Issue Date: 
Thursday, August 16, 2018

7 Disadvantages of Competitive Bidding

The bidding process can be very tedious sometimes. Here are some of the disadvantages of the bidding process.

1.    Leading suppliers may not tender

In Australia, for example, government procurement guidelines only allow suppliers who actually tender to be considered for a procurement decision. If the leading supplier or suppliers do not tender, the purchaser can only consider bids from suppliers who do tender. If leading suppliers are not considered, the purchaser may end up buying inferior product or service.

2.    Barriers to communication between supplier and customers

When making significant purchases, frank and open communication between potential supplier and customer is crucial.
Competitive bidding is not conducive to open communication; in fact, it often discourages deep dialogue because in many cases all discussions between a bidder and the purchaser must be made available to all other bidders. Hence, Bidder A may avoid asking certain questions because the questions or answers may help other bidders by revealing Bidder A's approaches, features, and the like.

3.    The cost-plus phenomenon

There is a bear-trap in the purchase of goods and services on the basis of price tag that people don't talk about. To run the game of cost plus in industry a supplier offers a bid so low that he is almost sure to get the business. He gets it. The customer discovers that a change is vital. The supplier is extremely obliging, but discovers that these changes will double the cost of the supply. The supplier runs the risk of making a loss on the contract.

4.    Use of cheaper, poor quality materials and/or labour

A supplier forced to play the competitive bidding game may come under pressure to keep costs down to ensure he gets a satisfactory profit margin. One way a supplier can lower costs is by using cheaper labour and/or materials. If the cheaper labour and materials are poor quality, the customer will often end up with inferior, poor quality goods or services.

5.    Safety shortcuts

Another area where suppliers may be tempted to lower costs is safety standards. Safety costs can ran away with a contract. Cutting down on safety costs is a sure way to keep the bidding price low.

6.    Competitive bidding can be extremely slow

When Organs of State, and indeed, private companies use competitive bidding it can take sometimes years to award the bid. The result is the customer can wait incredibly long periods for goods or services that may be required quickly.

7.    Insufficient profit margin to allow for investment in research and development, new technology or equipment

Competitive bidding can force a supplier to accept a very slim profit margin. These low margins can result in a supplier having little or no money to spend on research and development, new technology and equipment.

To learn more about this and many other tender conditions please attend one of our How-to-Tender workshops. For more information on the tender courses please email Werner at werner@how2tender.com.

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 Madikwe River Lodge is calling for proposals from reputable tourism agencies to provide marketing and sales services to the resort. 2019-03-20 13:00 MRL001/19
Organised supply and delivery of reagents for the analysis of Chemical Oxygen Demand and Free Chlorine at BCMM municipal laboratory 2019-02-22 12:00 RFQ/DSS/2018-19/364
Operation of an electrical control centre and fault centre in Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality for a period of three years 2019-03-19 12:00 ED: 405
Re-advertisement: TD-01/06/18: Provision of tyres and tyre associated service items, including new and re-treaded replacement tyres, puncture repairs, fitment, wheel balancing, wheel alignment, wheel rotation and emergency call out to attend to tyre breakdowns for a period of three years 2019-02-22 11:00 TD-01/06/18
Tender for heritage study: De Rust, Dysselsdorp & Oudtshoorn 2019-03-25 12:00 TD-01/02/19
Provision and administration of an electricity and water prepayment vending system for a contract period ending 30 June 2022 2019-03-25 11:00 TD-05/02/19
Supply, delivery, assembly and installation of various items of furniture and accessories for Thusong Centre in Motherwell. 2019-02-28 11:00 SCM/19-97/G
Expression of interest for the supply and delivery of PPE. 2019-03-14 11:00 SCM/19-139/G
Document: Archiving: Learners and Drivers licences. 2019-03-14 11:00 SCM/19-114/S
Standards of Generally Recognised Acccounting Practices (GRAP) financial reporting training service provider for a two year period 2019-02-28 12:00 SAICA0032019
Provision of Security Services at Various ECDC Owned Premises for thirty Six months (3 years) 2019-03-11 12:00 ECDC/ELN/108/012019
Supply and delivery of Road Construction Material for Taweni Access road 2019-03-11 12:00 IHLM/87/01/2018-19/TS
The appointment of a service provider for Finance, Human Resources and Administration services for a period of 12 months. 2019-02-28 14:00 AIP-01/2019
Upgrading of Server Infrastructure and Development of Unified communication 2019-03-20 12:00 019/2018/19
The appointment of a contractor to design, upgrade, install and commission the control system at the aquarium of the National Zoological Garden in Pretoria. 2019-03-04 11:00 SANBI NZG: 325/ 2019
The appointment of a contractor for remedial work to various existing structures including roofs, aquatic mammal pools, and aquarium tanks at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria. 2019-03-04 11:00 SANBI NZG: 327/ 2019
The appointment of a contractor for the design and upgrade of existing gravel roads at the Mokopane Biodiversity Centre in Mokopane, Limpopo. 2019-03-05 11:00 SANBI NZG: 330/ 2019
Appointment of service provider for the procurement new fleet 4x4 double cabs(03) and (06) x sedans for the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator 2019-03-15 11:00 SADPMR03/ 2018/ 19
Request to procure service providers for the purposes of headhunting for executive and senior management positions for a period of three (03) years 2019-03-08 11:00 RFA 1892/ 2018
Appointment of a suitable service provider to conduct situational analysis of successful skills programmes offered by SETA Quality Assurance Partners (QAPS) 2019-03-08 11:00 PUR 6000/ 8

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10 things to remember when you tender

By Werner van Rooyen

31 January 2019

There are many things that you as a small business owner must remember when you respond to a tender and sometimes responding to a tender can be overwhelming. Experience has taught me that there are some important things to remember when responding to a Tender and there are some less important things to remember when responding to a Tender.

Here are ten of the important things to remember when responding to a Tender. Please remember that all ten of these items mention here are equal... Read More

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