How to avoid a last-minute panic when bidding for a tender

Avoid a last minute panic

You have found a tender that your company would be perfect for – fantastic!

But the deadline is tight and now you’re racing against time to submit the tender.

To avoid a last-minute panic when bidding for a tender, follow our Top 10 Tips:

  1. Read tender documents carefully

Download all the documents provided on the portal, read them carefully and consider:

  • Contract value
  • Length of contract
  • Key dates (submission deadline, contract award notice date, clarification dates, etc)
  • Contract details
  • Key requirements

    2. Plan, plan, plan!

Familiarise yourself with the bidding process. Have you been involved in tendering before? If so, what did you learn? Can you transfer any knowledge gained from your previous bids to create a more efficient plan this time?

You need to ensure your company is ‘tender ready’ and that you can fulfil the contract and submit a compelling bid before the deadline.

Often people underestimate the time it takes to prepare, write and submit a tender. From pre-bid to post-bid there is a large time span. Plan your answers so you hit all of the points the commissioner is looking for.

3. Get organised

Bid co-ordination is a key component of planning and organising a bid. Delegate tasks to the people within the company who are best placed to provide the relevant information. You may want to dedicate an individual to co-ordinating the bid and keeping track of the information required.

Create an information spreadsheet or mobilisation plan to keep track of who is responsible for gathering which piece of information. Set achievable deadlines to ensure information is gathered in time. Create shared folders to enable individuals to easily upload relevant information and documents.

4. Formatting

It is vital to consider the formatting of answers. For example, if the commissioner states they want the font to be Arial size 11, follow this guidance.

Answers will also be limited to specific word counts. Specify word counts at the end of your answers to save the commissioner time.

5. Relevant attachments

The PQQ (Pre-Qualification Questionnaire) will state the relevant attachments needed to support your submission. This may include:

  • Company policies
  • Case studies
  • Organisational charts
  • Mobilisation plans
  • Project plans

Case studies take time to write. Ensure you have relevant case studies prior to bidding. Attachments should be ready to be uploaded at the time of submission.

6. Clarify all ambiguities

Clarify any uncertainties as soon as possible. The clarification stage invites bidders to raise queries. At this stage, you should clarify anything you are unsure of.

The commissioner releases a list of these questions and their responses after this stage. Read through this carefully to check if there is anything relevant to your bid.

7. Pricing

Is your price right? A thorough pricing plan, prior to bidding, is essential. Having the means in place to fulfil the contract is vital and commissioners will look for a detailed and thorough pricing plan.

Make sure you have carefully evaluated your pricing – you can lose marks, or even worse, lose out on winning the tender completely, solely due to pricing.

8. Check thoroughly

It is important to check your tender responses thoroughly to check they are grammatically correct and read well. Sharpen your phrasing and key messages in your answers and ensure you are hitting the main answer requirements stated by the commissioner. Look at ways to make what you are saying more concise and ‘to the point’.

Get others to check through the answers to help refine key messages and add in any valuable points.

9. Submit early

Any tenders submitted after the deadline, even if it is only a few seconds late, won’t be considered!

However, before the deadline has expired, tender portals will allow you to amend or upload any additional documents after your initial submission. So, if you are waiting on that final quote or evidence to ‘slot-in’, get a completed bid submitted first. You can re-open, refine, and re-submit when it arrives.

If you’re still in the initial stages, deciding whether to bid or not to bid for a tender, read our ‘To Bid or Not to Bid’ blog post to help you make a decision.

10. Ask the experts

If this is really out of your comfort zone, ask for help. Often the value of the contract awarded by far outweighs the cost of using a consultant or advisor with years of bidding experience and it significantly boosts your chances of submitting a winning tender bid.

If you need help with tendering, get in touch today to see how we can help. Contact info@klowconsulting.com or give us a call on 0330 133 1041.

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