Business improvement and getting ready - video transcript

Watch our Business improvement and getting ready video.

Hi, I'm Amelia and I'm here to talk to you about top tips for tendering to Queensland Government and growing your business towards Olympic procurement opportunities.

Thank you very much for having me today.

I'm here to speak on behalf of our colleagues at the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning.

And may I say it's a real privilege to be here to deliver this presentation on their behalf.

My name's Amelia Cardell.

I'm usually with the ICT category, which is based currently at the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

One of my other colleagues, Matthew Rose, is here as well.

I'm here to talk to you about that wonderful, tricky beast which is tendering to state government, although we'd like to think that these tips will help you with business award across all of those sectors.

Look, it really comes down to a few bits and pieces of detail that we hope we'll be able to outline today and we'll be really helpful for you.

Here's some of the top line top tips.

Really think about building your business capability and being able to demonstrate that to us. Gain experience in tendering.

We all need to walk before we can run any bit of supply that you are successfully awarded will really set you up, not just in terms of winning that supply, but also delivering, evaluating and being able to demonstrate, one of those words that we love in state government documentation demonstrating, showing us what you've done.

So start somewhere and then hopefully the ball will keep rolling for you and understand what government's requirements are. We are a unique sector, just as each one of you is a unique business provider. So it's really important to start thinking about us as the whole, but also as the individual consumers.

So we're going to touch on some key points around these elements today, things like developing a business capability statement, getting some experience in supplying and delivering to government and strengthening your business networks. And hopefully many of the people we have here today will be able to help you with that if some of those areas are a bit more unfamiliar.

So let's kick off with the key question.

You've been trying, you're just not getting the traction you'd like to. So what are some of the things that we could be doing better?

I'm going to talk about some of the problems, but I'm really going to focus on what to do, what good looks like and why it matters. And hopefully that will really help you build this capability of the unique needs of supplying to government.

Key issue is not answering the question. Seems really obvious, right?

But for those of us that have school age children, I've got grade 12 and Grade 11 exams going on this term.

So the thing we always need to do when we're having those late and fraught conversations is it's okay. Just make sure you answer the question.

It's not just about putting everything that you know down. It's about really reading that request and thinking, what is the actual question I need to answer here?

So take a positive slant on it, and what do we need to know? Not just what are you able to tell us. Think about the evidentiary base that you can give us.

It's easy to make statements like we have a fantastic and engaged workforce and comply with all the everything.

Well, show us.

Say we have this type of capability statement. We have an active work health safety policy, and we can provide copies.

Little things like that give us the actual evidence behind it. Give us the box to tick.

Think about the tender format. It's really important to comply with the format and you know, we know it can be tiresome.

The very exciting work that Minister de Brenni has just alluded to and my colleague Brent Phillips is going to talk about, I believe next, to do with the new incoming procurement system is going make a lot of this stuff easier.

We know that currently there are some repetitive elements, but we do need them.

Think about it this way.

If you are tendering for a piece of work, there may be 20, 30, 40 other tenderers.

And in order for us to treat all of you with the appropriate digesting of your content and to treat you all equally, we really do need to have those formats very, very conformant. Because then we can make sure that everybody is read, understood, and treated completely equally.

So do pay attention to the format and do do all those little bits of detail. Proof-read, sign things, put dates on stuff.

If there are any problems, there's always going to be a contact listed. Please pick up the phone, drop them an email, send them a message, ask the questions.

We do want to help you. So do reach out.

If you are at all unsure about something, don't just leave it out and hope it'll be okay. We will want to help you fill that in.

If deadlines are a problem, let us know. People will generally bend over backwards to try and accommodate all suppliers to get the very best suppliers happening for Queensland Government.

Focus on what you do, but also how it benefits the state government client or agency that you're tendering to.

You do wonderful things. I'm absolutely certain of that. But we sometimes need to hear about only a portion of those because that's where the benefit is.

Again, look at that key question. Are you answering the question? Are you demonstrating what the benefit is of choosing you?

Make the link for us, okay? Have a think about it and make a link that's what I always say, think and link and then the work is halfway done.

Think about price is important, but as Minister de Brenni alluded to, increasingly value is something that we really do need to be able to understand.

Look for opportunities to add value.

Have you got local partnerships that you can bring along with you? Do you have local supply chains? Are you involved in something that is generating additional value adds beyond whatever good or service you're tendering to supply?

Again, have a thing and make the link for us.

Does something link very clearly to the core business of that department? Is that where you can add value?

