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Completing a tender

Tips 

  • Answer the question - it is that simple 
  • Explain clearly what you will provide, how you will provide it and why it is the right solution
  • Show systems, capabilities and people necessary
  • Provide relevant case studies, data and reference

What we look for

  • A complete tender submission (all documents)
  • Received by the deadline
  • No qualifications to stated Terms & Conditions

Pitfalls and common mistakes

  • Missing documents (incomplete tenders)
  • Questions not answered
  • Supplier not understood the specification
  • Documents not checked prior to submission

Has the supplier:

  • Understood what we are looking for?
  • Demonstrated their ability to meet requirements?
  • Demonstrated value for money?
  • Demonstrated quality & reliability

Basic tips

  • Answer the question - it is that simple
  • Explain clearly what you will provide, how you will provide it and why it is the right solution
  • Show systems, capabilities and people necessary
  • Provide relevant case studies, data and references

Approach

  • Review all documentation
  • Query anything you are unsure of (asap)
  • Checklist & Deadlines  Evaluation Criteria
  • Pricing
  • Timing (don’t leave it until the last minute)
  • Unique Selling Point (USP) – why you? 

Checklist

  • Check the Instructions
  • Answered all sections
  • Evidence
  • Clarification
  • Pricing
  • Timescales
  • Signatures

Key messages

  • Read the requirements
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions (clarification)
  • Read the questions (re-read)
  • Answer all questions
  • Make sure you have answered the question
  • Get it proofread – someone not involved

Invitation to Tender (ITT) pack will include:

  • Instructions to Tenderers
  • Introduction from buyer who will set out the vision
  • The Specification
  • The Evaluation Criteria & Relative Weighting
  • Form of Tender
  • Draft Contract Terms and Conditions
  • Declarations / Bona Fide 
  • Pricing Schedule

Invitation to tender (ITT) pack will include:

  • Instructions to Tenderers
  • Introduction from buyer who will set out the vision
  • The Specification
  • The Evaluation Criteria & Relative Weighting
  • Form of Tender
  • Draft Contract Terms and Conditions
  • Declarations / Bona Fide
  • Pricing Schedule

Example of good and weak answers

Do you have a Health & Safety Policy?

  • Weak answer: “Yes, see Appendix 1”
  • Good answer: “The Health & Safety of our staff and customers is a vital part of the company’s quality process. We operate a comprehensive Health & Safety Policy (see Appendix 1) covering all aspects of our products (services) and operations and it is reviewed biannually.” For an SME employing less than 5 people: “Although we are not required legally to have a Health & Safety Policy, we take this matter very seriously and have adopted a Health & Safety Policy in the interests of our staff and clients

What Quality Assurance arrangements does your company operate? If no accreditation is held please explain why not and what alternative steps you take to ensure quality at work?

  • Weak answer: “We operate our own quality system. We have determined that formal accreditation is inappropriate to our company’s needs. Complaints are the responsibility of the Managing Director.”
  • Good answer: “We regard quality as a vitally important part of our business activity and we operate a comprehensive and strict internal quality assurance process covering all aspects of our business activity (details can be found in Appendix 2). We are committed to a process of continuous improvement and we are in the process of applying for ISO 9001 (we expect to be assessed in May of this year)”