Tender Writing — Understanding the Tendering Process

The skilled tender writer will have an excellent understanding of the tendering process and the tender writing task. While responding to tenders isn’t rocket science or brain surgery there are very significant skills required and the quality tender writer will really understand how the tender process works, how tenders are assessed and what “pitch” is required to get their tender over the line. Today we will discuss the tendering process and issues that you need to be aware of in preparing great tenders.

Council/Government/Corporate Requirements

Obviously before a tender is released the entity releasing the tender has to have identified a need and has to have decided on exactly what services/products they need and they obviously have pre-determined a budget for the cost they are willing to pay for the good/services. So obviously then price will be an important consideration no matter what they say in their general blurb about price only being one consideration — it is a very very important consideration.

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Once the offering entity has decided on the good/services they want and the budget they have to pay for the services, then they will need to work out how to buy these services. Do they have overarching policies/legislation that require them to go to tender which is generally the situation with Government or Council related entities? Corporate/commercial entities are not restricted by these constraints and can either go to tender if they feel this is the best way to get the services/price they want or do they just go direct to market.

If they decide to go to tender then obviously the tender is released to the public or industry and the tender is advertised on the entities website, via social media, on tender specific websites. So you have to be aware of where these tenders are advertised and keep an eye out for tenders that might suit your needs.

Document Cache

When an entity releases a tender to the public/industry/selected entities there is usually a large cache of documents that comprise the tender documentation. These can comprise the tender specifications, tender response form, tender definitions, example of the contract to be offered/signed if successful, pricing spreadsheet etc etc. The main documents to concentrate on are the tender specifications and the response form. The rest of the documents are generally to be read for general interest.

Response Requirements

In responding to tenders there will be very specific requirements outlined generally in the tender specifications document of how they want the tender response — ie what font/format, what supporting documents, what can and can’t be included, what attachments can be submitted, how the tender is to be lodged — hard copy, disc, hand delivered, online etc and the closing date for responses to be received. The quality tender writer will ensure they meet the requirements of the tender EXACTLY!

Assessment

The offering entity will convene an assessment panel to assess the tender responses. Firstly they will want to identify those tenders that do not comply with the specific requirements set out in the tender specifications document. So if in the tender writing process you didn’t use the correct font, lodge it correctly, meet the submission deadline etc etc then your tender will immediately end up on the no chance pile.

Once the number of responses are down to a manageable level then the panel will focus on the price being offered, the quality, the experience, the value adding, point of difference, strengths of the responding company/organisation, the supporting WHS systems and processes in the responding business/organisation, the innovation etc.

There are many considerations for the assessment panel but as mentioned price is important and at Red Tape Busters we really focus on the issues just mentioned. As highly skilled and experienced tender writers Sydney we need to pitch our client and their business/organisation as being totally different to the competition — different but way better. Our successes certainly suggest we have the tender writing process down to a fine art.

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