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Top Tips for Successful Tendering


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With hundreds of new tenders released each week, more and more businesses are considering whether to jump onboard with the bidding process.  

A quick look at TenderLink, one of Australia’s leading procurement websites, and you can see there is close to 1,000 tender opportunities currently open in the construction industry alone, with hundreds more in other categories such as engineering, landscaping, government, water and sewage plus pipe supply, just to name a few.  

In its latest forecasts, quantity surveying firm, WT Partnership, says it expects price escalation for construction tenders on major civil infrastructure projects, in the realm of 4-5% over the 2018 calendar year.    

A lot of contractors find the tender process too hard or too time consuming and that's why it pays to be selective.

It seems now is the perfect time for businesses to get on board with bidding on tenders. However, a lot of contractors find the tender process too hard or too time consuming and that's why it pays to be selective.

While you may be under the impression that you 'have to be in it to win it', pricing every tender that comes your way can be tedious. When looking at what tenders to apply for, you need to consider what criteria is a good fit for your business. This way your time will be better spent  on opportunities for which you have the greatest chance of success.

The benefits of a successful bid can be extraordinary. One major contract, whether it's government or private, can gain national recognition for all contractors involved. It's also worth noting that many government contracts provide stability with many projects lasting several years.

Once you decide you are going to bid on tenders, and you have narrowed down your own criteria, you now need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your Unique Value Proposition? Your tender response will need to persuade the customer as to why they should choose your business over your competitors.  

  • Is the Price Right?  Price plays a persuasive role in all tenders but you must remember it's not the only factor. You need to show value for money, especially if your pricing is likely to be higher than your competitors. If you can clearly show the ROI that your business can offer then that should help you stand out as a strong contender against the cheaper bids.

  • How close are your contacts? If your bid requires you to source goods or services from an external provider make sure you get these prices locked in before you bid. You need to be clear on all expenses you will incur if you are the successful contractor.

  • What is your tender format? You should always respond in a format identical to the tender request to make it as simple as possible to evaluate and score your bid. It's all about being clear, precise and straight to the point. 

If you’re not winning tenders, you should seek feedback. Reach out and ask why. Feedback is the perfect way to make improvements.

Here are examples of tenders that went to market in 2018:

Last month Perth-based Global Construction Services (GCS) secured $24.6 million worth of concrete structure works with Watpac on two major building projects in Victoria.

CPB Contractors secured a $260 million mining infrastructure works contract which commenced in July this year.

Work is progressing on the Sydney Metro with the NSW government awarding the $955 million contract to transform Sydney's busiest station to Laing O'Rourke.

And just last month it was announced that Global private equity firm Partners Group has acquired the first stage of the Murra Warra Wind Farm project in Victoria for $200 million from RES and Macquarie Capital, who jointly developed the project.

According to ACIF, Australia’s construction industry is one of the largest growing sectors in the country, with commercial construction work expected to increase by 9.3% this year. With such rapid growth, the industry will continue to demand a larger share of the overall GDP, employ more people, and contribute to the larger economy of Australia. 

If you would like to find out more about writing successful tenders you will find many companies online that offer services to write tenders for you and other companies who offer training courses for you to become competent to write your own.

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