Managers whose responsibilities include Tendering and/or Outsourcing – whether in business or nonprofits – may find these three mini-checklists useful.
Mini-Checklist No. 1: For managers involved in outsourcing, ie inviting tenders, the process requires a tender brief that is written for the tenderer. This means that the tender brief:
- is easy for tenderers to follow,
- uses language that is appropriate to the work, service, product or product component required,
- features clear specifications and requirements, together with the nature and extent of risk expected to be borne by the successful tenderer,
- details the tender assessment criteria, ranking and weighting,
- clearly specifies the contract period - with an outline of the contract negotiation process,
- allows sufficient time for tenderers to prepare an adequate and appropriately professional tender,
- gives tenderers confidence that their tender will be assessed fairly, objectively and professionally, and
- gives tenderers confidence that yours is a professional organisation in its outsourcing procedures, knows what it needs and why – and has a genuine commitment to the work, service, product or product component required.
Mini-Checklist No. 2: For managers involved in tendering, ie responding to a tender brief, the aim must be to continually improve your in-house tendering procedure:
- if you are winning 40% of your tenders, you are losing 60%;
- if you are winning 40% of your tenders, it is costing you 100% of your total effort – which includes the effort involved in the 60% you aren’t winning;
- if your current strike rate is considered adequate, you need to reduce the amount of time and resources spent on unsuccessful tenders in order to increase your strike or success rate: and the best way to do this is to overhaul and improve your current in-house tendering procedure.
Mini-Checklist No. 3: Points for managers to consider before deciding to prepare and submit a tender:
- your ‘need to tender’ vs ‘option to tender’,
- your ability to undertake this contract whilst satisfactorily fulfilling existing contracts and commitments,
- your ability and willingness to meet the specifications and requirements (as outlined in the tender brief) to the tender caller’s satisfaction and in compliance with relevant standards, regulations or requirements,
- compare the cost of tendering for a project that may not proceed, with the benefit of having your tender in the tender caller’s hands,
- the value of the opportunity to tender as a marketing or promotional opportunity for your business or organisation,
- the costs of preparing and submitting the tender in relation to the likely benefit and profit in winning the contract, and
- the risks you’ll be expected to bear should you win the contract.