RESPONDING TO A TENDER In the second part of a six-part series, Dave Scarr, Senior Procurement & Contracts Manager at Prosper, formerly known as NE Procurement, discusses the essential considerations needed when you are responding to a tender.
Once a clear set of tender requirements have been defined, and a robust specification is developed and agreed, the procurement team behind a tender can begin designing and implementing effective tender and evaluation criteria. When planning to submit a response to a tender it’s important to carefully consider how you’re going to respond, ensuring you think about how clients are likely to review a submission. Firstly, it may seem like a common-sense thing to say, but it’s so important to set aside sufficient time to fully review each of the tender documents in question and to identify clearly what it is that is being asked for. You should also make sure you thoroughly asses the overall project delivery requirements, giving detailed consideration into how you intend on delivering the works in question. Secondly, make a list of any queries you may have as you work through the tender pack. When your review is complete, clarification questions should be submitted to the client who is duty bound to give you a clear response and suggested
way forward. In some cases, these questions can highlight important points missed from the tender so never think twice about submitting them. Generally, most tenders are split into two sections, price and quality. The pricing response is a vital component of your submission. Make sure you test the price response, checking and double checking your interpretation of the requirement is accurate and triple-checking that any formulas on the submission sheet are working effectively and calculating your costs as intended. But by ‘quality’, what do we mean? Do you have to prove that you’re a quality company, or offer quality products or services? Maybe it’s that you give ‘quality’ prices? By quality, the client is asking about delivery, they want to know how you can demonstrate without any doubt you are the best organisation to deliver the requirements of their project. Make sure you read and re-read the questions being asked. Take time to think about your answer, considering the criteria and weighting of questions, and any word limits, making sure you don’t exceed
them. Answer the questions in a clear and concise manner, avoid general statements and tailor your response to the specific opportunity. Always take care when utilising information from previous tenders and ensure all statements are backed up with meaningful and specific examples or evidence. Finally, before you submit your completed tender, ensure you’ve left enough time to upload and check off all documents, making sure you’re completely satisfied that the response you’re entering totally represents what you’re offering and mirrors what the client is asking for. In summary, fully read over all documents as soon as you receive them to ensure you are fully aware of what is required, check you have the resources and time to produce a first-class submission, consider carefully what the client requires from the project, be concise and detailed in your responses and ensure that the price and quality combined fully represent what you are offering. One last thing…if you were evaluating your submission, would you give yourself the contract? That’s the acid test.
To find out more about Prosper, their work, and how they can help you, visit prosper.uk.com 56
Published on Nov 30, 2017