Air services and aviation is a growing industry globally as well as locally in Australia. There is significant public and private investment in the industry. The challenges and opportunities to win air services and aviation tenders are more prevalent than ever.
Understanding the industry
When bidding for air services and aviation contracts, it’s important to demonstrate an understanding of the industry. This can be demonstrated through using the correct terminology, incorporating aviation specific factors into consideration in your methodology, and clearly and concisely demonstrating your experience in the industry. It’s critical that any air services tender you put forward demonstrated your experience and understanding of the industry.
For example, a catering company that caters to airport personnel should provide a round-the-clock offering. It’s important to talk about any peaks in demand that are anticipated, as well as addressing the specific needs of airport staff such as dietary or religious needs. There may not be a question explicitly requesting this in the tender, however, you still need to ensure this is communicated.
In order to gain insights into the industry and the key challenges you can:
- Review commentary in industry magazines
- Liaise with and align with other industry providers
- Conduct initial research into industry
It’s critical that you approach your response with a focus on the correct win themes. These win themes have to address the issues and key points facing the company, as well as the industry.
Beating the incumbent
The industry is challenging to penetrate. Contracts and relationships are often difficult to break, with significant costs involved in transitioning in and out of certain contracts as a result of air services and aviation tenders. The incumbent provider usually as strong relationships in place across multiple levels of the organisation. They will almost always be active in maintaining the contract.
There are a range of strategies you can deploy to increase your prospects for success including:
- Value added services – Provide them and ensure they add value. These can give you an edge over your competition. It’s great to be competitive on price but to win an aviation tender you need to give that something extra. It may be better reporting, communication, add-on services that your competitors may overlook.
- Complete a comprehensive bid. Go into detail, provide referees and provide case studies to give your bid credibility. The client will generally be going out of their way to select you. They may not have dealt with you before and so credibility is crucial.
- JV with a well known supplier. This can help you leverage of their credibility and increase your prospects of success. You will need to be flexible in your approach and dealings with the JV company to get the right result.
Complying with technical specifications and safety standards
Nearly all aviation companies comply with the relevant safety, quality assurance and other regulations – it is a necessity for licensing and registration purposes. In addition to the requirements set out by CASA, many tenders and bids have technical requirements that need to be adhered and on occasion, their own in-house safety policies that exceed those stipulated by CASA. This is the case with some Tier-1 mining companies operating air services in rural and remote Australia.
In order to win bids, aviation businesses must showcase the capacity to meet and exceed these requirements as well as an understanding of risks, trends and issues in the aviation industry and a commitment to monitoring these and acting on them as required. In addition, any claims made about best practice in terms of safety protocols and risk management requirements need to be supported by tailored documentation. For example, a risk management assessment needs to be tailored to the specific project / route outlined in the bid – and not just a generic aviation risk management plan.
Convincing the reader of your ability to deliver of the long term
Aviation sector bids and tenders are more often than not long term contracts. A response to an RFP which is too short-term focused can lose credibility in front of the procurement team or reader. Bids must be focused on the long term and give ample weight to long term challenges such as the delivery of maintenance and support services and your ability to hire and retain the right people to deliver the contract. This includes talking about your depth of resources for pilots, crews and other maintenance support and technical personnel. Where you will be engaging sub-contractors or specialist aviation recruitment and labour hire firms, you will need to ensure you provide documentary evidence in your proposal of your relationship with them and the services (and associated KPIs) they will provide.
How we can help you win your next aviation or aerospace industry contract
Our team are experienced in writing bids and tender for aviation and aerospace clients in the Asia Pacific as well as globally (in partnership with European and UK bid writing consultants). We can help you write your next proposal and RFP response by:
- Developing a storyboard and win themes
- Conducting a bid / no bid analysis
- Writing comprehensive responses to each question
- Working closely with your SMEs to respond to technical questions
- Create graphics and infographics to present complex solutions in an easy to understand and interpret manner
- Project manage your bid response and coordinate all the documentation and submission (including printing if required although online submissions are now the norm).
- Create supporting documentation including documentation to adhere to regulatory requirements for the purpose of supporting your bid.
Where you require assistance with international bids, we work with our wider network in Greece, Singapore and London. We have helped Australian and New Zealand companies to bid for contracts overseas including in Europe and Asia. We work with translators as well as other consultants to deliver proposals that are on message and engaging.
Our track record in aviation tenders
Our team of writers have worked on aviation and aerospace tenders globally. Examples include:
- Assisting a small airline to submit a tender for the provision of flight services to remote Queensland for the Adani mine. We project managed the process from start to finish, including developing and writing the bid, liaising with technical personnel, coordinating clarifications and developing supporting documentation. Our client was shortlisted to the top three and was eventually unsuccessful due to pricing considerations. This was a relatively complex tender for the transport of personnel to highly remotes part of Queensland that required a comprehensive well thought out aviation transport solution.
- Assisting an executive jet and transport company tendering to provide transport services to a private company. The listed company needed an outsourced solution for their executive transport needs. They had recently sold two company owned jets. We assisted our client to write the bid, and to propose a solution that clearly demonstrated the depth of our client’s resources. This was critical as the tender didn’t detail the full extent of the services required – only their immediate needs. We assisted our client to successfully put forward a bid which not only met their immediate needs, but also their needs and demand in the future.
Call our Director, Jason Cooney on 0410 448 770 for assistance with your next air services and aviation tender.