The Dos And Dont’s Of Submitting Bids or Tenders


Christina Murias
Green Growth Consulting

Around 100,000 organisations and many big private companies in UK have started using the PQQ process or bid and tender system to choose their vendors.

This system is extremely slow and annoying but it enables small firms to grow drastically.  The reason for the sluggish pace is that it involves public money therefore; it has to be ensured that the process goes smoothly and offers great value.  The lengthy process can sometimes be a cause of delays, clarifications and cancellations and should not be pursued at a loss of your normal working activities.

Those bid and tender assignments that are medium in size and exceed £50,000 can improve your firm’s reputation and increase its turnover. It can offer good testimonials, a fantastic experience and the payments are usually made on time.

It is advised not to concentrate only on winning big tenders if you do not have sufficient cash to survive the entire sales cycle (minimum three times).  It is a better option to follow a strategy that includes a combination of the big, medium and small tender projects being undertaken at one time.

You will find below some dos and don’ts and some common causes of failure when using bid and tenders.

The Dos

  • Using bid or tenders will help you expand your business
  • Submitting bids or tenders in partnership will enable you to leverage your strong points in the document.
  • It is important to submit your bid or tender on time. A late submission will give the client a negative perception of you.
  • Attend the briefing sessions, thoroughly go through the guidance notes and answer questions truthfully using formal language, after completely understanding them and according to word count.
  • Research companies that have previously won similar tenders and why.
  • Also research your competitor, identify their strengths and try to exceed them.
  • Highlight your competitor’s weaknesses by highlighting your strengths.
  • Your tender should be aligned with or linked to the purpose and organizational goals of the firm.
  • Use positive language and include the risks involved. Most public sector and big private sector firms are risk averse.
  • Work on your cost model properly.
  • Ensure the font is standard, black and consistent throughout.
  • Get someone to proof read your document.
  • Get an ISO accreditation, and ensure the presence of all relevant insurances and policies.
  • Ensure receipt of your tender, get feedback whether you win or lose and keep submitting tenders until you win.

The Don’ts
Causes of Failure

  • Do not surpass the word count.
  • Never delay submission of a bid or tender.
  • If you do not submit, give an explanation.
  • Never fib, hide facts or use slang in your document.
  • Give a brief description of your firm and the benefits you offer.
  • Never make assumptions, rush to complete you tender or ignore your competitors.
  • A better proposal wins.
  • Design or equipment deficiencies and incomplete information supplied in your document.
  • Insufficient experience or inadequacy of skills may be a reason for failure.
  • Ineffective after sales service.
  • Weak financial stature, inadequate cost control and quality management.
  • The delivery period is not appropriate.
  • Poor organising and administrative capabilities.

It is a usual practice to invite many of the powerful bidders for a presentation. If you have reached that stage, your bid or tender is good and you may have a chance to win but the game is not yet over….

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