Understanding  Tender Process

The tender process, also known as the bidding process, is a method used in procurement to acquire goods or services through a competitive bidding system. This process involves inviting suppliers to submit proposals for a project or service that meets the buyer's requirements. A tender can be either an open, closed, or negotiated process.

If you're new to the world of tenders and bidding processes, you might have some questions. Here are seven of the most common ones:

What is the purpose of the tender process?

The primary purpose of the tender process is to ensure that buyers can get the best value for money by selecting suppliers who offer competitive pricing and high-quality goods or services. It provides a fair and transparent platform for suppliers to compete for business opportunities.

Who is involved in the tender process?

The parties involved in a typical tender process include buyers, who are typically government agencies, non-profit organizations and private businesses; and suppliers or bidders who are interested in supplying goods or services. Additionally, proposal development experts, contract administrators and procurement managers may be involved in overseeing and managing the tender process.

How does one prepare for a tender opportunity?

To prepare for a tender opportunity requires that you understand your buyer's needs and specifications, as well as their budget. You should also research your competitors and develop winning proposal development techniques. Based on this knowledge ofyour buyers' requirements, develop appropriate pricing strategies

What happens during the tendering period?

During this period bid proposals from prospective vendors are solicited by issuing an RFQ (request for quotation), RFP (request for proposal), RFI (request for information) or ITT (invitation to tender) document that clearly outlines all requirements including technical specifications timeframes expectations etc., The bidders then prepare their proposals which they submit to the buyer within a specified deadline after which evaluation takes place.

How are bids evaluated?

Bids are evaluated based on a combination of factors, including price, quality, experience and capability of the supplier, as well as the supplier's compliance with the specifications provided in the tender document. Often there is a technical evaluation committee or procurement manager who assesses and scores all of the submitted proposals before recommending a supplier to be awarded a contract.

How is the contract awarded?

The contract is awarded to the supplier who meets all of the requirements set out in the tender document and satisfies evaluation criteria thereby representing best value for money. In some cases negotiation may take place prior to contract signing.

What happens after a contract is awarded?

After a contract has been awarded, contract administration comes into play. This involves managing and monitoring all aspects of the contract to ensure that it is being fulfilled according to its terms and conditions. Any issues that arise during this process are dealt with by the relevant parties in order to ensure that delivery is smooth right up till post-delivery period.

The Tender Process is essential for businesses and government agencies alike when acquiring goods or services from suppliers. A clear understanding of what it entails will allow parties involved in this process to be better prepared and equipped for success.


  • David Nickson, The Bid Manager's Handbook: Winning Bids With Best Practice (2016).
  • David Nour, Co-Create: How Your Business Will Profit from Innovative and Strategic Collaboration (2017).
  • Michael Kelly, Winning Government Tenders: How to Understand the Australian Tendering Process & Write Proposals That Win Consistently (2017).
  • Peter Smith, Managing Indirect Spend: Enhancing Profitability Through Strategic Sourcing (2011).
  • Roxanne Robinson, Writing Winning Business Proposals (2008).
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