In our previous blogs, we’ve spoken about finding a tender you’re interested in and reading through and understanding the tender documents. Before you dive straight into the tender bid writing process, however, there’s a few key steps to go through to make sure that you give yourself the best chance of putting together a compelling tender submission.
At Bidsmith, we call this the ‘Go / No Go decision’. In other words, now that you’ve had a chance to look at the tender documents – is this tender in fact the right one for your business?
Of course, the fact that you were interested enough in the tender to download the documents may well lean you towards “Go”, but this might not always be the case. Taking a little time to stop and think honestly about the tender and your chances of winning it, early in the tender process, can save you a lot of time and effort that could have been better spent on other tenders, or on other aspects of your business.
The first place to start on your Go / No Go decision is to look at any Mandatory Criteria that you’ve identified in the tender documents.
For example, the tender might have a particular licence or certification as a mandatory requirement. If you do not hold that licence, and there is not enough time to get it before the tender closes, then there is probably little to be gained from lodging a tender that is likely to get thrown out at the initial evaluation. If the licence is a common requirement in your line of work, your time may be better used acquiring it, so that you’re ready for any similar opportunities that arise.
If you comply with all the mandatory requirements, the next item to consider is the Evaluation Criteria. These outline what the purchaser will actually be scoring when they assess your tender, so it’s important to look at your business from a third-party perspective to decide how well you align with those criteria and how you can shape your tender response to match. Professional proposal writing services can help you obtain a better outside perspective.
This can often be a bit of a judgement call, and you may not be able to necessarily make a cut and dried decision. For example, many purchasers don’t provide specific weightings for their Evaluation Criteria (and some, particularly from the private sector, may not give any criteria at all). This means that your decision may come down to the expected costs (in both time and money) of preparing your tender, knowing that the Evaluation Criteria may end up being weighted in a way that goes against you.
Other times, the decision may end up a lot clearer. For example, a particular tender may have a weighting of 50% of the score coming from previous experience. If you are a brand new company with no experience, this may be almost impossible to overcome – even showing the experience of your individual personnel may not be enough, if the criterion relates to your experience as a business.
In our next blog, we will discuss Resources and Competitor Analysis that you also need to consider. To learn more about how we can directly assist your tender bid writing needs, browse our website or contact us on 1300 243 294.