I was speaking to a government procurement manager at a recent ‘Meet the Buyer’ session (hosted by SA Government’s Office of the Industry Advocate-you should check them out if not already done so!) who lamented about the number of companies who submit tenders for what they hoped was going to be lucrative contracts, yet often responses had to be discounted because they had failed to address the basic requirements of the Department’s Request for Tender (RFT). An example was one ‘trade contract’ tenderer who simply submitted the price, and then requested that all other information be sourced from their website!
It’s all about understanding what the customer wants
You simply can’t expect your prospective client to go looking for the information they have requested; just lay it all out in an orderly manner so it’s easy to find.
There are no secrets in submitting a high quality tender to maximise your chance of winning or being appointed as a preferred supplier. It is simply a matter of doing your homework, understanding the scope of requirements and what qualifications are needed, getting your price right (estimate your costs carefully, add a suitable margin, and state clearly what’s included or excluded), and presenting your business to the prospective client in a state of preparedness.
Get professional help if needed
I can hear many of you saying that’s fine if you have the time and people to prepare the submission, particularly if you’re a small business, but if that’s the case, get someone outside to help. Several of our clients have asked us at EQAS to do this, and find it relatively efficient, particularly if we already know the business through any Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) work we may have done for them. That’s because HSEQ continues to be a big part of most tender requirements.
It’s no secret then that tenderers who have done their homework, read the tender requirements, and demonstrated their understanding and capability effectively, will be the only ones of real interest to those issuing the RFT.
Good luck tendering!