Issue Date: 
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

10 steps in the bid process

Each year, Organs of State invite the Private Sector to submit competitive bids for the supply of goods and services. Organs of State bid requests attract SMME's and large businesses across a wide range of sectors - from office supplies to major construction projects.

Here is an overview of 10 steps you should take to prepare a competitive bid.

1.    Register your interest

Follow the instructions in the bid document to register your interest with the purchasing agency. This important step will help keep you up to date on any bid information sessions.

2.    Attend briefing sessions

If you registered through a bid website, monitor the website for updates about bids. Attend any bid briefing sessions offered. These are valuable opportunities to ask questions and make contact with Organs of State. They may also give you a chance to meet potential subcontractors or make contacts that could participate in a consortium. Organs of State are also usually under no obligation to otherwise make available copies of information, presentations, etc., that may be given at a briefing sessions.

3.    Develop your bid response strategy

If you are bidding for a high-value bid, plan your bid carefully and consider the requirements and resources involved. For example, ask yourself:

a.    How much will it cost to prepare the bid?

b.    What information do we need to gather?

c.    What resources will we need to fulfil the contract?

d.    Who will manage the bid project?

e.    How will we plan the workload, assign the work required, schedule the meetings?

f.    Who is our competition and what are our chances of winning?

g.    What is our plan for marketing our products and services and pitching our business?

4.    Review recent awarded contracts

If you are unclear about any requirements in the bid request, contact the bid coordinator to seek clarification. What type of companies won similar bids in the past? What does the contracting Organ of State look for? What can you do to match their expectations?

5.    Write a compelling bid

Prepare your bid response. This includes planning, drafting and refining it. Make sure that you use the response forms provided and answer all questions. Stick to any word/page limits that there may be, and (as a general rule) do not go altering things like fonts and font sizes and numbering unless expressly permitted. Be clear about your structure and propositions. Decide on several key propositions you can use to set your bid apart from others. Review the evaluation criteria to gain a better understanding of what things the government agency is particularly looking for and will be evaluating your offer against. If you are not a strong writer, think about engaging a professional (a range of businesses offer bid writing services).

6.    Understand the payment terms

When putting together your bid response, make sure you are aware of the payment schedule specified. Organ of State payment schedules will vary from entity to entity and procurement to procurement. You may not get paid as soon as the job is finished or goods are delivered. If you require payment different to that specified, you should detail this in your offer.

7.    Provide References

Provide References who know your business and can attest to your work.

Give your References clear information about the bid request so they know what points to emphasise in their reference. If you have previously supplied goods or services to an Organ of State, ask them for a reference.

8.    Check and submit your bid

Make sure you check your proposal carefully before submitting it. Use a checklist to make sure your bid meets all the requirements (some bids will include a checklist that you can also use).

9.    Present your bid

Bid panels responsible for high-value contracts may request a formal presentation from bidders. If you need to present your offer to an evaluation panel, stay focused on the key messages in your proposal. Most importantly, prepare. Plan your presentation carefully, rehearse and, if you don't feel you're a strong presenter, get some coaching in presentation skills.

10.    Request a debriefing

You can request a debriefing on the bid after the process, especially if your bid is unsuccessful. Feedback from the evaluation committee can be extremely useful in understanding how your offering can be improved and can assist you in preparing for your next bid. Look for ways to improve your next bid.

To learn more about this and many other bid conditions please attend one of our HowtoTender workshops. For more information on the tender courses please email Werner at


Title Closing Date Tender No.
Professional Services for Panel of Land Surveyors for a period of 3 years. 2018-11-26 12:00 IHLM/72/10/2018-19/P&D
Extensions Hydrant 600mm Drilled to Fit London Type Hydrant Rillson Coated Blue Drilled Table 16 (Sabs) Drilled 4 Holes In Lieu of 8. 2018-10-29 11:00 SQ10181292
Supply and delivery of: Hellerman Tyton Power Analyser 3 phase and recorder T78 or equivalent (as per attached specifications) 2018-10-26 11:00 289168
3" Thomas Viking Johnson Joints Range Od88 - 103 2018-10-29 11:00 SQ10181292
4" Thomas Viking Johnson Joints Range Od108-129 2018-10-29 11:00 SQ10181292
Joints Short Collar 150mm Cast Iron Complete With Bolt, Nut And Rubber Rings Bitumen Dipped , Sanspar Only 2018-10-29 11:00 SQ10181292
Ward 8: 4 Leslie Road, Westriding: Stormwater pipeline extension (R100 non-refundable Tender Charge - Bank Cheques where the Drawer of the Cheque is the Bank OR cash only). 2018-11-09 11:00 1D-36071
Tyres 315/80/R22.5 Truck 2018-10-29 11:00 SQ10181291
Oil Transformer Bsi 72 Uninhibited. 2018-10-29 11:00 SQ10181291
Supply and delivery of water rescue personal protective wear 2018-10-26 11:00 290151
Blading of gravel roads in the West Region of eThekwini Municipality for 36 months (R1000 non-refundable tender charge - cash or bank guaranteed cheques only). 2018-11-16 11:00 1M-38624
Polythene 20 Mm High Density Pe 63 Pn 16 - Per 100 Metre Coils, Class 16 Only. 2018-10-29 11:00 SQ10181291
Pipes Polythene 25 Mm High Density - Per 100 Metre Coils Black , Class 16 Only. 2018-10-29 11:00 SQ10181291
Blading of gravel roads in the South Region of eThekwini Municipality for 36 months (R1000 non-refundable tender charge - cash or bank guaranteed cheques only). 2018-11-16 11:00 1M-38625
Scuff – sanding, seal and finish of wooden floor and stage of town hall. 2018-10-29 11:00 290918
Bolts/Nuts,M16 X 65mm H/Head Mild Steel (Fully Threaded) Must Be Delivered In Packets Of 50 Units 2018-10-29 11:00 SQ10181291
Blading of gravel roads in the North Region of eThekwini Municipality for 36 months (R1000 non-refundable tender charge - cash or bank guaranteed cheques only). 2018-11-16 11:00 1M-38626
Rivertown Precinct upgrade, Ward 26 (R1000 non-refundable tender charge - cash or bank guaranteed cheques only). 2018-11-16 11:00 3V-40053
Bolts M20 X 450mm Half Threaded Hex/Head With Nuts & 2 Washers (O/D 42mm X 22mm Hole 3mm Thick) 2 Curved Washers (M20 65mm X 65mm ,4 Mm 2018-10-26 11:00 SQ10181289
Insulators Line Post Insulator 22kv , 4kn , 150kv Billing , Capless Min Failing Load (Cantilever) 4kn Creepage Distance 550mm Type No. Ep 472/02 Or Approved Equivalent. 2018-10-26 11:00 SQ10181289


Advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums

Consortiums are often considered as entities to use when responding to tenders in South Africa. The question that arises is whether to use a Consortium or a Joint Venture when responding to a tender. To help you with this we have compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages for both Consortiums as well as Joint Ventures. In this article we list the advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums. Look out for the same article on Joint Ventures.

Consortiums Advantages:

  • Easy to establish as there are no formal procedures... Read More
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