Top tendering tips for bidders and buyers

Clare Tetlow
29 June 2014

30 June 2014 | Clare Tetlow

Clare Tetlow, Re:alliesWhether you’re a buyer or a bidder, the tender process can sometimes seem a little off-putting.

Buyers need suppliers to provide them with the right materials and labour for the job, so they need to be sure they are giving them the right information. Bidders, on the other hand, want to be confident they are making a good impression on potential customers, so rely on buyers to give them a comprehensive brief for the project.

But procurement doesn’t need to be so tricky. With a little understanding of what the other side needs from a tender, buyers and bidders can help to ensure the entire process goes smoothly, and both get what they need as efficiently as possible without the unnecessary use of valuable resources. 

To help, here are our tips to help guarantee a successful tender for both parties.

Buyers:

• Plan your procurements as thoroughly as possible so that your tender documents are clear and concise. This will ensure your needs can be understood and smaller businesses aren’t put off applying

• Rather than using a contract template, invest time and create one that is tailored to the specific project. This will pay off later, as bidders will avoid wasting resources on reviewing irrelevant clauses

• Remember many bidders are completing tenders around busy day jobs without an in-house bid team, so make their lives easier by responding promptly to questions

• Be as realistic and transparent as possible when it comes to projected demand to avoid disappointment further down the line

Bidders:

• Bidding for a contract is costly and time-consuming for all involved, so before deciding whether to compete, read the documentation carefully to ensure you can reasonably deliver the work and that it is worth your while

• Take time to understand the rules and requirements of the tender so you don’t overlook a key piece of information, such as the closing date

• When bidding, plan your time carefully to ensure you do your work justice, and secure the expertise needed to present your company in the best possible light

• Read the question and scoring guidance carefully and take the time to produce a tailored response to show how enthusiastic you are about working with them. Cutting and pasting responses from previous documents may save time, but it’s a false economy as it will rarely convince buyers that you want to win the bid

We may have emerged from the recession, but procurement still presents a potential headache for many. By understanding each other’s needs, though, bidders and buyers can make sure the tender is successful, ensuring a happy outcome for both parties.

☛ Clare Tetlow is senior procurement manager at Re:allies

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