Whatever is happening in the economy, there’s never a shortage of Requests for Tenders being issued. In the last financial year, for example, we’ve worked on many, many tenders for clients tendering to major global businesses, federal government departments and listed companies.
And we’ve been involved in editing and proofreading major multi-million dollar tenders, mostly to government for large scale projects.
But whatever the nature of the tender, there are a few aspects of tendering that people often seem surprised by, and consequently overlook:
Do you have time to do a good job?
If you’re pushed to write the tender response, how will you do the work if you are successful? Many times we’ve advised companies not to tender, sometimes because they don’t have sufficient time or resources to do a great job, and also because their investment of time and resources is unlikely to be recuperated by a win.
Are you ready?
If you’re serious about tendering, be prepared. Have all your policies and procedures in place –WHS, environment, quality management and any relevant to your particular industry. Have you documented your complaints management process? Have you got a written methodology? If Quality Assurance is important in your industry and you don’t have ISO 9001, consider getting it. Large companies and government want to know you’ve got everything in place so there’s minimal risk in them working with you.
Make time for a solid edit and proofread
Especially if it’s a big tender and different people have been involved. It’s easy for different writing styles to disrupt the document. Watch out for different ways of referring to your company. One tender I’ve just reviewed described itself by its name, as the Respondent and as ‘the company’. All rather confusing for the reader and it meant the writing didn’t flow.