Tender writing traps to avoid

Avoid these tender fail traps  

When submitting a bid to any level of Australian government – local, state or federal – or to any private or listed company, you need to be 100 per cent sure your response is 100 per cent compliant if you want to even get a look in.  

Don’t assume… 

…that the procurement evaluation team knows anything about your organisation and its capabilities. Incumbent suppliers in particular should take care to avoid this common mistake. Procurement is  duty bound only to evaluate your bid on the strength of its written responses. Nothing else. Writing tenders based on the assumption that the procurement evaluation team knows who you are and what you’ve done in the past will do you no favours.  

Avoid broad statements 

Too often, tender content reads more like advertising blurb than a serious attempt to win a contract. Claims of being ‘the leading…’, ‘the best in the business’ or offering ‘an innovative approach’ mean nothing unless they can be qualified with some cold hard facts and figures.  

Failing to adequately quantify or qualify responses is another trap for unwary players. For example: 

  • Up to 24 hours – In reality, this could mean only five minutes. So, which is it really? 
  • We will save you 50% – Of what? When? And how? 
  • We are the only company who… – Based on what evidence? 

Cut and paste problems 

There’s nothing wrong with cutting and pasting information from other tenders. However, it shows a distinct lack of care if that information hasn’t been carefully proofread and tweaked accordingly. All too often references to other tenders remain or sentences simply don’t make sense – a clear sign that a hasty cut and paste job has been deemed sufficient effort.  

Best offer first time 

It’s true that there’s more to winning a tender than simply putting forward sharp prices, but it’s folly to assume that you’ll be given a second opportunity to provide your best pricing. Always submit your best offer first time round. 

Ask questions 

If you’re not sure about anything at all to do with the request for tender, always ask – or you run the risk of being non-compliant. Some businesses are loathe to make contact, fearing their questions may be taken as proof of their inappropriateness for the contract. But that’s not so. Better to be clear than guess and get it wrong. 

For help with your tenders, contact us today on 02 8036 5532 or 0411 123 216 or email us at rosemary@proofcommunications.com.au

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