14 Jun Simple guide to Tender Process
By Louise Lewis, June 14th 2016
The key to success is to wait for a tender opportunity that is right for you. Tendering for a contract that you’re not going to have chance of winning wastes valuable time and will reduce your confidence in going for future opportunities that you could have won. Waiting for the right opportunities will raise your success rate considerably, creating huge benefits for you and your business.
After registering interest and accessing the tender documentation, take the time to read the documents thoroughly noting key Client requirements in order to complete a bid/no bid assessment. The decision to bid or not to bid for a contract should be a carefully considered process balancing the opportunity, against a realistic evaluation of the likelihood of success.
Points to consider:
• What are the mandatory requirements (for example financial stability, quality accreditations) and can you meet them?
• Can you show relevant experience?
• Do you need to partner?
• Is the contract the right size for the business? It is risky to bid if a tender value is more than 25% of turnover, and many Clients will exclude Suppliers on that basis. Do not overstretch the business to the point where service or quality issues will arise.
• Do you have sufficient resource to respond professionally within the deadline? Maybe outsourcing the bid writing is something to be considered?
Once you have confirmed you have a suitable opportunity to bid for you need to create a response plan to ensure you meet the Client deadline. The Submission deadline is extremely important and missing it will simply mean that you will be disqualified. In order to prevent such a disaster, do not leave things to the last minute. Plan the process well and make sure that you allow for all potential problems. Factor in time for proof reading your final response, and gathering any sign off from others in the company where relevant. Also be aware of the submission requirements, information on how to submit the tender can be found on the tender documentation and increasingly more Buyers are requiring proposals to be electronically submitted rather than posted, however if they do require a hardcopy, printing and delivery times will have to be factored in.
Remember to keep your application simple, yet professional and address exactly what the buyer asks for using a consistent writing style.
Buyers will usually specify the exact pricing information to be included in the proposal and how it should be presented. Normally this will take the form of a table or spreadsheet, requiring a detailed breakdown of the cost elements to be provided and an indication of how they are calculated.