How to Tackle the Value Add Services question in Bids
Questions on value add services frequently appear in RFPs. Similar to executive summaries respondents tend to give them less thought then they deserve and serve up mediocre answers. This is a mistake and not just because there are marks on offer.
When it comes to renewing the contract a client could have justifiable grievances because of your failure to deliver any form of value. One of the main reasons for organisations not delivering satisfactory value add services is because there is often a lack of a shared understanding between both the customer and supplier as to what it actually is.
Value Add Defined
So what are value add services? Value add services are non-core services which offer your customer increased benefits, and are above and beyond the basic delivery requirements. They are usually free unless otherwise negotiated. I tend to break them down at both the strategic and tactical levels.
The services on offer here look at the customer’s medium to long term needs. For instance, what is the service model going to look like in 18 to 24 months’ time? You could schedule a series of strategy workshops where an appropriate SME shows the client what is on the horizon both internally and externally – through new regulation and innovation – and designs a new service model. You can then identify any gaps that exist on a process, technological and skills front, and look to address them through other potential value add services.
Tactical value add services should focus more on the short term with a heavy emphasis on continuous improvement. For instance you could schedule a quarterly service review with an SME, who looks under the hood and carries out a top-to-bottom assessment of the contract. This could examine everything from the overall governance model to delivery on the ground with a view to making service improvements if necessary. The emphasis should be on treating the causes of any systems or process breakdowns rather than the symptoms.
The benefit of this approach is that it shows the client that you are proactive in addressing their evolving needs. It also reduces the risk of complacency within your own organisation.
Making a clear commitment to delivering tangible value add services will impress the customer and help build trust. The best way to give them comfort around the credibility of your commitment is to provide a schedule for their delivery.
Hopefully this piece has given you some useful tips on how to tackle the Value Add component of a Government Request for Proposal
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