The Ultimate Guide to Lift Tenders

Published11th February 2021 AuthorJohn Hudson

How to succeed when writing lift tenders

Lift tenders are published in both the public and private sectors. The lift installations and maintenance industry is a competitive one. Lift tendering opportunities can range in scale from universities, apartment complexes to shopping centres.

The lift industry can have many lucrative opportunities. A recent example is that of an HS2 lift and escalator contract last year (2020). Five bidders were invited to tender for the design, delivery and maintenance of almost 300 lifts and escalators. The work is to be carried out in four major new stations. The lift contract was worth up to £267 million and the winners placed onto a framework.

What type of lift services are buyers looking to procure?

Examples of the type of lift tenders that are put out are for the procurement of lift:

  • Repair
  • Maintenance
  • Servicing
  • Installation

You may have already been tendering or might be completely new to the process. Either way, there are some things you need to consider in order to succeed when writing lift tenders.

Case Studies

Having a bank of reliable past examples of contracts, you’ve fulfilled is key. A buyer may require 2 – 3 past case studies from previous work your company has carried out. You will likely be asked to provide works contracts examples from within the last three to five years. Your examples may need to include the following details:

  • A description of the goods, service or works delivered.
  • Contract value and dates.
  • Previous customer details.
  • Methodology and timescale.
  • Approach to the project.
  • Details of where you have been able to demonstrate added value through the adoption of innovative solutions. 

Applicable British Standard and Qualifications 

When completing an ITT for lift tenders, the buyer will likely require you to state any applicable accreditations and qualifications. This, understandably, is because they want to be reassured that you’re adequately qualified for the job and have enough experience. Some examples of relevant British Standard qualifications, accreditations and policies you may need are:

  • BS EN 13015:2001 + A1:2008 – Maintenance for lifts and escalators – rules for maintenance.
  • BS 5656-1:2013 – Safety rules for the Construction and Installation of Escalators and Passenger Conveyors.
  • BS EN8120 – requirements relating to general access and safety.
  • BS EN8128 – requirements for installing, testing and designing alarm and communication systems.
  • BS EN8150 – requirements for test and examination of certain lift components.
  • BS EN8158 – requirements for door and car fire resistance.
  • BS EN8170 – requirements access for people with disabilities.
  • BS EN8173 – requirements for the behaviour of lifts in the event of fire.
  • SAFed Lift Guidelines
  • ISO 9001
  • CHAS

Buyers will want to be confident that the work you’re providing is to the highest health and safety standards. Specific health and safety questions could ask how you handle risk and keep up to date with the new guidance. You need to convey that everything you do regarding health and safety is aligned with best practice.

Economic and financial standing

Your economic financial standing is typically assessed at the PQQ stage. It’s one of two ways the contractor assesses the suitability of the supplier. The other is via the technical and professional capability of your business.  Your economic financial standing is assessed on three factors:

  1. Annual turnover

For this, you usually need to attach your most recent audited accounts.

  1. Financial ratios

Your financial ratios are usually found in your accounts. They may include the ratio of your assets to liabilities for example, quick ratios and acid tests.

  1. Insurance

You usually need to attach your insurance documents.

When looking through multiple lift tenders, you may be wondering if your turnover is good enough. If the turnover threshold isn’t stated within the specification there’s a way you can easily calculate it yourself. Generally, it’s unadvised to bid for work that is more than half your annual turnover. For example, if you turn over £150k, we advise bidding for tenders with a maximum budget of £75k.

Assess your competition

As with any tender, you need to consider your competition. You need to persuade the buyer that you’re the best company for the job. What will you do that your competitors won’t? Do you have a unique selling point? Do you use any innovative solutions or have a particular environmental or sustainability edge?

When assessing your competition, it’s hard not to compare price. You need to remember not to undercut yourself when pricing your services. The cheapest bid doesn’t always win – especially in the public sector where the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) wins.

