When tendering there are common mistakes that tenderers need to be aware of and avoid. Some of these may seem minor and harmless but they might actually cost you the bid. These include:
A. Unsigned bids
Ensure that your bid documents are signed. Unsigned document are eliminated from the evaluation process.
B. Incorrect cost schedules
You normally have to complete a pricing template; this makes it easier for the buyers to compare the various submissions. If you get it wrong, your prices may not be accepted or marked properly
Incorrect formatting, presentation and non-conformance
A bit like the last one, if you do not follow the prescribed format, you can get marked down as you will possibly miss out certain requirements that you would comply with if you had used prescribed format.
C. Missing information
Simply put, if something is missing it cannot get marked! Sometimes you may get a second chance to provide whatever is missing but it is unlikely. When completing the document, all information required should be supplied, also attach all required supporting documents. Most common mistakes here is include:
1. Not indicating the bid validity period as per tender requirement.
2. Not providing Bidder' s proven track record of handling similar contracts by listing similar contracts (description of services performed,goods delivered),names and address of clients who may be contacted for further information on those contracts and information on contract values.
3. Not providing list of qualified technical support to be able to carry the contract.
A question not answered cannot get any score except zero.
D. Late submissions
This will almost certainly get your bid disqualified! Bid closing date and time should be strictly adhered to as no proposals are accepted after the specified closing time. Submit your proposal well in time to avoid last minute rush, give allowance for traffic jams and locating the tender box.
E. Incorrect number of copies supplied
It is common to be asked to submit multiple copies; sometimes different versions eg some without pricing. This enables the bid to be distributed to various members of the procurement team for marking. If you have not produced enough, you will have made hard work for the customer.
F. Not understanding questions - incorrect assumptions
It is not unusual for questions to be ambiguous so do not assume. Find out what the question means. This way you will be certain to answer what is being asked - not what you think is being asked.
If you do not understand any questions or statement in the tender document ask, do not assume, as this may lead you responding incorrectly.
G. Wrong company name
If you plagiarise ie cut and paste, make sure you edit to change the name of your customer. It does not look good if you are bidding for someone' s business but show another organisation' s name!
H. Typos and grammar
While you are not being marked on your command of the English language, when you are bidding for a major contract you must give the buyers confidence that yours is a professional organisation
J. Lack of understanding of Customer' s business
You need to demonstrate that you know what the customers problems are or what they are trying to achieve. Avoid bland generic submissions that do not show understanding. Worse still, do not just cut and paste a previous answer without personalising and or editing it.
There are three basic themes within these most common tendering mistakes:
1. Trying not to lose marks
2. Showing a professional image
3. Making your submission relevant.
I. Completing a tender document in pencil
Tender document should be completed in non-erasable ink. A tenderer must not use correction fluid; instead you may cross through any errors and sign.
Avoiding these mistakes and doing the needful will help win merited tender contracts.