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.
Appointment Of Service Providers For The Supply, Delivery and Off-Loading Of Bulk Metering Kiosks (Bmk) and Freestanding Bulk Metering Units (Bmu) On an as-and-When Required Basis From Date Of Award Until 30 June 2024. 2021-07-22 10:00 A-EE 04 - 2021
The Appointment of a Service Provider For The Supply Of Sip Terminals, Sip Trunk Services, Telephony Support Services of a Dedicated Hosted Multi-Tenancy Pbx & Ucc Platform As Well As Direct Internet Access (Centralised Breakout) on an as When Required Basis On From Date Of Award Until 30 June 2024 2021-07-21 10:00 A-ICT 03 - 2021
The Appointment of a Service Provider for The Supply, Installation, Support and Maintenance of The Fleet Tracking Units and Monitoring Data On as and When Required Basis From Date Of Award Until 30 June 2024 2021-07-21 10:00 A-ICT 04 - 2021
The appointment of a service provider for upgrading of ten (10) existing air quality monitoring stations: supply and installation of meteorological sensors and equipment, and particulate matter 2.5 (pm2.5) analysers from date of award until 30 June 2022 2021-07-09 10:00 A-HEA 04-2021
The appointment of Electrical Contractors for the Electrification Projects in City of Ekurhuleni on an as and when required basis from date of award until 30 June 2024 2021-07-19 10:00 A-EE 17-2021
The Appointment of Electrical Contractors For The Supply, Installation and Commissioning Of 25m Counter-Balanced Highmast Lighting Structures on an as-and-When Required Basis From Date of Award Until 30 June 2024. 2021-07-23 10:00 A-EE 05 - 2021
The Appointment Of Service Providers for the Testing, Fault Location, Repair and Maintenance Of Gas Filled and Oil Filled Underground Cable Networks From 33kv To 132kv on an as and When Required Basis From Date Of Award Until 30 June 2024. 2021-07-26 10:00 A-EE 10 - 2020
The Appointment of Electrical Contractors For The Repair and Maintenance Of Paper Insulated And Xlpe Underground Cable Networks From 33kv Up to 132kv and Associated Copper and Optic Fibre Pilot Cables on an and When Required Basis From Date Of Award Until 30 June 2024. 2021-07-26 10:00 A-EE 11 - 2020
Appointment Of Electrical Contractors for the Installation Of New Medium and Low Voltage Cables (Copper And Aluminium) and Equipment as well as Pilot Cables (Optic Fibre) For Planning and Construction Reticulation Projects on an as-And when Required Basis From Date Of Award Until 30 June 2024. 2021-07-23 10:00 A-EE 11 - 2021
Appointment of a Debt Sponsor, Panel of Dealers and Settlement and Paying Agent for the IDC Domestic Medium Term Note (DMTN) Programme 2021-06-28 11:00 T24/06/21
Appointment of CIDB grading 1EB to 3 EB contractors for minor routine electrical maintenance of CoE buildings/facilities, property, plant, and equipment on an as and when required basis from date of award until 30 June 2024 2021-07-22 10:00 A-RE 01-2021
Appointment of electrical contractors with a CIDB grading of 4EB (including 3EB PE) to 9EB for electrical maintenance work in all CoE buildings/facilities, property, plant and equipment on an as and when required basis from date of award until 30 June 2024 2021-07-23 10:00 A-RE 05-2020
Appointment of service providers for distribution, putting-up and removal of printed material for various projects carried out by City of Ekurhuleni on an as and when required basis from date of award until 30 June 2024. 2021-08-12 10:00 A- CM 01-2021
Appointment of a Panel Of Specialist Forensic Investigation For the City Of Johannesburg for the Period Of Thirty Six Months (36 Months). 2021-07-09 10:30 A873
Provision of travel, accommodation and conferencing services 2021-07-09 11:00 CGET 02/2021/22
Provision of cleaning and hygiene services 2021-07-09 11:00 CGET 01/2021/22
Co-sourcing of internal audit activities 2021-07-09 11:00 CGET 03/2021/22
Request For The Provision Of Office Accommodation/Space For The Ugu District Municipality Budget & Treasury And Human Resources Units For A Period Of Thirty-Six (36) Months 2021-07-23 12:00 UGU-05-1565-2020
Service Providers To Form A Panel Of Medical Practitioners For uMgungundlovu District Municipality 2021-07-29 12:00 02/2021
Disposal/Auction Of Council Vehicle 2021-06-29 09:00 ZDMQ: 0122/06/2021


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