Generally speaking, bid writing isn’t too dissimilar across the different industries as there are several question types which are broadly universal. In some specialist industries however, this generalisation is not quite so simple.
This blog continues our series looking at bid writing across different industries and sectors. From care to catering, we are looking at the key questions, skills and knowledge you should be aware of before embarking on your next bid project.
In this blog we will look specifically at bid writing in the fire safety industry.
Health and Safety
By nature of the industry and especially in light of recent tragedies such as Grenfell, health and safety in the fire industry is the absolute top priority for commissioners.
In your bids it’s therefore vital that you’re able to evidence not only how you will keep your staff and clients safe while you work, but also how the work itself guarantees safety in the long-run.
Ensuring your staff are properly trained and that you are approved by all relevant governing and regulatory bodies will therefore be extremely important to buyers; as will evidence that your products and services have been tried and tested for quality and reliability.
Real life examples of experience, testimonials and products-in-use are vital in this industry. You need to be able to prove beyond all doubt, not only that you can provide the requisite products and services, but also that they actually work.
When writing your bids think about:
- Case Studies
- Examples in Practice
Obviously unplanned fires are never desirable, but in an ideal world you’d be able to show how one of your products has worked in a real life situation. If you can’t do that, then some kind of live demonstration or proof of regular testing should suffice. For preventative services, give evidence of your incident-free track record.
Product and service quality in such an industry will be high on any buyer’s priority list.
Depending on the specific service being procured, you may be required to show evidence that you can be on site at short notice to deal with emergencies. For repair and maintenance contracts especially, quick response times will be invaluable to buyers.
Explaining which key parts are always kept on hand in your vans or warehouses for instant replacement, and which will need to be ordered will allow buyers to understand your capacity. Obviously, the more you can keep in stock, the better you’ll score with your buyer.
For alarm and system monitoring contracts, it’s important that you are able to evidence your efficiency and process should an emergency arise. Again, real world examples will go a long way here.
Accreditations and Memberships
Accreditations and Memberships will be very important to buyers and some may even be minimum requirements. Below is a list of requirements which you may be required to meet:
- British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE) Compliant
- Fire Industry Association (FIA) Member
- Fire Protection Association (FPA) Member
- Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) Member
The BSI Group currently has over 27,000 active standards. Aligning your processes with those which are most relevant to your industry is always recommended. The following are relevant to fire safety:
- British Standards Institution (BSI) Kitemark Certified
- BS 5306-3 . (Fire extinguishing installations)
- BS 5839 . (Fire detection & alarm systems for buildings)
- BS 9999 . (Fire safety in design, management and use of buildings)
- BS EN 1154 . (Controlled Door Closing Devices)
ISO accreditations are the ubiquitous standard for quality across all industries. The below are some of the most common.
- ISO 9001 . (Quality Management System)
- ISO 14001 . (Environment)
- ISO 18001 . (Health and Safety)
- ISO 27001 . (Information Security)
- Constructionline Member
- Gas Safe Registered
- National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) Approved Contractor
By nature of the industry and the services you provide, the core things to bear in mind in fire safety bids always surround quality and safety. If you are therefore able to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that your products and services will work as specified, you will always stand a good chance on result day.
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Check out another in this series on bid writing in the construction industry.
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