A tender can be described as an offer to perform some task or supply goods at predetermined prices. Once the client accepts the tender, it is binding on both the parties involved. Tenders are accepted while adhering to the policies that guide the procurement framework. E-tendering process was designed to get away with wrongdoings involved in traditional methods of bidding. The development of e-procurement software has further stimulated this process.
There are some significant differences between public and private sector tenders.
Traditionally, public sector procurement was split into three stages:
- Expression of Interest (EOI)
- Pre-qualification Questionnaire (PQQ)
- Invitation to tender (ITT)
Private sector procurement has these stages, with acronyms starting with “R”:
- Request for Information
- Request for Tender
- Request for Quotation
- Request for Proposal
- Request for Offer
The public sector now effectively merges EOIs and PQQs into single Supplier Questionnaire (SQ). An Obvious difference between the two is that the volume of public tenders is far more than private ones. Private sector tenders are much harder to source, in contrast with public sector tenders which are wide open to public examination.
The government projects are usually kept as open tenders in order to let procurement happen in a fair manner without any prejudice. There are three types of tendering methods:
- Open tendering
- Selective tendering
- Negotiated tendering
These methods are selected based on the requirements of contracts.
Open tendering is the most widely seen in the engineering and construction industry. It is the most common tendering procedure for both the private and Government sector, which allows anybody to submit a tender to supply the required goods and services. This provides opportunities to a host of emerging suppliers. However, not all those who bid are suitable for the contract as the evaluation of contracts is time-consuming.
Selective tendering overcomes the limitation and is considered as an alternative to open tendering as it allows suppliers to submit tenders by invitation. The suppliers registered here are known for their experience in particular contract sizes, complexities and nature involved. This builds confidence in the clients that their requirements will be satisfactorily met as only a few suitable firms meet the criteria.
Negotiated tendering commences from tendering till dispute resolution. Under this, the contractor takes part in the project at the very start resulting in effective communication and information flow. This process is suitable for highly specialized contracts, extensively used in engineering and construction contracts.
The public tendering process is highly structured and successful public tendering follows these steps:
- Identify a relevant opportunity – The first step is to identify the relevant opportunities & tenders are found easily on the BidAssist portal according to your requirements.
- Make sure you fulfil the requirements – Once you have identified the opportunities, the next step is to go through the specifications to check whether or not you meet the requirements of the tender process by downloading the tender notice.
The following questions can be mooted to go ahead further:
- Whether my organization can afford the time and cost involved, if we don’t win?
- Does my organization meet the technical skills and expertise required?
- Does the work fit with my organization’s strategy?
- Express interest to the buyer – Now, If you are confident enough that you meet all the requirements as mentioned above, it is time to express your interest to the buyer which is known as “Expression of Interest”. This is simple and involves outreaching the buyer authority and requesting the full documentation or downloading the same via an online portal. Similarly, tenders can be issued through:
- Request for Information- Help defining the project
- Request for Proposal – Project requirements are defined but creative and flexible solutions are required.
- Request for Quotation – Invite businesses to quote for specific goods and services
- Request for Tender – An invitation by public advertisement
If the open procedure is used, you will need to submit a full tender at this stage. Otherwise, for all other processes, buyers use the restricted procedure to trim the number of applicants before the tender stage.
- Complete the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire – At this stage, buyers will send a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire which stimulates the selection process. To aid and streamline the process, the Government has released a standardised Selection Questionnaire for scrutiny.
- Invitation to Tender is issued – After PPQ has been received, it will be assessed and evaluated against their criteria. Each tender should adhere to the requirements to increase the chances of winning the tender. Once evaluation is done, tenderer will be selected and notified of their successful tender and others of the unsuccessful submissions. If you are successful at this stage, you will join the buyer’s shortlist.
- Submit full tender response – You have covered all the initial steps included in the tender process. The buying authority has reviewed your application and is assured that you have the given resources and expertise to meet all the requirements and they invite you to tender. Here comes the most crucial step- submitting your tender response.
This is the juncture where your contract is won or lost. Read our guide: Want to win a Government tender? Follow this checklist!
Make sure your tender response stands out. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself as this is what will set you apart from the rest.
After it has been received, your tender will be scored by the buying organization whether you are the best fit to provide the services or not. All this information may seem like a lot to digest but with BidAssist you can get the curated information crawled by our team for your comfort and convenience. Dive in for all the government tenders with our advance search and no restrictions for keywords. Follow the tenders which interest you and get back to them according to your preference or you can set reminders so that the contract period does not lapse. If you would like to know more about how to bid for tenders or help in choosing the types of tenders you should bid for, please feel free to reach out to BidAssist team firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 1800 102 9586