Top Tender Tips – Making a List and Checking it Twice

If you have produced and submitted tenders previously, then you will know that it is a time-consuming process which requires input from a range of key stakeholders across your organisation. Gathering pertinent information and presenting this in a manner that is most likely to demonstrate the value of your service is not a one-day job. It is a collective effort whereby the submission is reviewed and discussed by multiple people within your company at regular intervals.

So imagine going through the pain-staking process of attaining all the relevant information, presenting and formatting this information appropriately and then proofing the submission from top to bottom, just to be eliminated from the process due to a failure to comply with the tender requirements. It would be devastating for not only the individuals involved in the tender process, but also the company who had dedicated time and resource to producing a quality bid for an important new (or even worse, existing) contract.

It is therefore vital that before commencing work on your tender response, you are fully aware of every single requirement stated within the tender documentation. Additionally, we can’t stress enough how important it is that you record these requirements and save them on a separate document which is accessible to all involved in producing your company’s bid.

This document should not be unnecessarily complicated and will be regularly referenced and reviewed to ensure all elements of your tender response are fully compliant. Reasons for non-compliance and subsequent elimination from the procurement process could be as simple as any of the following mistakes:

  • Failing to limit your response to a tender question to within the stated word/page count
  • Submitting a document which is in excess of the file size limit stated by the buying organisation
  • Not submitting documentation specifically requested by the buying organisation (Insurance Policies, Health & Safety Policy, Risk Assessments etc.)
  • Uploading your final documents in the incorrect format (For example, submitting PDF documents when it has been stated that only Word documents will be accepted)

The above are a small selection of a wide range of possible non-conformities which could see your bid fail before it has even been fully evaluated, so ensure you have read all documentation thoroughly and recorded all the important information you need to know ahead of submission.

We would suggest producing a template document, to be completed once the original tender documentation has been received for an opportunity your company wishes to pursue.

The ‘Submission Requirements’ document should be presented in a simple format whereby information can be identified within the tender documentation and simply transferred across into the relevant categories. For example, please see below an example of a Submission Requirements document, clearly separating the various stipulations with which you must achieve full compliance:

Generally speaking, any areas of non-compliance can be easily fixed providing you have organised your time appropriately and are not leaving everything until the last minute.

For example, if any of the final tender documents you have prepared have exceeded a file size limit stipulated by the buyer, this is an issue which is much simpler to fix two days ahead of the tender deadline, as opposed to ten minutes before you are due to submit!

Ensure your list of submission requirements is compiled and distributed to all relevant parties. All personnel involved in the tender process should make regular checks as to your compliancy, leaving no stone unturned ahead of submitting bids which could have major positive impacts upon the future of your business.