A tender process is a structured process used by organisations worldwide to acquire goods or services.
It involves an ‘open call’ for bids from prospective suppliers or contractors, followed by an evaluation of the bids submitted to determine the most suitable supplier.
The entire tendering process is designed to ensure transparency and fairness and to ensure the best supplier is chosen for the contract or project.
The Tender Process
The tender process begins with the buyer organisation issuing the invitation to tender and all associated documentation that outlines the scope of the contract or project.
The scope includes the requirements of the buyer organisation, the specification and time frame for completion, and any other relevant details.
Buyer organisations typically receive bids from suppliers, who must submit them according to the specification laid out in the tender.
The bids are then evaluated and scored according to the award criteria, such as technical experience, quality of services delivered, commercial price, and the bidders’ credentials and qualifications.
The buyer organisation will then award the contract to the supplier or contractor that receives the highest score against the criteria.
Step 1 – Request for Tender
A ‘request for tender’ is the first step in the tendering process. This is when the buyer organisation looking to procure a service or a good sends out a call for tenders.
This essentially means that they are inviting suppliers of a specific product or service to bid on a project or contract.
At this stage, information is provided on what is required for the project, such as the scope of work, compliance requirements, a timeline for completion, documentation that must be provided, and the evaluation criteria.
During this stage, as a potential supplier, you must ensure that the project is commercially viable and you can deliver the contract requirements.
The main purpose of this stage is to guarantee that all potential suppliers are given the same information – to ensure that each has an equal opportunity to bid on the project.
Step 2 – Pre-qualification
Pre-qualification is about ensuring that any potential suppliers meet the standards set by the company. This includes, but is not limited to, factors such as:
- Financial stability
- Contract Experience in the specific area
- Accreditations and Qualifications
- HSEQ Compliance
To begin the pre-qualification process, the company or organisation assesses the qualifications, experience, and expertise of the bidder; and will also check financial and credit records. They will also examine legal and regulatory compliance.
Overall, the pre-qualification process is designed to ensure the supplier meets a basic standard set by the organisation; and has sufficient experience and resources to deliver the contract requirements.
Step 3 – Bid Preparation and Submission
Prepare the bid following the invitation to tender instructions. These will clearly explain the format in which the bid must be returned, and any page limits or word counts. In most cases, a bid must be returned using the buyer organisation’s template.
Gather your team of subject matter experts and decide how you will win this contract, what are your win themes and how do these propel you above and beyond your competitors.
What will be the benefits to the buyer organisation to engage your company to deliver these services?
Once you have agreed on your key win themes, you are ready to start preparing your first draft.
Work through each technical question to storyboard how you will answer it. Break the question down into manageable chunks if it has lots of elements to it. Use key headings to make the section easily identifiable.
Remember to include mini-case studies to demonstrate where you have successfully delivered these services before.
Once the first draft is complete, ask a member from outside the team to review it.
- Does it answer the question?
- Have you covered all elements?
- Does it read easily and flow well?
Following the mid-bid review, you can make your final tweaks and complete a final proofread.
The tender instructions will include a checklist for submission, so ensure you work through this to ensure you have not missed anything, and then you are ready to submit.
Step 4 – Evaluation and Selection
Evaluation will take place following the closing date of the submission. The timeline will be included in the tender documents.
It involves the buyer organisation conducting a full bid assessment using the evaluation criteria set out in the tender documents. It is a fair and transparent process.
Step 5 – Contract Award
Following the winning bid being evaluated, a contract award will be issued, and there is often a standstill period of approximately ten days.
The contract agreement is based on the original terms of the successful bid and the Form of Tender.
Need Help with the Tendering Process?
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Bid writing services shouldn’t be seen as a cost, but rather an investment – and one that can result in significant profits for your company. By investing a small amount into your bids, you will no doubt set yourself up for future success and growth of your business
Ready to push your business further with Bid Writing Services?
Contact our Director, Michael Baron, for an informal chat today.