Each year, federal, state and local governments invite the private sector to submit competitive bids for the supply of goods and services. Government tender requests attract small, medium and large businesses across a wide range of sectors – from office supplies to major construction projects.
Tender processes in the government sector share many common elements. What follows is an overview of the main steps you should take to prepare a competitive tender.
Register your interest
Follow the instructions in the tender document to register your interest with the purchasing agency. This important step will help keep you up to date on any tender information sessions.
Attend tender information sessions
If you registered through a tender website, monitor the website for updates about the tender.
Attend any tender information sessions offered. These are valuable opportunities to ask questions and make contact with the agency. They may also give you a chance to meet potential subcontractors or make contacts that could participate in a consortium. Government agencies are also usually under no obligation to otherwise make available copies of information, presentations, etc., that may be given at an information session.
Develop your tender response strategy
If you are bidding for a high-value tender, plan your tender carefully and consider the requirements and resources involved. For example, ask yourself:
- How much will it cost to prepare the tender?
- What information do we need to gather?
- What resources will we need to fulfil the contract?
- Who will manage the tender project?
- How will we plan the workload, assign the work required, schedule the meetings?
- Who is our competition and what are our chances of winning?
- What is our plan for marketing our products and services and pitching our business
Review recent awarded contracts
If you are unclear about any requirements in the tender request, contact the tender coordinator to seek clarification. Also, review previously awarded contracts using the Queensland Contracts Directory. The details of recent government contracts over $10,000 that have been awarded are listed on tender websites.
Research your buyer. What type of companies won similar tenders in the past? What does the contracting agency look for? What can you do to match their expectations?
Write a compelling bid
Prepare your tender proposal. This includes planning, drafting and refining it.
Make sure that you use the response forms provided and answer all questions. Stick to any word/page limits that there may be, and (as a general rule) do not go altering things like fonts and font sizes and numbering unless expressly permitted.
Be clear about your structure and propositions. Decide on several key propositions you can use to set your tender apart from others. Review the evaluation criteria to gain a better understanding of what things the government agency is particularly looking for and will be evaluating your offer against. If you are not a strong writer, think about engaging a professional (a range of businesses offer tender writing services).
To read more visit Queensland Government