6 Handy Steps That Simplify the Tender Process
Understanding the tender process gives you a greater chance of winning a bid. Know the system correctly to make it work for you.
A tender is a formalised offer in order to perform work for payment. Payment may be made in the form of a fixed price or rates system. The work may include the buying of goods, services, or a combination of the both. To win a tender you need to understand the processes and what the buyer expects.
Types of Tenders
Tender requests come in many sizes, shapes and forms. They include:
- Request for Tender (RTF)
- Approach to Market (ATP)
- Request for Proposals (RFP)
- Invitation to Offer (ITO)
- Invitation to Respond (ITR)
- Request for Quote (RFQ)
Additionally, Request for Expressions of Interests (EOI) are not typically tender requests but are often the first step in the process.
1. Request Your Tender Interest
Follow the instructions in the tender document to register your interest with the purchasing agency. This is important as it will keep you updated with regard to any tender information sessions should you want to attend them.
2. Develop Your Tender Strategy and Analysis
When bidding, carefully plan your tender and consider:
- How much will it cost to prepare the tender?
- What information do we need to gather?
- What resources will we need to fulfil the contract?
- Who will manage the tender project?
- How will the workload, work required and meetings be planned?
- Who is the competition and what are the chances of winning?
Once formulated, keep this in a document to make it easier for when you start to create your response.
3. Review Recent Awarded Contracts
If you think this step is irrelevant, move to step 4. However, if you are unclear about any of the requirements in the tender request then it is recommended you seek clarification through examples. This allows for some insight into some of the more complicated type of tenders.
4. Identifying Key Performance Measures
Each of the identified components in point No.2 will have a number of specified performance measures. Purchasers will use these measures to evaluate your bid. The common criteria includes:
- Cost efficiency
- Bid compliance
- Your viability
- Your experience
- Added-value offerings
Of course, not all criterium carry the same weight but it is recommended that you keep those in mind when creating the tender.
5. Supporting Documentation And Clarification
It is very common for purchasers to request specific documents. Make sure to comply with these requests, but also consider what other documents you could add that would support your case. A word of warning: Do not compile a bunch of brochures and general information that is not specific to the opportunity. Purchasers are looking for people who meet their criteria and are specific with what they want. Should you choose to make it too hard for them to harrow through the piles, it is likely they will overlook your tender submission.
6. Writing Your Submission
Purchasers are looking for a supplier to stand out from the competition. Before writing, have a copy of the performance measures formulated from point No.4 and keep this document in front of you. Then:
- Include your ABN.
- Address each criterion as a heading in your response (or use a template if supplied).
- Use clear, simple and plain english to aid understanding.
- Use key words and give examples that relate.
- Also provide supporting documentation and information to the main propositions.
It is also important that you comply with everything stated in points No. 2,4, and 5.
Securing a tender can help your business grow tremendously. While it does take time and many resources to make bids, they are often well worth the process should you be successful. Ultimately, if you are considering tendering and need further assistance with formulating successful tenders, please contact a business lawyer as soon as possible.
Alex works in the content team as a Legal Intern for Lawpath. He is studying a Bachelor of Commerce (Professional Accounting) and Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University. His passion resides with commercial, corporate and tax law.