The MEAT allows the buyer to award the contract based on aspects other than just price. These can include:

  • Accessibility
  • Innovation
  • Quality
  • Technical Ability
  • Environmental benefits
  • Customer Service
  • Ability to deliver on time
  • Proposed design 

Make life easier for the buyer and keep your response concise

Buyers may have hundreds of lift tenders to go through depending on the size of the procurement. You’ll want to get into their good books, and you can do this by making their life easier. When writing your response, be clear and concise and clearly highlight your conformance with the specification. For example:

  • Use headings and subheadings that breakdown the question.
  • Don’t allow the buyer to make any assumptions. If you leave room for assumptions, they could make the wrong assumptions losing you valuable marks. Carefully explain your approach to the work at hand.
  • Don’t use filler or fluffy words. Why use three or four words when you can just as well use one. For example, instead of saying “Here at Lift Company Ltd” say “we”.
  • Try and get to as close to the word or page count as possible. It’s there for a reason. If a buyer thinks the answer deserves a 500-word response, don’t just write two sentences.

Where can I find lift tenders?

Good question. Lift tenders are uploaded by hundreds of buyers to many different portals across the UK. Live tenders are uploaded to multiple portals day by day. So, searching for the right opportunity for your business can turn into a full-time job!

Usually, tenders are uploaded and tagged with a CPV code. These tend to be unreliable and you could end up missing out the perfect opportunity for your business. Our Opportunity Trackers manually search for the latest public and private sector opportunities. They then upload them to our Facilities Tenders portal where you can filter the results. You can find a tender that suits your needs by keyword, budget, location and more.

Here are some past examples of lift tenders we have sourced: 

Rivers House, Bridgwater – Passenger Lifts

Environment Agency- South West- Budget: £70,000


Refurbishment of a Bed Passenger Lift

Health Service Executive (HSE)- International- Budget: Undisclosed


Riverside House – Passenger Lifts

LGSS- East Midlands- Budget: Undisclosed


Full Replacement of Single Drive Passenger Lift

Salvation Army Housing Association- Yorkshire and Humber- Budget: Undisclosed


Contract for the Provision of Servicing and Maintenance of Lifts and Hoists

Cheshire East Borough Council- North West- Budget: £500,000


Hopefully, this guide to lift tenders has given you some food for thought. But, if you’re still struggling with what to write for your next lift maintenance bid, we can help. We offer four bid writing services to help you succeed with you next bid.

Bid writing services

Our Bid Writers at Hudson Succeed have an 87% success rate and over 50 years of bidding experience. Whether you’re completely new to tendering or want to improve your current bid, they can support you. Our services include: 

  1. Tender Mentor

Our Bid Writers will take a look at a lift tender response you’ve already written. They’ll then provide you with some feedback and notify you of any errors before you submit.

  1. Tender Writing

Have you found the perfect lift tender, but don’t know where to start with your response? You can send it over to one of our Bid Writers and they’ll handle it all for you. They’ll even submit it on your behalf! This allows you time to focus on running your business. They will provide you with a full tender writing breakdown and let you know if they need anything from you.

  1. Tender Improvement

Our Tender Improvement package can help if you’re submitting lift tenders but aren’t seeing results. Our Bid Writers will assess your previous tendering responses and supporting documents.  They’ll then provide you with guidance and recommendations on how you can improve.

  1. Tender Ready

The Tender Ready package is for those who are completely new to the tendering process. You’ll have access to an expert Bid Consultant and a 12-month subscription to our Facilities Tenders portal.

Join Facilities Tenders

At Facilities Tenders, we source sector-specific tenders on a daily basis from thousands of buyers, across the UK.

We’ll send you daily alerts when new tenders are released. You’ll have 24-hour access to our portal, and a dedicated Account Manager on hand to help.

We also track opportunities for the following sub-sectors:

Book a free live demo today to learn how we can grow your business!

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