Listing is easy, winning business is not
Digital Outcomes and Specialists 4 is now open for applications! To get you ready, we’ve looked into why listing on the framework can be easy, but winning business isn’t.
Listing on DOS can be pretty simple, with the application process being fairly straightforward. Suppliers need to register on the Digital Marketplace (if you don’t have an account already), select a Lot or Lots and complete a supplier declaration. Sounds easy right?
However, there are two things to bear in mind: first, just because listing on the framework is easy it doesn’t mean winning business is as simple! Second, don’t be fooled, just being listed on DOS does not guarantee your company business.
Responding to tenders
Once on the framework, suppliers can bid on opportunities relevant to themselves and what they can deliver. These opportunities are posted by buyers on to the Digital Marketplace, which set out the requirements that potential suppliers have to meet. These requirements are broken down into two sections; essential and ‘nice to have’ requirements. Suppliers are then evaluated on their responses to each individual requirement and have only 100 words max to respond to each requirement!
DOS guidance recommends suppliers respond to all opportunities in a case study style. This requires some thought about which past contracts best illustrate your capabilities, what work you carried out for them and the results of the work carried out. So, with 100-word answers there isn’t much wiggle room for waffle or unnecessary details. Be sure to set aside time to plan and refine your bid.
Suppliers are scored on a scale from 0 (not met) to 3 (exceeded). Suppliers who score less than a 2 on any of the responses are automatically eliminated from the competition. As the stakes are high, a simple case study just won’t cut it. You need to write a winning account of how you went above and beyond for a client.
Beware unclear requirements!
The opportunities posted by buyers also present their own difficulties for suppliers. DXW Digital conducted the Digital Outcomes Armchair Audit in 2018 and investigated the quality of DOS opportunities. They found that 73% of opportunities do not adequately explain what problem the work is intended to solve and that 65% do not clearly explain why the work is being done. This can make bidding even harder! So be sure to spend some time digging and asking clarification questions where things don’t match-up.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework than just getting listed. It requires time, analysis, planning, a good review process and, most importantly, a winning strategy to navigate opportunities.