Each day hundreds of tenders are being advertised but we often only hear about those where things have gone wrong or where the concept has been abused. It gives ‘Tenders’ a stink it doesn’t deserve. In today’s blog, we look at what exactly a tender is.
A tender is an offer to perform work, supply goods, services or products at a fixed price. The tendering process is generally utilized for procurements or contracts involving substantial amounts of money. Generally speaking, it is government departments, offices, agencies, private sector companies and businesses that put requests out on tenders. By so doing, they basically ask the public for price offers to supply required products or services. Once the tenderer accepts a tender, it is binding to both the tenderer and the person or company who won the tender. Therefore, the person or company has to provide the goods or services in the manner agreed to and at the price offered. In turn, the tenderer must pay the agreed price on the agreed deadline.
What is tendering?
Tendering is the process of making an offer, bid or proposal. It can also be expressing interest in response to an invitation or request for tender. Organisations will seek other businesses to respond to a particular need, such as the supply of goods and services and will select an offer or tender that meets their needs and that provides the best value for money.
Where are tender requirements stated?
The requirements of a tender are stated in the Requests for Tender (RTF) or Requests for Proposal (RFP) documents. In these documents, the service or products the particular tendering organisation needs or requires are outlined. These documents also outline the criteria and provide instructions that are to be followed.
Tenders are usually widely advertised in both print and electronic publications. This is to allow as many people as possible to take note of the opportunity. It also stimulates competition and provides wide variety of choice. Interested suppliers will then prepare a tender response to the offer, including pricing, schedules as well as their eligibility for the project.
Once the tendering period has closed, the submitted tender responses are evaluated with regard to defined criteria. The process must be done fairly and honestly, free from bias or favoritism. The offer that best meets all of the requirements and provides value for money should win the contract.
While the concept of tendering may seem daunting at first, it can be easily tackled by having a plan of ‘action`. It is important to understand your business` suitability for the project and ability to manage the contract if you win the tender. By understanding these points and demonstrating that you are able to meet the criteria and offer a competitive bid, you will increase your chances of success.
How are tenders awarded?
After the closing date, all the tenders are checked for basic compliance to the tender regulations. Tenders can be disqualified during this process if they are found to be non-compliance. The compliance of the products or services offered and price is considered. All tenders which comply with the specifications are listed in order of price. Those in the lowest price tender list are in the lowest price group. Preference points given to those suppliers on the list of lowest price tenders are first verified. Preference points are only awarded after the most expensive tenders have been excluded, as this makes the process quicker and fairer. Those with verifiable information come out with the best preference points and are therefore awarded the contract.
The above formulate what tenders are and if you understand these, then you are in the best position to bid for a tender.