Tender Guidance

Useful Points


Envelopes containing tender documents should be unmarked in order to maintain the impartiality of the tender process. They should not be decorated with company or product logos which identify the sender.


The covering letter for the tender should be written on company stationery.


All tenders must be typed rather than handwritten.


One should be careful in ensuring the right number of copies are sent; in some cases multiple copies are required for consideration by a variety of decision-makers.


Deadlines must be met and not exceeded. No matter how good the tender bid, it will be rejected if it does not reach its destination on time. On almost all occasions the deadline is the deadline. However, it is not unknown for buyers to extend the deadline if they consider such a change is beneficial to the tender process. Bidders will be automatically informed of the extension.


Contact personnel must be clearly delineated, with telephone, fax, e-mail and address details. If a team of individuals is managing the bid, one person should act as liaison with the buyer for the sake of simplified communication.


Tender documents need to be organised efficiently, so that the main body of the response and its supporting information are clearly separated and easy to access.


Suppliers should always seek feedback on their tender bids. Those that have been unsuccessful need to identify the reasons why they failed, and those that have won the tender need to be clear on the reasons for their success. It is sometimes easy to misconstrue the reasons for both success and failure. The direct input of the buyers themselves can hasten the learning curve of companies that desire to become proficient in the tendering process. Successful companies also need to set up a contract monitoring system once the tender has been completed and work is underway. Contract monitoring on the part of public sector buyers is conventional practise. The implementation of an internal quality management procedure – to ensure that jobs are done on time and in the most efficient and effective manner, or to deliver a complex project by means that preclude failure and guarantee the full attainment of the tender’s main objectives – will vastly increase the supplier’s chance of securing future business either with that organisation or another.

Next: Preparing Information on your Company and its Services