Issue Date: 
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

3 Basic Tips to Remember When Responding to a Tender

When responding to tenders, whether it is Public or Private Sector, it is vital that your business makes a good impression by following these tips:

Do Your Research

Basically, a tender is an invitation to bidders to submit their proposal for a specified business need. The contract will be awarded to the bidder who can meet this need most closely and provide the best value for money. However, it's important to remember that price is only one factor. Remember:

  • Read all the documents relating to the tender.
  • Attend any briefing/information sessions that are offered and make sure you understand the scope of work.
  • If there are any uncertainties, have them clarified as early as possible.
  • If you have the chance, also research the Public or Private Sector Entity's history, background, operations and any details about previous tenders.
  • Another way to get a head start over the competition is to network and build relationships with the key decision makers prior to the bidding process.

Address all the Scope of Work

Every bidder will be evaluated against the tender criteria or functionality, so it's important that you address them clearly and concisely. Make sure you also provide supporting evidence if available, such as profit figures and other key performance indicators from similar projects you have worked on.

Be careful about going too far, though. Providing too much information could overwhelm your potential client and turn them off altogether.

This is your chance to show that you are experienced, reliable, and confident that you can deliver on what's required. It's also your opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Review, review, review

Before you hand in your tender:

  • Review it to make sure it's complete and doesn't contain errors.
  • Make sure someone other than the original responder proof reads the entire document at least once, since it's harder to spot mistakes when you're too close to a project.
  • Check that it meets the required format and style.

Many organisations, such as government agencies, can be very stringent with their deadlines, so it's also important that you hand your tender response to the right person, at the right location, before the specified closing time and date.

Putting together a great tender can take a lot of effort, but the payoff can be enormous if you win. It's always good strategy to put as much care and attention into your tenders as you would any other area of the business.

If your tenders are as good as they can be, odds are you'll win the business. Learn how to make sure you're prepared to handle the increased workload.

To learn more about this and many other tender conditions please attend one of our How-to-Tender workshops. Tender Workshop dates are published on our website at For more information on the tender courses please email Werner at

This article was written by Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender (Pty) Ltd. which specializes in tender consulting and tender training.

Title Closing Date Tender No.
The provision of NDT (Non Destructive Testing) services for Kusile Power Station for a period of twelve (12) months. 2018-09-25 10:00 MPGXC005264
Overhead crane, hoist and crawler beam maintenance service and spares supply on an “as and when required” basis. 2018-09-25 10:00 MPGXC004978 R
Construction of Moyeni New Police Station. 2018-09-25 11:00 19/1/9/1/20 TB(18)
RE- Advertisement: Three Year Contract for the Supply of Fuel and Fuel Management System to Okhahlamba Local Municipality. 2018-10-05 12:00 8/1/1/4/1 - TEC11/2018
Aerial Fire Fighting for the period of three years. 2018-10-08 12:00 E/07/18-19
Annual Tender for the Repairs, Maintenance and Refurbishment Of Municipal Buildings and Facilities for a period of thirty six months: Air Conditioning. 2018-09-28 12:00 CE: 228
Annual Tender for the Repairs, Maintenance and Refurbishment of Municipal Buildings and Facilities for a period of thirty six months: Welding and Miscellaneous 2018-09-28 12:00 CE: 171
Annual Tender for the Repairs, Maintenance and Refurbishment of Municipal Buildings and Facilities for a period of thirty six months: Floor Coverings 2018-09-28 12:00 CE: 170
Appointment of panel of four (4) Consultants for Electrical Engineering Studies and Componentization of assets for 2018/19; 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years on an as and when basis 2018-09-26 12:00 BS32/09/2018
Fence and Gates Installation. 2018-10-07 14:00 SR11900022
Renovation of Workshop at Witrand Hospital in Potchefstroom. 2018-09-25 11:00 PWR57 /18
Request for Bid for the Supply of Training School Equipment. 2018-09-25 11:00 SAAT009/17
Re- Supply delivery of conference equipment and accessories, printing equipment and printing consumables 2018-09-28 15:00 AUC/DCMP/G/1-6
Appointment of a service provider at the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to conduct Market Inquiry in the Electronic Communications Sector for a period of twenty four (24) months. 2018-09-25 10:00 ICASA 02/2018
Supply and delivery of anti-retro-viral medicines to the State for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2022. 2018-09-25 11:00 RT71-2019
Upgrading of Pellsrus Sports Facility. 2018-09-25 12:00 135/2018
Request for Proposals for the acquisition of a service provider to conduct Water Quality Monitoring and Reporting Services, for a period of 3 years at Airports Company South Africa's OR Tambo International Airport. 2018-09-25 12:00 ORT 220/2018
A prequalification enquiry to establish a contract for auditing and capturing of data within the prepaid meter environment (Electrification areas) in the KZN Operating Unit. 2018-09-26 10:00 DD6681/DG
Provision of the Veritas netbackup software licences and maintenance. 2018-09-26 10:00 CORP 4546
Specification for the appointment of service provider to perform upholstery on office chairs. 2018-09-26 11:00 SCMU4-18/19-0009


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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