Tender Briefing Meetings business analysis31 May 2020
Sometimes, but not always, the tendering process involves pre-tender meetings. In blog three I covered Invitation to Tender (ITT), and it is after this has been issued that bidders are invited to a tender briefing. You will be allowed to ask questions and there may be an opportunity to visit the site (if a site or premises is involved in your tender). This will help you understand the specification or location e.g. for cleaning, security or construction tenders. It is unusual for meetings to be held on a one-to-one basis because there are likely to be several bidders. Generally, the meeting will be held on a group basis.
It is easy to think of these meetings as a low-priority or importance, however if you are invited to one you should always try and make the effort to attend.
Benefits of Pre-Tender Meetings
- It shows the customer you are taking the tender seriously
- You get to see your competitors – as discussed in previous blogs, knowing who you are up against is extremely useful in terms of shaping your proposal and should never be underestimated
- You get an opportunity to meet your potential customer; giving you a head-start in developing important relationships in what can be a faceless process
- It gives you the opportunity to find out more – you might feel the tender is not for you
What to do at Pre-Tender Meetings
- Consider who in your team should attend and make sure that person is briefed accordingly
- Ask any pre-tender clarification questions you may have. No question is a stupid one if it helps you sculpt your proposal. Don’t forget to introduce yourself before you ask your If in any doubt, try using a technique employed by journalists at press briefings: ‘John Smith, The Guardian.’
- That said, try not to fire a barrage of questions at the customer. If you have a number of questions, hold back and see if your competitors ask them for you.
- If there is a walk-about, try and walk alongside your hosts for a while. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions outside the main meeting and work on building your Because tenders take such a lot of time and effort you will not want to waste all that hard work, do yourself and your tender a favour by maximising your chances of winning. By attending pre-tender meetings, you are giving your tender every chance of success.
This is the stage where the tender panel mark each bid against their agreed evaluation matrix. They all look different and criteria differs depending on each’s customer’s requirements and needs. The marking process results in a league table of the highest and lowest bidder’s scores from which a potential supplier shortlist will be drawn.
Tender Evaluation Panel (TEP)
The tender evaluation panel is responsible for evaluating tenders. The project manager decides who sits on the panel and it usually consists of a cross-functional group of acquisition team members including any required specialists.
The evaluation is used to select a short-list of potential suppliers. The amount of bidder’s in a short-list will depend upon the nature of the contract. Some projects require a number of suppliers whereas another tender might only require one. They will be looking at which supplier can best fulfil their requirements; they won’t waste time short-listing suppliers who cannot do this. Any that can’t meet the essential skills and experience requirements will be told their bid will not be taken any further.
What happens next?
Some bidders are subject to further evaluation by means of a tender short-list presentation or a question and answer session. This will be explored further in my next article which will also discuss what happens once you are selected.