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The Perfect Case Study

Bidding is all about selling yourself. A large part of bid writing involves convincing the reader that you are the best candidate for the job, and explaining how you will meet all of their needs. One of the best ways to do this is by presenting excellent case studies.

Make yourself stand out from the crowd, promise services and innovation that no one else will and above all, explain what makes you the best.

Most bids make promises. The best bids back them up.

While theoretical answers are acceptable the best bids always substantiate their claims. Be as specific as possible, provide measurable examples and demonstrate how you’ve provided the service before.

Case Studies are an excellent way of emphasising your experience and backing up your claims.

The case study section of your response provides an opportunity to add impact to your bid and offer unique added value. Boast about your talents, but also reflect on your failures and how you have rectified them.

Pick a Good Case Study

The most important rule for case studies is: Only write what’s relevant.

Your case study should match as closely as possible to the contract you’re bidding for and should only give information that is strictly relevant to the bid.

Relevance factors to consider include:

  • Contract Value
  • Contract Length
  • How Recent Was it?
  • Were Services Similar?

Relevance is key, as your evidence must explain why you are the best candidate for this contract. A poor case study can be as detrimental to your bid as a good one can be beneficial, so choose carefully!

Plan it out

It is important to plan your case studies carefully to make sure you add as much value as possible. Aim always to explain how you helped the client and how you met their needs. How did you benefit them in their business?

What to Include

Background

Give a brief overview of your case study. Mention who you worked for, what services you offered, your start and end dates and the contract value. Explain the relevance of your case study. How is it similar to the new contract? How are your experiences transferable?

Successes

What did you do well? Did you complete ahead of schedule? Did you quickly resolve problems? What innovations did you implement? This is your time to boast. Sell your unique value and make yourself stand out from the crowd.

Challenges

Explain some of the challenges that arose during the contract. What went wrong? What hurdles did you face? Show reflection and willingness to learn. Suggest any potential problems you foresee in the new contract and explain how these will be avoided.

Solutions

When presenting challenges or failures, it is important to explain how you overcame them. Refer to the challenges listed and explain how you coped. How did you rectify issues, mistakes or failures?

In presenting potential problems in the new contract, it is important to reflect on your experience, and suggest how you could avoid these problems. Show the reader that you are engaged, open to change and have thought through the contract thoroughly.

Results

Explain the results or outcomes of your solutions. How were you able to overcome adversity and learn from it? How did the contract go following the issue? What did you learn? What would you change?

Be as reflective as possible here, but also show how you are able to apply your experiences. Above all, explain how you will benefit the buyer. Why are you the best? How does this case study show that?

Things to Avoid

Avoid irrelevance at all costs. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Ask yourself whether they are going to care about what you are writing. Why is your information pertinent? If it isn’t; remove it.

Avoid vagueness. Be as specific as possible. Use numbers, figures, charts and tables to substantiate achievements.

Example

Bad – “We consistently meet Customer KPIs and offer a number of value added KPIs on top of these.”

Good – “We have met 95% of Customer KPIs over the 3-year contract and have offered additional KPIs above contract requirements, such as compliance reporting to 100%. Our continuously high service levels allowed us to extend our contract through to 2020.”

  • Keep it relevant.
  • Format for impact. Use bullet points, bold text and sub headings. Make it easy to read and understand.
  • Show your strength, recognise your weakness.
  • Show innovation. Make yourself seem valuable to the contractor.
  • Use your case study to prove your service quality.
  • Offer some proof of customer satisfaction (e.g. A score out of 5 or a testimonial).

 

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Updated on December 7, 2018

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