Tender Preparation and Evaluation

Posted: 09/21/2010

Disputes with suppliers are an all too common side effect of outsourcing, which can affect the reputation of an organisation, as well as taking up valuable time and resources to resolve.

The majority of such disagreements stem from the tendering process, with either purchasers claiming that the products or services they received do not match the original specification or providers saying they were given inadequate guidance.



The best way to tackle such issues is to prevent them from occurring by ensuring that the tender preparation and evaluation process is as thorough as possible.

Successful Service Procurement

The key to preparing a successful invitation to tender is to be clear in outlining the specifications. Communicating their needs effectively is the best way for businesses to ensure they ultimately get the product or services they want.

An invitation to tender should contain detailed information on the background to the project, the scope of the work involved and the requirements of the job. However, just as important, are details of the ideal supplier, setting out what they should have to demonstrate to be considered for the job. This could include having experience of a similar type of work and being able to prove that the company is in a strong position.

It is also important to specify the success criteria, for example meeting the deliverables with regards price and quality.

Finally, companies must be careful to include details of the expected supplier response within the invitation to tender. The information should be laid out in a clear manner, so that suppliers send in bids in a consistent format, making comparison easy.

In terms of presentation, some advisers suggest writing requirements in a numbered list so that it is easy for both the procurer and vendors to tick off what elements various bids meet.

Remember: Suppliers are Salesmen

Once the bids start rolling it is necessary to devote some serious time to selecting the best ones and when doing so it is vital to remember that each of the bidders is acting as a salesman for their own product. As such, it is important to look beyond the showy presentations.

According to Tech Republic, a useful tactic can be to get bidders to drop their acts and address a business's particular needs, as this can stop companies focusing on features that they do not need.

"Sales people will often resist moving the discussion this way because it gets them out of their comfort zone and into a less rehearsed topic. This change may be uncomfortable for them, but it’s essential to your evaluation of a vendor's ability to meet your true business needs," the news provider stated.

Think in Terms of Value, Not Cheapness

Many businesses are looking to cut back at the moment, but when it comes to selecting a vendor it is important to take a number of factors into consideration, rather than just the cost.

While businesses need to consider the affordability of the various bidders and work within their budgets, value for money is more important than cheapness and businesses need to be wary of anyone who offers a quality service for much cheaper than any other quotes.

Keep it Simple

Finally, the top tip for people evaluating vendors is to keep things simple. It is advisable that all people involved in the decision sit down and prioritise their requirements and rate each bidder in terms of how they meet them.

Some experts suggest that businesses should only invite just a few vendors to bid for tender as this enables them to look in depth at their offerings and make a full informed choice.

This will ensure that the best bidder gets the job and avoid any complications further down the line.

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Posted: 09/21/2010

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