Tender Development Checklist

In light of our recent articles on the topic of submitting tenders, we’re back with more.

We know – better than most – just how much work is involved in submitting an effective bid on a tender. Today we’re going to check out the tender development checklist, and outline major elements that are often glossed over – even forgotten – in a bid. The agency putting out that bid wants your tender response to encompass all their criteria- and that’s just the beginning. Keep reading to find out what makes up the tender development checklist.

The first step is to outline a definition of your business, and establish the scope of your operations. This will help signify whether or not your business is eligible to qualify for the tender on offer. If your business has only worked on small-to-medium-sized projects, it’s unlikely you’ll get the tender if other organizations have completed large-scale projects in the past. It may seem disheartening, but taking a realistic view of projects you bid on will save you countless hours and effort of submitting a bid that ultimately you’re unqualified for. Also important in this phase is to outline both your unique selling points, and your points of difference over your competitors. This can be an opportunity to advertise your ISO certifications, or leveraging testimonials from previously completed projects.

Now, moving on, we’re starting to address the tender requirements. This is where you’ll need to outline how your business addresses the strategic aims and objectives of the tender. The organization putting out that tender wasn’t just trying to fill up the page by including its aims and objectives, so you’ll need to make sure you address these directly.

Consider whether you’re addressing any of the supplementary strategic aims and objectives, how you can compete on costs – example, sourcing locally can be a good tactic in this regard – as well as advertising what skills and expertise specific to your organization that could put your bid ahead of the competition. Can you provide evidence to show that your business can respond quickly to events and carry out effective decision making? Something like ISO9001 ties in neatly here.

Summing up your tender requirements, you’ll want to provide more evidence to show you’ve built relationships in the past with your customers; referees are the most effective way of presenting this, as well as strengthening your skills if the project was completed on time, on-budget and to a high standard. Do you have any documented evidence to show your business is flexible, and can adapt when something goes wrong? Do you have innovation products or services that service certain specific market niches? Consider all of these when addressing the tender requirements in the bid you eventually submit.

The next step addresses your business’ capabilities. A self-checklist here is one of the more effective ways to measure how your organization stacks up to the competition. Consider things like: what are your main business activities? What industries do you supply to? What are your key products and services? What specific equipment can you provide? Leverage key people in your business that can attest to the specialized capabilities of your operations; provide evidence of their training and skill assessment if applicable. Throughout this checklist, you’re trying to – objectively as possible, in the interest of saving time – assess your organization’s suitability for the tender on offer, to make sure you can provide the level of quality the tender requires.

The next step in this process is formulating a checklist that assesses whether or not you’ll be able to deliver the right tender outcomes. Tenders are high-stake, multi-million-dollar projects that don’t accommodate for mediocrity. In this stage of the process you’ll want to clearly sketch-up plans to address things like: How will you deliver the tender’s outcomes? Who are the tender’s end customers and how will they benefit from the delivery of the tender contract? What specific delivery objectives will you focus on, and how will you achieve them? How will you measure performance and ensure success? What would your business requirements be as part of delivering the tender?

It’s also important to consider things like: how much it will cost to deliver the specified outcomes/specification requirements. Who can provide strong references in order to demonstrate that you have a track record of successful delivery? What other businesses could collaborate on the tender as part of a consortium or subcontractor?

Ensuring you’ve taken into consideration these elements of the process will put you in a much better stride as you approach your tender bid. Often business neglect to address several of these points, and for those in the decision-making process, it doesn’t reflect well on the organization. With large-scale contracts on offer, they’ll look to the most thorough tender application, that touches on all their required points and provides more information that is needed for the job. If you were in their position, you would too – so don’t underestimate the importance of having a tender development checklist outline for you to refer to early in the process of forming your bid, and refer to it consistently as you’re forming your bid.

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