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.
Removal of Existing Boundary Fence, Supply and Erect New Clearview (or Equal – Must Be Approved), Anti-Climb Security Fence, Pedestrian and Drive Gates at Lere La Tshepe Campus 2019-03-15 10:00 LERE- FENCE- 2019
Removal of Existing Boundary Fence, Supply and Erect New Clearview (Or Equal – Must Be Approved), anti-Climb Security Fence, Pedestrian and Drive Gates at Bonamelo Campus 2019-03-15 10:00 BON- FENCE- 2019
Structural Repairs, Internal and External Repairs and Renovations, Plumbing and Electrical Repairs and Renovations to the Classroom Block at the Bethlehem Campus Heritage Building. 2019-03-15 10:00 BETH- OLDBLOCK- 2019
Construction of New Male and Female Ablution Facilities Including Water Storage Facilities, Grey Water Treatment Facilities and Electrical Installation at Lere La Tshepe Campus. 2019-03-15 10:00 LERE- ABLUTION- 2019
Structural Repairs and Foundation Repair to External Classroom Walls at Itemoheleng Campus 2019-03-15 10:00 ITEM- WALLS- 2019
Roof Structure and Roof Sheeting Repairs and Replacement, Where Necessary, Including Waterproofing at Lere La Tshepe Campus 2019-03-15 10:00 LERE- ROOF- 2019
Repairs Including Structural, Roof and Internal Changes to Fire Damaged Office Building – Central Office 2019-03-15 10:00 CENT- BUILDING- 2019
Supply and Establishment of Park Homes: Chwezi Clinic 2019-03-14 11:00 ZNB 9505/ 2018- H
Maintenance and operation of the Air Conditioners: Natalia Building: 3 year contract 2019-03-15 11:00 ZNB 5480/ 2018- H
Construction of New Educational Facilities and Demolition of Old Structures at Sophatisana Secondary School 2019-03-11 12:00 CDC/ 59/ 19
Renewal of Nintex Licenses, Including Support and Maintenance for Period of Twelve (12) ,Months for South African Social Security Agency (Sassa). 2019-03-11 11:00 RFB 1816/ 2018
Procurement of an Integrated IT Operations Network Troubleshooting Tool Including Maintenance and Support Services 2019-03-18 11:00 RFP 35- 2018
Appointment of a Contractor to Conduct Various Construction Projects, Including Installation of Bird Netting, Installation of Foot Baths and Vehicle Tyre Baths, Renovations to Enclosure Wire Roofs; and Modification To Small Mammal Enclosures, at the National Zoological Garden In Pretoria 2019-03-05 11:00 SANBI NZG: 326/ 2019
Appointment of a Contractor for the Design and Construction a New Animal Quarantine Facility at the National Zoological Garden In Pretoria. 2019-03-05 11:00 SANBI NZG: 329/ 2019
Appointment of a Contractor for the Design and Construction of a Masonary Boundary Wall, Covered Staff Parking and to Conduct Remedial Work at Food and Beverage Outlets at the National Zoological Garden In Pretoria. 2019-03-05 11:00 SANBI NZG: 328/ 2019
Appointment of a Contractor for the Design, Installation and Commissioning of an Incinerator at the National Zoological Garden In Pretoria. 2019-03-04 11:00 SANBI NZG: 322/ 2019
Appointment of a Contractor for the Design, Supply and Installation of Mechanical Equipment, Including Pumps, Stand By Generators and HVAC at the National Zoological Garden In Pretoria. 2019-03-04 11:00 SANBI NZG: 323/ 2019
Procurement of Cleaning and Hygiene services to SITA Durban building for a period of 36 Months 2019-03-08 11:00 RFB 1866/ 2018
Invitation to tender for Rental Office Space for Seda’s Tshwane Branch Office in Pretoria for a period of Three (3) or Five (5) years 2019-03-08 12:00 RFP/ T 14- 2018/ 19
Invitation to tender for Rental Office Space for Seda’s Gauteng Provincial Office in Johannesburg for a period of Three (3) or Five (5) years 2019-03-08 12:00 RFP/ T 13- 2018/ 19

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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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