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Invitation to tender you have been invited to tender, so what next?

Posted on 09-04-2013


In the public sector, if you have received an invitation to tender then that will more often than not mean that you have already been successful at the first stage of the procurement process, the PQQ.

Perhaps this is the first time that you have attempted to tender for a contract or it may be a regular occurrence in your business, where you rely on public sector contracts in order to grow your company steadily year on year. Regardless of your experience level, there are many items that require your understanding before you begin to respond to the questions in the tender response document. These are:

1) Read all of the documents, and read them twice – we regularly review tender documents on behalf of some of our clients, and some of the largest and possibly most costly errors occur when the person who is writing the tender responses hasn’t thoroughly read through the tender specifications. If you do not read these specifications, and highlight areas of importance, how do you know that you are expected to make contributions to reducing crime within the contract’s locality, for example, and that suggestions and acceptance of this responsibility are expected to be detailed within your tender responses, though there are no actual questions pertaining to crime reduction in the tender response document. We came across this particular example just last week and thanks to our keen eye for detail we were able to incorporate this requirement into our clients’ tender responses.

2) Read all of the questions, read them twice, and make sure you deconstruct them. More often than not when we receive a tender document to write on behalf of one of our clients, we have to make sure that we do not jump straight into answering the first question. We read through all of the questions, with the marking criteria open alongside them, for these reasons:

  •  if you jump straight into answering the question without first deconstructing it, you may miss out elements of the question entirely
  •  the question itself may be ambiguous in the way it is worded. Regardless of its wording, you should always have the scoring criteria open alongside each question so that you know how it is to be scored. This can help you to approach and structure your answers better
  •  if you do not read all of the questions in their entirety before you begin to answer the first one, you may find that your responses end up overlapping. You might fail to keep the response relevant to the question you are answering, and drift into responding to another question. This lessens the impact of your answers and shows that you have not truly grasped the requirements of the tender response document

If you fail to take heed of this advice when preparing to respond to a tender document you will more than likely struggle to create a lasting, positive impression with those who are evaluating the tender responses. You will also score lower than your competitors who have tailored their answers correctly. If you are struggling to impress potential buyers with your tender responses, and are having a low success rate when tendering for contracts, why not contact us today and we will be able to take responsibility for the entire tender submission process, leaving you to concentrate on your normal business operations.

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