graphics to represent and visualise the concept, while at the same time convey clear win themes and client benefits, in an understandable manner for all possible audiences.

    The Bid Team

    If you are looking to submit a construction tender into this sector, then The Bid Team can help. We worked closely with Shorterm on their 2013 Network Rail bid. We helped them compete against much larger incumbent suppliers to win the maximum 18 lots including core lots, representing 29.5% of the core lot value. Our bid process is defined and well suited for construction tenders and overview of our process can be found here. In addition we have produced a series of “How to” guides to further assist our clients win work through construction tenders for example “How to position a bid“, “How to qualify a bid” and “How to write a bid answer“. These guides incorporate our approach with easy to use forms and templates. We also provide news on construction tenders on our news page.

    If you are looking to bid to this sector, then The Bid Team can help provide bid management, bid writing, bid reviews as well as other services to help your organisation win construction tenders. Please use the form below to contact us for a discussion on your bid.

  • Related Case Studies

    The Bid Team has provided bidding services that have resulted in over £11.3 billion of revenue for clients. The case studies below are some of the more significant wins that clients have achieved.

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