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.
Dragon Naturally Speaking Professional v.15 Software 2018-12-19 11:00 RFQ 1660216
Invitation for the provision of security services at head office for the department of social development 2019-01-29 14:00 NW/DSD/08/2018
Supply and Delivery Of Cabinet Five Drawer Shelf 2018-12-17 12:00 Q06.12.18
TRACK-IT Software Renewal 2018-12-18 12:00 Q09.12.18
Re-Supply and Delivery of 400lt Skid Unit Complete with Motor and Hose Reel. 2018-12-18 12:00 Q08.12.18
Videography and Photography Services for Cross Over 2018-12-20 12:00 Q07.12.18
Supply and Delivery of 6m Steel Container to Fairview 2018-12-18 12:00 241/2018/19
Supply and Delivery of Traffic Uniforms for Traffic and Law Enforcement Officers 2019-01-15 12:00 08/2/16/41
Supply and Delivery of Traffic Signal Materials (Until June 2020) 2018-12-20 10:00 CES 34/2018
Supply and Delivery of Road Traffic Signs (Until 30 June 2020) 2018-12-20 10:00 CES 33/2018
Invitation for the provision of security services at Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District for the Department of Social Development 2019-01-30 11:00 NW/DSD/06/2018
Invitation for the provision of security services at Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District for the Department of Social Development 2019-01-31 11:00 NW/DSD/05/2018
Supply & delivery of toolboxes. 2018-12-20 10:00 DIE0015186
Supply & delivery of fluke clamp 375. 2018-12-20 10:00 DIE0015182
Appointment of a Service Provider to Design, Manufacture and Delivery of Two (02) Fire Trucks for a period of Eighteen months (18) for The North West Province and Maintenance of Three (03) years after delivery. 2019-01-31 11:00 CS&TM 07/18/19
Provision for municipal finance management programme 2019-01-14 12:00 GTLM/FS06/2018/2019
Supply and delivery of ready mixed, concrete 2019-01-14 11:00 FIN/SC/C1/09/2018
Supply and delivery of cement products, kerbs, etc 2019-01-14 11:00 FIN/SC/CP/09/2018
Supply and delivery of crushed stone, crusher sand, slurry seal 2019-01-14 11:00 FIN/SC/S1/09/2018
Upgrade of Rosendal Chlorine Station. (Supply and Install Chlorine Dosing Equipment) 2018-12-18 11:00 FQ/SM: 86/19

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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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