16 July 2014 | Phil Machin
To all buyers out there – before you press the publish button or send out a RFP request email – remember, it's holiday season.
You might be thinking about exiting for sunnier climes next week, but so are the majority of suppliers across Europe - leaving them exposed to new sales requests while operating with a skeleton team across their business.
So if you are poised to publish your RFP before jetting off, be mindful that bidders may be away at the same time.
Sending your RFP over the holiday period could result in less participation, lower quality responses, and more bidders requesting deadline extensions.
In addition, will your project team be available to answer the supplier questions within the tender timelines? Without your answers bidders may struggle to provide you with a comprehensive proposal.
Of course, for suppliers winning new business and retaining existing contracts are critical, and depending on the size of the prize suppliers will ask their bid managers, or those supporting the tender, to postpone their holidays and personal commitments to manage your tender response. If suppliers know you are basking in the sunshine instead of them, it might not be conducive to the perfect bid response!
It might be worth speaking to bidders to establish whether holidays will impact their submission, and if they will find it difficult to participate within your proposed timelines. You are assured of a much better outcome if you provide longer response times from the outset to allow for the holiday season. Offering a last-minute extension because bidders are unable to provide a response may be seen as unprepared and could frustrate those suppliers who have had to find the capacity to complete their response on time.
Just consider - given the time you have invested in perfecting your tender documentation - is it worth jeopardising quality and integrity for the sake of an extra week that you may ultimately need to give away further down the line?
☛ Phil Machin is director at Bridge Procurement