The tender process explained



Here we aim to outline the skeleton of the tender process; the framework of how it works.

It is important to understand that there are many moving parts in any tender process that will be specific to the industry, the size of job and type of tender. However, these 5 guiding principles will be constant throughout any tender process.

To Bid or Not to Bid, that is the Question

In the tender process, it’s important to be patient, don’t waste your time bidding on unrealistic tenders. Do your research, find out where you fit in the marketplace and target that area.

One technique to achieve this is to build your ideal customer profile. This can be done by analysing the skills and scale of your company against pain points in your industry, where can you deliver the most value? Find out where this is and then tender for jobs that fit that profile.

Remove emotion from the decision, evaluate the job through a systematic process to determine the likelihood of success. You should be asking questions like:

  • What are the mandatory requirements and can we meet them?
  • Can we demonstrate relevant experience?
  • Do we have the resources?
  • Who is the competition?
  • What is the potential profit?
  • What are the risks?

Choosing the Right Bid Team

You’ve found the perfect job and you are ready to prepare a bid plan, it’s vital at this stage to rejoice! Then choose the right team for the tender process.

It’s important to assemble a team with the right blend of skills to maximise your chances of success. Within the team the following bases should be covered:

  • Bid Manager – someone to spearhead proceedings and keep the bid on track. It’s important this person has the authority to make key decisions.
  • Writer – this person must be able to present technical data in a clear and concise fashion.
  • Contributors – these provide the proof in the pudding. Get the technical people involved who understand the nuts and bolts of how it all works, they will provide the substance to the content in your bid.
  • Proof-reader – the proof-reader should ensure that the tone and flow of the bid are consistent. Try to read it from the buyers perspective.  

Why Choose You?

In the tender process, it’s vital you demonstrate why you deserve the job. This may seem obvious, but it really is worth highlighting. Spell out the resources, competencies and experience your company has that are relevant to the job you’re bidding for.

Take time to digest the tender requirements, how can you demonstrate you meet them?

One great way to do this is for an external company to contribute a case study of a similar job you successfully completed for them, relevant case studies and testimonials are gold dust in any bid. 

Keep Focus

Put the buyer at the centre of the whole tender process. Make sure you stick to exactly what they ask for, keep tight reigns on your writers and ensure they don’t go all William Shakespeare on you.

Don’t overcomplicate things with fancy formatting and tonnes of pages, keep things simple. Remember the buyer will be looking through lots of bids and won’t have time to decipher ones that don’t make sense. Make sure the relevant information is clear to see and easy to understand.

If you do have a burning desire to include some additional information that you’re not 100% sure is relevant, then put it in an ‘Additional Value’ section at the back.


With any tender process, a clear deadline will be provided by the buyer. Make sure you don’t miss it as late submissions will not be recognised.

Leave yourself plenty of time and plan ahead. You can also safeguard yourself with contingencies, for example, a backed up hard copy of your bid on a USB.

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