Should we be responding to this tender?

It’s a question we’re asked almost daily as organisations increasingly seek to respond to Requests for Tender (RFT) and Requests for Proposal (RFP).

While it can be tempting to pursue every RFT or RFP presented, putting together tender and proposal responses is often a huge commitment of time and energy.  If you haven’t got a dedicated bid team, tender writing diverts key personnel’s attention away from their business-as-usual activities, adding to the cost of the exercise.

Therefore, an objective decision needs to be made on whether you should respond.

You can make this decision simpler by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do we meet all the mandatory requirements?

It’s common for tenders, especially those with a high contract value, to include an exhaustive list of mandatory requirements that tenderers must meet, including:

  • Minimum insurances
  • ISO Certification of Quality, Safety and Environmental Management systems
  • Policies in areas such as Modern Slavery and Risk Management
  • Audited financial accounts over a period of time.

If you will not meet all of the mandatory criteria when your tender is submitted, you’ll be disqualified before the evaluation process even gets underway. Making sure your tender is compliant with all the requirements is essential.

2. Will a tender win really be good for our business?

We know this can sound like an odd question, as a tender win is usually great for business. It often means regular work and revenue over a multi-year period, providing business stability and job security.

However, in some instances, it might not make good business sense.

Perhaps you’ll need a significant financial outlay to fulfil the services or products the prospect demands, leading to long-term financial implications and potential stress. You may not have the capability needed now to deliver the offer you need to present to win. If you fail to deliver on your offer, there’s a very real risk of reputational damage along with financial and legal implications.

3. What is our realistic likelihood of success?

In addition to considering the mandatory requirements set out in the RFT or RFP and whether it makes strategic sense for your business, it’s prudent to assess how likely you are to win the tender or win the proposal, given the investment often involved in preparing a tender.

To assess your likelihood of success, ask:

  • Is there a strong incumbent in place?
  • Do we have an existing relationship with the prospect?
  • Do the selection criteria align with our strengths?
  • Does our product/service/project methodology fully align with the specifications?
  • Can we demonstrate the experience needed and strong past performance?
  • Have we got references and case studies that will showcase our credentials?
  • Do we have the resources needed to deliver the contract in the outlined timeframe?
  • Do we know the value proposition that will appeal to the prospect?
  • Is our pricing, product or service competitive?
  • Do we have the resources to submit a strong tender?

Ultimately, only you can decide whether winning a tender will work for your business. You know your team, offer, capability and priorities better than anyone else.

Across our 22 years of experience, we know it pays to be choosey about which tenders and bids to go for.

If you would like help with your decision-making process, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 02 9314 7506 or 0411 123 216 or contact us via our form.