5 Tips For Running A Successful Tender
The process of putting together a successful tender involves a lot of moving parts. With each stage having a big impact on the next, there's a lot to get right from the very beginning.
Here are 5 tips for running a successful tender.
1. Do your market research
The first thing to do in any tender process is make sure you've done your due diligence in researching the market. You can't develop a fit-for-market tender if you have no idea what it's capable of. Who are the biggest suppliers? What are their offerings? What kind of prices can you expect to pay? These are the kinds of questions that can be answered by researching your market.
This early research should be a mixture of straightforward internet searches, talking to firms in your industry about their suppliers and looking on specialist platforms like IBISWorld.
2. Engage the market, early
As useful as the above desktop research is, it can't match the knowledge of the market that the suppliers themselves have. By engaging with the market in a transparent manner, you'll be able to identify the capability of the market, potential innovations to the goods or services, or potential challenges the market might be facing as a whole.
Interaction with the prospective market, ensuring probity requirements are adhered to, usually delivers a better outcome. These interactions provide greater understanding to both parties of the requirements and provides suppliers with advanced notice of the upcoming tender so they can resource appropriately.
Engaging suppliers directly allows you to tailor a tender to your market.
3. Select the right procurement strategy
What should you include in the tender? What tier suppliers should you target? Should you approach a limited number of suppliers directly or launch the tender publicly because there's a lot of competition? The procurement strategy should be customised to the specific goods and services to be tendered and should not just be a duplication of what has occurred historically.
These are the kinds of things you need to think about as part of a procurement strategy and potentially address in the early market interactions in items 1 and 2 above. The market research and sounding you conduct as part of the strategy development allows for a more comprehensive procurement strategy that aligns with the market capabilities.
4. Make your tender work for suppliers, not against them
When you put a tender into the market, it's important to remember the time and effort suppliers have to invest into responding. They are usually very busy servicing other organisations, so always be sure to set realistic timeframes for a tender's duration.
Ensure the tender response requirements are in accordance with the value of the contract to the market and that the information being requested is actually required for evaluations. Too often the tender template utilised is not tailored to the process and suppliers are requested to provide information that is irrelevant to the particular good or service tendered.
Outlining response expectations and/or page limits on each criteria also enables suppliers to focus on the important elements of the tender in forming their response.
5. Choose a relevant evaluation strategy
It's critical that you adopt a strategy for evaluating the tender responses that is relevant to your business objectives and the outcome you wish to get from the process. Consider the elements that are most critical and provide these with a greater weighting in the evaluation scoring. Too often a business criticises or challenges the outcome of an evaluation process without properly detailing the required outcome and contributing to the development of the evaluation criteria and weightings.
Be realistic regarding evaluation and award timings too. The tendering company will program their workload and resourcing to account for when the contracted services are required. If award is then delayed by a lengthy period, it should come as no surprise that elements of their tender response have been impacted by this delay i.e. available resources, etc.