Thursday, September 23, 2010

Love Me Tender

“Love me Tender”


 Subscribe to the Government Tender Site  -It's free

Check out Denis Thornton's 20 Insider Secrets  –  It's free   

Consider the Evince System.   

 Compile a file for the documents frequently required – tax clearance, public liability, etc

Bord Gais recently announced the awarding of a contract for BGE Online Shop to Luzern, Dublin. They received 2 bids. The Commission for Energy Regulation awarded the contract for the development of training courses to the Gas Industry to Magnos Consulting, Co Meath. There were 3 bids in all. St James Hospital, Dublin awarded a contract for The Supply and Delivery of Maxillo-Facial Loan Instrumentation Sets and Surgical Implants to Tekno Surgical in Dublin. Again, there were just 3 bids. Bord Gais Eireann, Cork, awarded the contract for contract sales people to Dublin based Contract People Ltd. There were 4 bids submitted.  The National Transport Authority awarded Deloitte it’s contract for change management financial services. There were 2 bids entered.

This is scary stuff when you take into consideration our current economic climate. Towards the end of last year I contacted 9 companies to co-partner on a bid - most of them said they weren’t interested, some had a printed a copy of the tender on their desks, but had run out of time. Why is it that Irish companies are so tender shy? Have we just had it so easy for so long that we are unable to rise to the challenge.  Is it possible that we don’t need the business? Whatever the reasons are, I suggest that those who want to stay in business review their company’s approach to the tender process.  It is the way of the future, not just for governmental agencies but also for private business.

I would like to make some suggestions.
  • Find it hard to understand the tender document? Direct as many questions as needed for clarification, to the procuring company.  Contact person, email and telephone number supplied for this reason.
  •  Ascertain the value and payment terms of the contract. Can your business work with these terms? Sometimes the initial financial outlay is not viable for smaller companies or the payment terms put too much of a financial burden on you.
  •   Is the lead in time to deliver the bid feasible for you? Very often companies leave too much until the last few days, rush through it, submit a sub-standard bid and are then upset because they don’t win it.
  •  Read through the full list of requirements of the tender document. There is nothing worse than working on a bid and realising half way through that you do not meet one of the criteria. If you do not submit every requested item you will automatically be eliminated.  Very often I have clients who want to submit a bid with one or more of the elements missing. Waste of time.
  •  Pre-planning is crucial to successful bid execution. Take that time at the initial stage and make a plan, adhering to the SMART principles. Tasks that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed. Let there be no grey areas.  Constantly review progress and make documents available to all of the team, so that writing, language and information are all consistent.
  •  Are you considering using an external consultant? Some people make this choice, thinking it will save them time. Understand that you will still have to commit the time and other resources to support the bid writer.
  • It is always easier if you can put an internal team together to work on the bid. This will then need to be managed by a team leader, like any other project.
  •  Good practice would be to ask a bid specialist to read your document when you have the initial draft ready. Then when the final document is ready, get them to read it again.  You, too will learn from this process
  •  Remember each bid is individual to the procurement company.  While much of the same information will be presented on the services you provide, each type of business has a “language” of it’s own.  It is very important to communicate in their language.  This gives the impression and confidence that you are on their wavelength.
  •  Understand that for the procuring company this is a serious decision.  That person’s choice of the best tender has many implications for them.
  •   Once you have submitted your bid.  Follow up to ensure that it has been received by the person responsible for it.
  •  If you are not successful do a competitor analysis on the successful bid company to better understand why they won the bid.
  •  Contact the person responsible for the tender and ask for some feedback on your proposal.  It would be great to do this on a face to face basis, but that may not be an option. Remember that in most cases, tenders are not awarded on price alone.      
  •  Do a swot analysis on your bid.  Have a brainstorming session with your team so that you all learn from the process, it is not wasted effort and that you improve your chances each time you bid.

Happy Tendering!


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