The global landscape for tender management has developed over the years. Nowadays, there’s increased access to tender because of technology, which has essentially erased global borders. Therefore, geographical limitations are virtually non-existent.
But, one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that the competition for tenders is usually stiff. Therefore, if you’re applying for a tender, make sure that your proposal is as polished as possible for you to increase your chances of success. Whether it’s a corporate or public tender, you still need to bring your best foot forward to succeed.
Also, technologies that facilitate natural language processing (NLP) have made tender management easier. This enables you to structure searches and design algorithms to search for specific tenders. Not every tender may be appropriate for your business. Most tenders have unique characteristics, requirements, selection criteria, and quality standards. Therefore, an NLP technology helps streamline the tender discovery process.
The Internet has had a big role to play in making tender management better by improving accessibility to tenders in local and global markets. Even governments are making use of online platforms to invite people to submit their proposals.
That being said, here are a few steps to follow for you to succeed with tender management:
The first step in tender management is looking for it, most importantly looking for the right one. You don’t want to pursue ones that don’t match your capabilities. For example, if your manufacturing plant manufactures medical equipment, it may not be a good idea to look for tenders that want to produce mining equipment for artisan miners.
Therefore, it all starts with defining your target market, so to speak, and then looking for specific tenders in the local or global marketplace. You can use technology to look for and find tenders that are appropriate for you.
2. Use Technology To Your Advantage
- Machine Learning – Machine learning is derived from artificial intelligence and has been growing in popularity over the years. You can set algorithms to find tenders that are suitable for you. This isn’t synonymous with hacking, or breaching any system or public network. It simply has a lot to do with extracting relevant data from complex information, whether it’s on the Internet or a web-based platform. Machine learning capabilities are extensive and flexible, and this makes it one of the best esourcing solutions to use in the tender process.
- System Integration – If a company or organization has automation technologies or is, at the very least, automation-ready, integration is possible. The integration will help a lot with tender and document management. Mind you, tendering is a process that usually has a lot of documentation involved. All these documents have to be managed and saved, preferably in a digital format. When a system is well-integrated, it’s easy to retrieve any document.
3. Be Selective
You need to focus on those tenders in which you have a great probability of winning. Tender management is a time-consuming activity. It’s no use putting effort into applying for a tender that won’t be fruitful. So, you have to be selective about the tenders that you’re going to pursue.
Look at factors, such as strategic fit. For example, look at whether the company or client that you’re going to be working with has any strategic or cost advantages area that’ll make it easier for you to accomplish the job. It could be as simple as choosing one industry over another. So, when you have resources that are better suited for operating in one industry over another, it’d be easy for you to decide which tenders to take and reject. Therefore, you need to look for tenders that you can handle resource-wise.
Also, you can use profitability as a criterion for selection. Based on historical data, you can establish whether the tenders are profitable. This process may not be straightforward, but historical data is quite useful to give a general overview of profitability. Therefore, you can use profitability to select which tender to go for and which one to discard.
4. Choose A Competent Team
Tender management is more like project management—it’s a team sport. So, you need to pick the individuals who’ll prepare the document for final submission. This team will evaluate, analyze, edit, and give suggestions to improve a proposal. Therefore, you need to make sure that you choose people who understand tender management. You should know that the quality of your team determines your rate and frequency of success or failure. Also, since it’s a team sport, you need to make sure that you assemble a competent team to increase your odds of success.
Also, you may need to include some external players in your team. It’s very possible that you could use outsourcing. You could take the option of using external consultants to get second opinions and advice on how to draft a tender or how to assess the viability of a tender. Smaller companies may want to take advantage of these outsourcing opportunities because they’re less costly. So, even when you’re choosing external players, make sure that you choose competent ones that’ll give you the right advice to propel your proposal.
5. Be Precise
Before submitting your proposal, you need to make sure that there are no mistakes in the document. It’s very possible that because of human error or negligence, you could submit a half-baked proposal or a proposal that doesn’t meet the requirements. Therefore, you need to be attentive to the instructions and finer details of a tender. Ensure to answer the question posed to you as the invitee.
Also, make sure that your proposal isn’t misleading. Give an honest representation of what you’re going to produce. They’ll hold you accountable for any discrepancy between what you make and what you proposed. Therefore, you want to be precise with everything that you do to prepare to submit the document. Be honest about your capacity to deliver what your client has requested.
6. Sell Yourself
Remember, the tendering process is quite competitive. You’re probably not the only one who’s looking to get that tender. So, you need to make sure that your proposal is well-put-together. You need to put your best foot forward because other competitors are probably going to do the same. Also, since there isn’t a 100% chance to win a tender, you need to put a lot of thought into every aspect. Make it as clear as possible that your proposal is the best proposal there is.
You need to know the priority or focus areas, such that you may not have to worry about cost minimization too much if a tender is mostly concerned with product quality. Maybe, your client or customer will pay a higher price for higher quality products, but these are intricacies you’ll only uncover if you pay attention to historical data.
Regardless of whether your application succeeds or fails, put your best foot forward and make sure that you don’t neglect the focus areas or key performance indicators.
It’s always good to be prepared. The tendering process involves drafting a lot of documents. And, most times, it involves a lot of revision and redrafting of documents. That’s fine and well, but you need to have a system whereby you can track changes and save all these documents, not only in physical format, but also in digital form.
Preparation is the step that comes before evaluation and submission. Before you submit your tender proposal or bid, make sure that it’s as comprehensive as possible. This stage is the one wherein you have to gather as much information as you can about your customers, as well as your competitors. When you clearly understand your customers and your competitors, you can use that information to design a winning proposal.
This is the stage where you decide things like the sales approach, production methods, pricing structure, and delivery strategy. It’s the stage when you estimate the project costs involved and revenues. Therefore, you need to use software that can create different sales scenarios to compare against your competitors’ numbers to establish whether they’re profitable.
If there’s a need for changes, such information is valuable because you need it to differentiate yourself from competitors. This process can identify gaps you need to fill in or opportunities that you can take advantage of.
This is the last step of the tender management process. Once you’ve completed the previous steps, you need to submit the tender. But, before you submit, double-check or even triple-check for errors to make sure that the document that you’re submitting is in order. Some customers or clients could disregard a proposal immediately if they come across a lot of mistakes.
Tender management requires a lot of thought, care, and attention. You don’t just want to make a blueprint for a proposal for every tender that you receive. There’s a very high likelihood that every tender has unique requirements and you’re going to have to adjust to meet all those requirements. Therefore, a certain amount of flexibility is required for you to succeed.
But, there’s also no one-size-fits-all solution or approach in tender management. So, you need to look for it a combination that works for you. Do some research or look for information that’ll help you win in the end. Whether it’s information about the competitor or the customer, what you want in the end is to succeed. Use the aforementioned steps to guide you on how you can succeed and what you should look out for in tender management.