Is it something that is very future focused, so we know you're going to be with us for a long journey or a transformational journey?

Can you bring additional intelligence? Do you have traineeships that are going to have other community benefit?

So think about value, not just price.

One odd one is assuming that we have knowledge of you.

We try in our categories to meet as many businesses from the big end of town and down to the very small start ups and things that are scaling up. But we can't know everything all the time.

So make sure that that foundational statement of who you are and what you do is really clear right at the beginning of any response you send through to us. Show us who you are, show us what you do, and show us what makes you special.

Okay. So what does all this add up to? This all adds up to focusing on the customer.

It's an interesting thing sometimes with government contract management for service delivery or goods delivery. You work with us and we trust you to work with our end consumers of services, whether or not they be a public transport service provider or someone in a big facility, like a hospital that needs a nice cleared pathway.

So a landscape has been evolved through to someone who supplies laundry services for a particular facility.

So many different opportunities, but we are trusting you to deliver things to our client group.

So it's really important to think about those levels of customer.

Write your answers around the benefits that you bring when you tender, follow the format that we as customer require so that we can assess whether you can deliver to our customer, quantify the benefits, It's always good if you can come up with some numbers, always think the classic thing for planning an objective setting works really well here.

The Smart model S.M.A.R.T can you tell us something that's specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and a time frame around that because you're probably answering most of the questions if you can find something that fits that format.

And then think about why, why should we pick you?

In marketing industry terms, it we'd call that your unique selling proposition. But the point is there is something really wonderful and unique about your business. So make sure that we understand exactly what that is.

Communicate value. I've already touched on this, but we really can't talk about enough in the current climate, and I think the Minister gave a very good summary of why it's increasingly important.

It's about sustainability, it's about durability, it's about ongoing community value.

Price is sometimes a blunt lever that is just simply not enough for us to make an assessment.

So make sure you think about what non-cost factors you can bring. Fitness to purpose, delivery, innovation.

Can you manage risk for us?

Do you offer benefits in terms of social or environmental outcomes?

Are you meeting the wider objectives of an individual agency?

It's all on the website.

So please have a look.

People put a lot of work into putting those things up and front and centre as a statement of government's objectives and departmental delivery objectives.

So have a look.

Keep your own website up to date, make sure that those linkages are there.

Any time a potential vendor, manager or procurement person is doing an environmental scan, make sure we know who you are and what you do, but don't ignore the cost elements as well.

They obviously are important. We are dealing with public money. We're spending all of our money and we must be responsible with that. So absolutely upfront costs.

But think about end to end costs, whole of life costs, things like transactional costs and fees.

Are there any other types of fees or charges that we need to know about to make a really clear and objective assessment.

Are there disposal costs? Because the whole of life piece is an increasing challenge for government, particularly in terms of disposal and asset management. So if you can bring some value and some pricing along with that, we'll generally welcome that.

So getting towards the end now, we're looking at your profile.

This capability statement, it's like a resume for your business.

So it really answers all those key questions around who, what, where, how you do it and what makes you unique. What is your unique selling proposition?

Sometimes that can be as simple as an A4 page. Sometimes they might be a glossy brochure. Sometimes there's something on your website.But don't neglect to your existing contract relationships when you update these.

Yes, you should have one ready to go, but you also need to make sure where possible, talk to people you might already be supplying to make sure they're up to date with what you're doing as your business offering changes and grows and make sure that you are always top of mind with people who managing supply in the areas that your business engages with.

Look for opportunities through QTender. We've already talked about that.

And for those of you who haven't got one, there's a really useful little fold out on the desk here, and this has pretty much all the websites you'll need to know about that kind of stuff.

Make sure, as I say, your own web presence is up to date. People do check. It's where we will often go for a quick deep dive for some information, market scanning and participate in networking events like this.

Build your profile with colleagues as well. So, for example, there's some really wonderful contacts here today. As I've said, there's all of us category leads with our yellows.

We have some people from other state government programs, such as the wonderful Mentoring Growing Your business.

My colleague from State Development is here. Wave your hand please Leigh.

Leigh is here to talk to all the elements to do with this presentation and other top tips.

We have our federal government colleagues here today as well, which is really exciting. All 3 tiers of government in one place.

So there's real opportunities there and do reach out to Business Chambers Queensland, who have some wonderful programs to support your business as you move towards being Olympic ready for a ready, set, go.

That's all I have to say to you.

Again, thank you so much for being here today and thank you for having me to speak on behalf of the wonderful work that the Roadshow team does. Thank you.

Watch our Business improvement and getting ready video.