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 werner@how2tender.com.

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 https://howtotender.co.za/tender-expert-form/

Contact us at wernervr@howtotender.co.za should you require more information.

You can also purchase a Tender Manual (Handbook) on our website https://howtotender.co.za/ 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.
Request for Proposal for appointment of service provider to source bulk media buying (space and airtime) for promotion and marketing of the Free State as a Destination. 2021-02-04 11:00 FSGLTA:01/2020/2021
Supply & delivery of protective clothing for public works staff 2021-01-21 12:00 PWBS-Q035/20/21
Supply and delivery of roads materials, equipment and tools 2021-02-02 12:00 T10/2020-2021
Supply and delivery of water and sewer materials, equipment and tools 2021-02-02 12:00 T11/2020-2021
Supply and delivery of electrical materials, equipment and tools 2021-02-02 12:00 T12/2020-2021
Training of 15 municipal employees 2021-02-02 12:00 T13/2020-2021
The replacement of the 120m MET tower cat ladders and landings 2021-01-28 10:00 KBG2013
Zoom Meetings Biz Host 1 year prepay 2021-01-18 11:00 RFQ20/21/104
Asset disposal: Subsea equipment in Port of Cape Town 2021-01-27 12:00 AD0058
Request for quotation: for the supply and delivery of food supplies for UNHCR’s Osire Refugee Settlement in Namibia 2021-01-20 23:45 RSA-2021-001
Supply and delivery of construction material 2021-01-20 12:00 SCM26/11/2020
Supply, delivery, install and service air conditioners 2021-01-20 12:00 SCM27/11/2020
Supply and delivery of the renewal of software licenses 2021-01-29 14:00 27/2021
Sale of vacant business zone I Erf: Erven 232 and 233: Merweville 2021-02-05 14:00 02/2021
Upgrading and Refurbishment of Electrical Networks (132/22/11/0.4KV) for the greater Beaufort West Municipality for the period ending June 2023. 2021-02-19 14:00 SCM 21/2021
Supply of licences for handhelds and meter reading software (re-advertisement) 2021-01-20 12:00 08/2/18/50
Supply and delivery of 3 layer fabric face masks 2021-01-27 12:00 BID 08/2/18/57
Notification of personal protective equipment (PPE) tender 2021-01-29 17:00 PH05012021- Notification of Panel PPE
Sale of scrap transformer oil at Phillipi SS - Western Cape 2021-01-19 10:00 OLT1238511
Provision of Estate Management Services 2021-01-28 12:00 NLM/EMS/2020/2021

Pages

Who is the bidder or his or her representative?

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

In Organ of State tenders, the Standard Bidding Document 4 – Declaration of Inters – ask in paragraph 2.1 the following: “Full name of bidder or his or her representative... Read More

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