Although critically important to a procurement, the evaluation of tenders can be a time consuming and resource intensive exercise for all involved.
To streamline the process and focus the efforts of the evaluation panel, the following top tips should be considered when drafting tender questions:
1. Include multiple choice questions wherever possible. This provides tenderers with clear information on what options are available in response to the question. Evaluation of these questions can be automated with set scores being awarded for certain questions. And there is no requirement for independent evaluation and subsequent consensus marking.
2. Include detailed response guidance for each question. This provides tenderers with clear information on what information they need to provide as part of their response. It ensures tenderers do not include any irrelevant information or content which has not been requested. And it enables a quick and efficient evaluation as certain key requirements are reviewed within the response and scored accordingly.
3. Include word or page limits for each question. This ensures tenderers are only able to provide a certain length response in relation to each question. It increases the likelihood bidders will provide a focused response and will not include any information that has not been requested or is irrelevant. And it enables a quick and efficient evaluation as responses will be focused and limited in length.
4. Only permit relevant supporting attachments and provide clear criteria. This guarantees tenderers will not provide supporting information that has not been requested. It ensures suppliers are not able to provide supporting information which is not relevant to the question. And it enables a quick and efficient evaluation as supporting attachments will be focused and will only be scored in cases where they meet the criteria for the question.
5. Limit the number of questions asked and include only those of critical importance. This ensures tenderers are only required to respond to questions which are critical to the contract. It reduces the number of questions to be evaluated and subsequently consensus marked And it provides evaluators with more time to enable a thorough evaluation on only those questions which are critical to the contract.
☛ Nicola Bramwell is a director at Apsiz Services