Key questions before responding to a tender opportunity
When you receive the opportunity to bid and associated documentation read it and then read it again. Satisfy yourself that you understand what the customer requires. Take the time to ensure you have the solutions and capacity to deliver or could develop it within an appropriate time frame.
It is recommended that a detailed Go/No-Go review is undertaken before bidding to avoid abortive work and costs. Check viability even before that stage; ask the following:
Do you need to pre-qualify?
Check whether your customer will pre-qualify suppliers. Find out when and how this happens. And who decides the result.
Are there any financial or mandatory requirements?
Companies often require proof of accounts for the past years to ensure their minimum requirements are met
Companies often require proof of accounts for the past years to ensure their minimum requirements are met, sometimes it is just not possible for a new company to meet the criteria. This can be true of insurance and quality standards too. You could also contact the customer to seek a derogation, this is unlikely if it’s within the public sector.
What is the bid deadline?
Have you enough time to and the team in place to be able to create your response.
Do you have to confirm receipt of ITT and intent to bid?
Check the instructions and respond if required.
How do you communicate with the customer?
The customer defines this. It could be by email or an online portal.
Who is your point of contact?
Find out who can answer your questions or queries.
What format and language should you submit your response in?
This could be through email, USB, CD, paper or an online portal.
What is your bid strategy?
How can the bid be won? On price, quality, technology? Identify aspects that will differentiate and develop themes that will run through the bid response offering value to the client.