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.
Appointment of a service provider to provide employee wellness services to the Department of Home Affairs officials across all provinces, including Head Office for a period of two (2) years and eight (8) months 2019-06-07 11:00 DHA04- 2019
Terms of Reference for the Appointment of a Suitable Service Provider to Develop Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, and Evaluation Plan and Conduct The Mid-Term and Summative Evaluation for National Open Learning Project (Nols) by the Department of Higher Education and Training 2019-06-21 11:00 DHET124
The Appointment of a Service Provider to Provide an E-Legislation Portal on the Department’s Website for a period of 3 (three) years 2019-06-07 11:00 E 1513
Request To Bid for ANSYS Technical Support (TECS) Contract for ANSYS Commercial Software on Behalf of Department of Defence (Dod) SA Navy Engineering Services (NES) for a period of three (3) years. 2019-06-05 11:00 RFB 1939/ 2019
Request for Proposals for appointment of an service provider for short term insurance for a period of five (5) years 2019-06-10 11:00 CMS/ 022019/ 2020
Request for Proposals for appointment of an Editorial Consultant for a period of three (3) years 2019-06-18 11:00 CMS/ 032019/ 2020
Appointment of a panel of law firms to assist the Council for Geoscience with all its corporate work for a period of three (3) years. 2019-06-14 11:00 CGS- 2019- 006L
Appointment of a Professional Service Provider to Provide Facial Recognition and Queue Management System to the CIDB for a period of 36 months. 2019-06-18 11:00 RFB60058
Re-Advertisement-The Development Of Standards For The Eco Label Scheme At Agrément South Africa: Wool and Wool-Rich Pile Carpets 2019-06-12 16:00 ASA 04/ 2019
Re-Advertisement-The Development of Standards for the Eco Label Scheme at Agrément South Africa: Paints and Coatings 2019-06-12 16:00 ASA 03/ 2019
Provision of Canteen Services 2019-06-14 12:00 MTK 02/ 2019
ZNTD 03855W: WIMS 063751: Kwazulu-Natal: Department of Education: Stanger: Tshutshutshu Secondary School: Water and Sanitation: Phase 3. 2019-06-20 11:00 ZNTD 03855W
Appointment of a Cleaning Company to render cleaning, pest control and hygiene services in Block G which is situated adjacent to the dti campus for a period of 3 years 2019-06-07 11:00 dti 03/ 19- 20
Grahamstown High Court: Provision of Cleaning Services for a Period of twenty four (24) Months 2019-06-11 11:00 PEC02/ 2019
Appointment of a service provider for physical security guarding services in Northern Cape and Free State 2019-06-07 11:00 DH05- 2019
Consulting Engineering Services for Routine Road Maintenance of National Route N10 Section 3 Km 37.62 To Km 81.59 and National Route R61 Section 2 Km 17.25 To Section 3 Km 41.48 and National Route R390 Section 1 Km 0.00 to Section 2 Km 23.56. 2019-06-07 14:00 NRA X.003- 040- 2019/ 1F
Consulting Engineering Services for the Routine Road Maintenance of National Routes R56 Section 1 (Km 58.78) to Section 2 (Km 30.81) and National Routes R58 Section 1 (36.96) to Section 3 (Km 55.73) and National Route R391 Section 2 (Km 0.0) To (Km 37.09) and National Route R390 Section 2 (Km 23.56) To (Km 34.46). 2019-06-07 14:00 NRA X.003- 044- 2019/ 1F
ZNTD 03952W: WIMS 064144: Kwazulu-Natal: Department of Education: Umbumbulu: Umthente High School: Water and Sanitation: Phase 3 2019-06-21 11:00 ZNTD 03952W
Consulting Engineering Services for the Routine Road Maintenance of National Routes R56 Section 1 (Km 58.78) to Section 2 (Km 30.81) and National Routes R58 Section 1 (36.96) to Section 3 (Km 55.73) and National Route R391 Section 2 (Km 0.0) To (Km 37.09) and National Route R390 Section 2 (Km 23.56) To (Km 34.46). 2019-06-07 14:00 NRA X.003- 044- 2019/ 1F
Consulting engineering services for the routine road maintenance of National Route N6 section 4 km 65.38 to section 5 km 57.07 and National Route R58 section 4 km 0 to section 6 km 43.06 and National Route R56 section 4 km 0 to km 21.09 and National Route R56 section 3 km 27.37 to km 35.04 2019-06-07 14:00 NRA X.003- 045- 2019/ 1F


Must my business be registered in order to tender?

By Werner van Rooyen

31 January 2019

Once, a very anxious business owner phoned me and asked if I can supply him with a CK number. I was amused by this and first asked why he asked me for such a number and secondly for what did he need a CK number for? He said that because of my Tender Manual that he bought, he thought that maybe I can help him with a CK number. Also, at the briefing session of the tender that he was responding to, the person in... Read More

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