Tendering is the process by which bids are invited from interested contractors to carry out specific packages of construction work.


It should adopt and observe the key values of fairness, clarity, simplicity and accountability, as well as reinforce the idea that the apportionment of risk to the party best placed to assess and manage it, is fundamental to the success of a project.


Top Ten Tender Tips 


1) First things first, make sure that your company meets the minimum requirements for the opportunity. These will be set out in the bid documents. You don’t want to waste time and resources submitting a bid that is doomed to failure from the beginning!


2) Pass / Fail questions do what they say on the tin… If your answer doesn’t meet the Pass criteria then the client’s assessor is likely to fail your entire submission. Always check through the Pass/Fail questions first to make sure you will pass them before starting work on the rest of the bid.


3) Assume ignorance! Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the person reading your bid knows anything about your company, even if you are already working with the organisation that you are bidding to work with.

4) Answer all the questions as fully as possible. If you can’t provide all the information then explain why not rather than leaving blanks. Use N/A (not applicable) for the questions that are not relevant to your company.


5) Read the submission instructions carefully and follow them to the letter. Check early on to see what format/s are needed – leave enough time at the end for printing and packaging hard copies. This always takes longer than you think and no amount of willpower can make a printer go quicker.


6) Now is not the time for modesty! Make sure you clearly explain what you do, how you do it and why your company is a good fit for the opportunity. It takes time and care to craft well-written bid responses but remember that this is the only information that the client will be assessing.


7) Stay within the word limits. The assessor may well stop reading anything over the word limit. Also try to use the word limits as a rough guide for how long to make your answer. The contracting organisation is looking for a certain level of information, e.g. 100 words is a quick overview whereas a limit of 1000 words means they want a detailed in-depth answer. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a minimum of 80% of the word count.


8) Give substance to your answers. Back up what you have said with evidence statistics, quotes from clients, awards and accreditations all add credibility to your bid.


9) Use diagrams and photographs to illustrate your bid. A picture tells a thousand words… and often don’t count towards a word limit! A well-presented bid that makes good use of graphics will give a great first impression and will be easier to read.


10) Last but definitely not least – read, review and proofread your bid. Use the client’s evaluation criteria (from the bid documentation) to mark the bid from their perspective. It can be helpful to get someone else who hasn’t written the bid to review it from an objective viewpoint. Be critical and thorough with this, you want to make sure you’ve said what you think you have.


Bids and tenders really aren’t that complicated, you just need to read the documents carefully and tell the client about your business.



Procurement in a business context is the art, skill or occupation of buying goods and services. The process includes the preparation and processing of a demand as well as the end receipt and approval of payment

Exercise  8.1  

ELearning from the Supply Chain Schools

This excellent resource from the Supply Chain School leads to a brief end test and certification,  please complete the course and add your certificate HERE


Also add details of this course to your IOR CPD Record.