Every single tender document will ask you to demonstrate your organisational capability, without exception. So, what does that mean and what can it look like?

Your organisational capability means:

  • the past experience of your organisation and its key staff,
  • the processes, procedures and policies in place within your organisation (including for risk management),
  • your compliance with any legislation, standards, accreditations or registrations,
  • the organisational structure and governance in place within the organisation, and
  • your organisation’s capacity to complete the work in the timeframe required.

Requests for Tender (RFTs) can ask for this information in a number of different ways. They could ask numerous different, smaller questions, such as asking for previous similar contracts you have completed, referees, a risk management plan, CVs of key personnel, a table identifying the key personnel’s availability and so on. Or they can simply ask you one or two questions that don’t give you as much guidance, such as “Demonstrate that you have the organisational capacity to perform the work” and “Identify the key personnel and their availability for the duration of the contract period”.

Either way, you need to make sure you provide the assessor with all the factors that make up “organisational capability” that I have identified above. Just because an RFT may not specifically ask if you are accredited to a certain ISO or other standard, it does not mean that this information is not critical. You must show the assessor that your organisation is a well-oiled machine. You have quality staff, who have the time and resources to complete the contract. You have all the policies and procedures in place, are well qualified and experienced in completing these types of contracts and you have the governance structure in place to ensure there is oversight over decisions and actions.

Organisational capability is one of three areas that will always need to be covered in a tender response. The others are your proposed methodology, which details how you will deliver the specific piece of work, and price. As one of the three key areas, you need to give organisational capability a lot of attention when drafting your response.

The good part about organisational capability that differs to the other two areas is that it’s the only area of a tender that can be completed in advance – at least in part. Whilst you will need to craft your response to address the specific questions that are asked around organisational capability, you can have everything prepared and ready to go. This information can be collated ahead of time and saved on your system to save you some precious hours when those tight timeframe RFTs are released. Go through each area of organisational capability and at least draft dot points to address them and save it in a folder, all ready to respond to the next tender that opens. And every time you win a new piece of work, add it to your Organisational Capability folder so it can be used as an example of previous experience in the next tender, if it is a similar piece of work.

For further information, contact Whitney Consulting here.