Public sector tenders that are issued follow very specific rules and regulations relating to statutory and legal requirements. They are also designed to promote fairness and access to government contracts for the smaller and more localized businesses.
Governments have very large budgets and are bigger players in the economy since the recent recession so it is worth the effort. Before bidding on government sector tenders it is important to understand all their requirements and follow them closely.
It is important to know where government buying decisions are made when you are initiating business with government for the first time. You will need to do some research to work out who is the right person to talk to. As all government agencies structure their buying activities differently, this task is a necessary step. Know who you are dealing with.
You need to adhere to the rules specified in the tender as there will be no latitude in the evaluation process. Government departments are structured based on their defined policy and processes and if you can demonstrate that you can work their way, then your tender will be considered favourably.
Government sector tenders often include requests to attend a briefing and site meetings may be compulsory. This means that failure to attend could disqualify you. Often details are given at these meetings that are not available anywhere else. In addition you have the opportunity to clarify instructions to make sure there are no misunderstandings.
Procurement practitioners managing public sector tenders are demanding more of bidders. To succeed, tender responses need to be shorter, sharper, and to the point. The responses to questions need to be clear and easy to find. Evaluation teams do not spend time hunting for the information they need so size and word count limits need to be adhered to.
Price and cost breakdown information and financial analyses must be provided in the template provided or in the order stated. It is not advisable to use other formats or programs as this may lead to disqualification. Evaluation cannot be done fairly or easily if submissions are not comparable.
Specific examples and client case studies will be requested to allow you to demonstrate your credentials. However, there will be a restriction on supplementary sales material in public sector tenders and it is good practice to supply only what is asked for and in the format requested. Creative visuals and brochures that were not asked for should not be included.
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