Issue Date: 
Thursday, October 31, 2019

Steps in the bid process

By Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender (Pty) Ltd which specializes in tender consulting and tender training.

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 crucial 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 session.
  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 (generally) 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 do not feel you are 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

To learn more about this and many other tender conditions attend our “Become a Tender Expert” 2-Day workshops presented in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town.  Book and pay online at

Contact us at should you require more information.

You can also purchase a Tender Manual (Handbook) on our website which is a step by step guide how to respond to a South African Tender.  It includes examples of completed SBD forms.

Title Closing Date Tender No.
The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limied (SANRAL) invites tenders for the provision of OFFICE FACILITY MANAGEMENT FOR SANRAL WESTERN REGION 2020-10-23 11:00 WR: 5004- 61130- 2020/ 1
Terms of Reference (ToR) to request for bids from service providers for bid no OCJ2020/01: Re-advertisement of the anti-virus and malware protection solution to the OCJ with maintenance and support for the period of twenty-four (24) months 2020-10-09 11:00 OCJ2020/ 01
Appointment of a Panel of Attorneys as per specified categories on an “as and when required basis” at a fixed rate on a rotational basis for a period of 36 months. 2020-10-15 14:00 NDA02/ LEGAL01/ 20
Lejweleputswa District: 24 Months Preventative Maintenance for Kitchen Equipment CIDB grading of 3EB or 3ME or higher OR 2EB PE or 2ME PE 2020-10-20 11:00 BL20/ 020
ZNTD 04976W: WIMS 073217: KZN: Department of Health: eThekwini Region: Umbumbulu: Umbumbulu Clinic: Replace existing perimeter fence 2020-10-26 11:00 ZNTD 04976W
ZNTD 04982W: WIMS 073205: KZN: Department of Health: eThekwini District: Amawoti: Amawoti Clinic: Replace existing perimeter fence 2020-10-26 11:00 ZNTD 04982W
ZNTD 04979W: WIMS 073209: KZN: Department of Health: eThekwini District: Umsunduzi (Number 9): Umsunduzi Bridge Clinic: Replace existing perimeter fence 2020-10-27 11:00 ZNTD 04979W
ZNTD 04978W: WIMS 073220: KZN: Department of Health: eThekwini Region: Umbumbulu: Odidini Clinic: Replace existing perimeter fence 2020-10-26 11:00 ZNTD 04978W
ZNTD 04970W: WIMS 073196: KZN: Department of Health: eThekwini Region: Mfume: Mfume Clinic: Replace existing perimeter fence 2020-10-26 11:00 ZNTD 04970W
ZNTD 04981W: WIMS 073206: KZN: Department of Health: eThekwini District: Ntshongweni: Ntshongweni Clinic: Replace existing perimeter fence 2020-10-26 11:00 ZNTD 04981W
ZNTD 04980W: WIMS 073207: KZN: Department of Health: eThekwini District: Maphephetheni: Maphephetheni Clinic: Replace existing perimeter fence 2020-10-27 11:00 ZNTD 04980W
Rendering of a comprehensive cleaning service within the Theewaterskloof Sub District which includes Caledon District Hospital, Overberg District Office, Bereaville Satelite Clinic, Villiersdorp Clinic & Mobile Grounds, Genadendal Clinic, Voorstekraal Satelite Clinic, Riviersonderend Clinic, Greyton Clinic, Botrivier Clinic, Caledon Clinic and Grabouw Community Health Centre, under the Control of the Department of Health, Western Cape Government for a three (3) year period 2020-10-23 11:00 WCGHSC0239/ 2020
Appointment of an accredited verification professional to conduct an annual assessment of the departments compliance to the broad-based black economic empowerment act for a period of three years 2020-10-23 11:00 B/ WCED 2841/ 20
Appointment of a service provider for the provision of procurement technology solution. 2020-10-14 12:00 No reference number
Appointment of a contractor to provide day-to-day infrastructure maintenance services for a period of three years to the Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute, Middelburg, Eastern Cape. 2020-10-16 11:00 1/ 20
Appointment of a reputable service provider to assess the current ICT environment and develop policies and strategies to improve ICT, design and support the implementation of the future ICT state 2020-10-19 11:00 DARD26/ 20A
Provision of an inductive coupled plasma instrument for analytical services pre-qualification criteria 2020-10-15 11:00 DARD12/ 20B
The Appointment of a service provider to provide office space on a lease agreement for the CCMA Port Elizabeth office for a period of five (5) years. 80/20 Principle will apply. 2020-10-16 11:00 CCMA/ 2020/ 29 (A)- PE
Approval of Bid Specification, Bid Document and Notification to Publish: Outright Purchase of two (2) Grossing stations for Doctor George Mukhari hospital and two (2) for Universitas for a period of five (5) years 2020-10-16 11:00 RFB188/ 19/ 20
Placement or Outright Purchase of Fully Automated Haematology Analysers for Medium and Large Laboratories for the Eastern Cape Region for A Period of Five (5) Years 2020-10-16 11:00 RFB028/ 20/ 21


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