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.
Terms of Reference to Request for Bids From Service Providers for BID NO OCJ2019/06: Re-Advertisement of the Anti-Virus and Malware Protection Solution for the Office of the Chief Justice 2020-02-07 11:00 OCJ2019/ 06
The RAF hereby invites experienced, suitably qualified service providers to provide Research Services for the RAF for the period of five (5) years 2020-02-21 11:00 RAF/ 2019/ 00027
Sekgosese Magistrate Court: Repairs and Renovations 2020-02-18 11:00 PLK 20/ 02
Appointment of service provider for e-mail continuity, archiving and spam filtering services (unified email management solutions) for a period of five (5) years. 2020-02-14 11:00 HSRC/ 13/ 2019/ 20
iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, a schedule 3A public entity invites suitably qualified service providers to bid for construction and rehabilitation of roads situated in the Maphelane section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Kwa-Zulu Natal 2020-02-14 16:00 RFP NUMBER: 15/ 2019
Office Accommodation for the merSETA Western Cape Regional Office – FAC/2020/004 The primary objective of this request for proposal is to invite landlords and agencies to submit proposals to the merSETA to provide leasing of Office Accommodation for Western Cape Regional Office for a period of five (5) years. 2020-02-06 12:00 FAC/ 2020/ 004
The objective of the bid is to appoint External Moderator(s) Nationally to form part of a panel that will provide the verification of Learning Programmes and Workplace Approvals for FoodBev SETA on a rotational basis for a period not exceeding three (3) years from date of appointment. 2020-02-24 11:00 FB SETA (19- 20) T0022
Office Accommodation for the merSETA Gauteng North Regional Office – FAC/2020/002 The primary objective of this request for proposal is to invite landlords and agencies to submit proposals to the merSETA to provide leasing of Office Accommodation for Gauteng North Regional Office for a period of five (5) years. 2020-02-06 12:00 FAC/ 2020/ 002
Office Accommodation for the merSETA Mpumalanga Regional Office – FAC/2020/003 The primary objective of this request for proposal is to invite landlords and agencies to submit proposals to the merSETA to provide leasing of Office Accommodation for Mpumalanga Regional Office for a period of five (5) years 2020-02-06 12:00 FAC/ 2020/ 003
FoodBev SETA would like to invite a suitable service provider to project manage the recruitment and placement of 2017/2018 learners in workplace within the Food and Beverages Manufacturing Sector and/or Government department (National, provincial, local). 2020-02-25 11:00 FB SETA (19- 20) T0023
Office Accommodation for the merSETA Eastern Cape Regional Office – FAC/2020/001 The primary objective of this request for proposal is to invite landlords and agencies to submit proposals to the merSETA to provide leasing of Office Accommodation for Eastern Cape Regional Office for a period of five (5) years. 2020-02-06 12:00 FAC/ 2020/ 001
Appointment of a Well-Established Service Provider for the Provision Of Cafés / Restaurants, Shops, Outdoor Weekend Recreational Activities (Such as a Market) 2020-02-14 11:00 DMSA 014/ 2019
Appointment of a panel of service providers to assist with sighting, drilling, testing & equipping of boreholes in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality of the North West Province 2020-02-06 11:00 NW- TEN02(011)19/ 20
Appointment of a Well-Established Service Provider for the Provision Of Cafés / Restaurants, Shops, Outdoor Weekend Recreational Activities (Such as a Market) 2020-02-14 11:00 DMSA 014/ 2019
Port Alfred: Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries: 8 William Cock Street: Repairs & Renovations. 2020-02-18 11:00 PE01/ 2020
Appointment of a panel of service providers to assist with sighting, drilling, testing & equipping of boreholes in Bojanala District Municipality of the North West Province 2020-02-06 11:00 NW- TEN02(013)19/ 20
Department of Agriculture: Paulpietersburg: Construction of new District office 2020-02-21 11:00 ZNTU 01858 W
Replacement of fence at Nkunzana Clinic, Pongola 2020-02-21 11:00 ZNTU 04233 W
Once Off Supply, Delivery and Installation of Office Furniture for the Pietermaritzburg Deeds Registry. 2020-02-17 11:00 DRDLR (CRD- 07) 2019/ 20
Request to purchase laptops at North Coast Region, Ulundi Contract period: 30 days. 2020-02-21 11:00 ZNQ 19/ 20/ 0024/ NCR

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