Should You Bid in a Business Tender or Not?

A new Business Tender arrives – to bid or not to bid? Not every tender issued that is of interest to you is worth the effort of tendering. Making the decision to bid must be taken with all the facts in mind. Sometimes the right decision is not to bid.

Bid management professionals advise that opportunities should be “qualified” as early in the process as possible.

Qualification of a bid is a process where questions are asked like these:

Is this business tender in line with our strategic direction?

This includes analyzing if this is in fact our business area, are we known to the prospect and do they have budget to proceed with this purchase. In addition it is important to know if there is an incumbent supplier and to understand what our competitive advantage is. If it does not fit in with your business plan, then it is NO BID.

Do we have the capacity to complete the business tender on time?

Large and high value tenders require an investment in time, personnel, facilities and other resources. Detailed planning is required to establish availability and commitment of resources and a budget for the preparation work. A tender team should be established and tasks need to be allocated to each role. Following on from that, a tracking and review process with milestones should be implemented to ensure that the bid is submitted on time.

Are we positioned to win this business tender?

This means can we deliver their requirements in the given timeframe and can we achieve the level of quality that is required, assuming we have the people and the experience. Also, do we have the necessary accreditations and certifications that are compulsory? Are there any “show-stoppers”?

Answers to these questions can be colour-coded in red, orange and green and studied to establish whether it is possible to get-to-green, i.e. to have a good chance of winning. Lack of corporate commitment and lack of resources could be a NO BID.

Do we have a current relationship with the client?

If there is a current and functional working relationship with the client, that’s a good start but not vital. If our relationship with the client is not particularly good but it can be fixed, that’s also OK. If the current relationship is poor and can’t be fixed, then it is NO BID.

If most of the above questions can be addressed positively, then submitting a business tender is the right decision. In certain cases it may be opportune to submit a bid even if there is little chance of success, for political or branding reasons.

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