When a new contract is procured in the public or private sector, a tender document will be released to potential bidding organisations to complete and return. This is how the buyer evaluates your company and the tender must be filled in precisely, and score the highest marks, in order to be successful.
What is included in a tender document?
Each tender document is slightly different, however, typically the tender pack will contain the same core areas:
- Invitation to tender
- Instructions for bidders
- Evaluation criteria
- Pricing schedule
- Terms and conditions
- Contract conditions
The tender documentation for a contract may seem difficult to navigate, but there are always straightforward guidelines and specifications for all bidders to adhere to. It is important to read all tender documents carefully so you understand the requirements and give your organisation the best chance at securing the contract.
Most bidding procedures and tender processes are carried out online via an e-tendering method. This is much simpler for both buyers and suppliers and allows transparent communication. For further clarification in tender documents, always check the online portal for any messages or clarification questions from other bidders.
How much time will you have to complete a tender?
Typically, in the public sector, a contract notice will be released and there will then be a 4–5 week window to complete and return your tender submission. This is normal for most contracts for both goods and services. However, there might be a longer time frame if it is a particularly large contract or tender document.
Being aware of your tender pipeline and the estimated release date of the tender pack will allow you to commence work immediately, so as not to lose any valuable time in drafting your bid.
Tender documents do vary, but typically you can expect to complete a questionnaire, pricing document and anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 words plus of supporting narrative. Professional bid writers can work with your organisation to complete the narrative responses required for your tender document and check you have completed everything else correctly.
Where to start with your tender
It is important to plan and prepare before you start writing your tender response. Ensure you fully understand the tender document, what the buyer is looking for and how you are going to pitch your organisation in your bid response.
A tender process is a task that should not be taken lightly. You will be awarded marks in both the financial and quality sections, each with a different weighting to the submission. Both require careful attention to detail to try and score as many marks as possible in your bid.
We provide a number of top tips for writing a winning tender document.
Tender writing support
If you are unsure of any part of your tender submission, seek professional bid writing support from experts who complete tender documents daily. Executive Compass have been involved in thousands of successful bids over the past 10 years and can give your organisation the best chance at securing a new contract. Do not leave the opportunity to chance – ensure you are submitting the highest quality tender document that you possibly can as the contract in question may not be procured again for 3 years plus!