Baking the Tender Cake

Those of you interested in cooking will appreciate that creating a culinary masterpiece starts with quality ingredients. While there are lots of goodies that go into your favourite dish I am willing to bet that there are just a couple of key ones that are essential for success. The same applies to government tenders where the many elements that go into a successful bid can be grouped into two main categories: system knowledge and capacity.

Ingredient 1: System knowledge

In terms of system knowledge you need to understand:

  • The government procurement processes – Do you know how the system operates? What is the difference between an Expression of Interest and a Request for Tender? How significant are the Conditions of Participation and other mandatory requirements? Can they really lead to early elimination? Do you know how to interpret the Statement of Requirements? How do you dismantle that awful bureaucratic language into something understandable so you can identify the client’s “hot buttons”?
  • Do you really understand how the evaluation panel make their decisions? What happens behind the closed doors of the evaluation room? Where are the pitfalls to avoid?

Ingredient 2: Capacity

  • Can you free up the time from your normal daily responsibilities to give your bid the attention it needs to be truly competitive? Many of the companies I speak with nominate this as a major issue.
  • Do you have dedicated bid staff or does your management team take on the tender as yet another task on top of their existing duties? Everyone just works harder; tighten the screw another turn so to speak. How many times can they cope with this pressure and how much important information falls through the cracks?
  • Do you have the funds to bring in outside specialists to provide additional capacity to improve your tendering processes over the longer term or work with your technical staff in writing the bulk of your proposal?

The elusive perfect sponge

If your bid was a sponge cake, would it rise to its full potential in all its successful magnificence? Or would it sink on one side, and if so which ingredient would be missing; system knowledge or capacity? Perhaps it’s a flop and sunk in the middle because it’s lacking both? To maximise your bidding success you need to have both ingredients in full measure, or find a way of getting them.

 Let Corfocus help improve your tendering “recipe”.