5 Ways to Tackle Common Challenges in Tender Writing

by | Sep 13, 2019 | Procurement and Contracting

5 Ways To Tackle Common Challenges in Tender Writing

Writing tenders can be an overwhelming task. Tender documents are confusing and complicated. Putting the response together takes up valuable time and resources, not to mention the stress. And how do you know if you have a chance?

Yet, with some substantial procurement opportunities up for grabs, it’s worth dedicating time and effort to getting your tenders right.

The good news is there are ways to overcome the common challenges to write a strong tender and increase your chances of success.

Here are top challenges and how to overcome them.

(Are you on the other side of the process? Join our short courses to how to write specifications and evaluate tenders and quotes) 

#1 You just want to give the client what they want – but what do they want? 

You can’t start writing your tender unless you know that you offer what your client wants. That’s why it’s critical to understand the tender request properly before you start.

Get your questions answered early, so they don’t hold up the process. Attend any tender information sessions offered and contact the tender coordinator to seek clarification on any requirements you’re unclear on.

Don’t make any assumptions during the tender process. Even if you’re the incumbent supplier, you shouldn’t assume that the tender evaluation team knows about your organisation and its capabilities. Tender teams can only evaluate what you submit in your written response.

#2 You don’t know how to format the tender.

The tenderer will probably be reading through lots of submissions. So, don’t give them reason to discard your tender by not following simple instructions.

The golden rule here is to follow all instructions to the letter. Use the response forms provided. If there aren’t any, use their request document as a guide. Place your answers clearly underneath each question and requirement – this ensures you are covering everything that’s being asked. Stick to word counts and page limits, and don’t alter styles unless really necessary.

The bottom line is, if you can’t follow simple tender instructions, the buyer’s confidence in your ability to do the job will be low.

#3 You struggle to demonstrate value for money.

One of the toughest challenges when writing a tender is proving value for money. Value for money (VfM) does not necessarily mean the lowest price. It takes into account the total cost of procurement from planning to disposal and everything in between.

To show that you offer value for money, you need to first understand the customers’ expectations. Consider the benefits to the customer, extending beyond financial aspects to social and environmental factors over the long term. 

#4 Submitting tenders takes up valuable time and resources.  

The solution here is to project manage the process. Yes, writing tenders takes up time, but it’s always worth it in the long run. And strong tenders are a result of great project management.

There are usually many pieces to the puzzle. So, have a tender checklist in place, allocate responsible authors, follow up key stakeholders and keep to deadlines. Challenge key stakeholders for more information if this means you will get a better response to each individual question.

#5 You want to add in other ideas, even though they aren’t requested in the request for tender.

The fastest way to lose a tender is to make it irrelevant. So, try not to include anything that hasn’t been asked for. The only exception to the rule is if you can see that the outcome of the project would be improved if a certain service was included. In this case, offer what is being asked for first, then add the additional solution with the extra cost for that particular service.

Over to you 

Writing tenders can be overwhelming, but with strong project management and attention to detail, you can ensure you stand out for the right reasons. Remember to use every tender process as a learning tool. If you don’t win, apply those lessons to the next one for a higher chance of success.

Recent Blog Posts Testimonials

“Phenomenal course to understand contract management in the best way possible. I am working as a Procurement Manager and never understood contract part completely but this course helped me to understand key points of contract management. Thanks to author for creating this wonderful course. ”

Student - Introduction to Contract Management - August 2021

“I think everything worked very smoothly”

Susan Mariott
Quality Home Design and Drafting Service

“Always good and prompt feedback from Michael”

John Logan
Draft Comps Services

“Don has been a terrific teacher and very prompt with feedback throughout the whole diploma, which has been great!”

Diploma of PM

“I found the course easy to follow and navigate through. I would recommend this course to others”

August 2018

“…I originally enrolled in Transformed’s Diploma of Project Management on the basis of their flexibility. ..As I subsequently discovered, Transformed’s approach extends even further to include ‘one on one’ coaching sessions… and adjusting the training to fit in with the client..”

Michael Irwin

“I also want to take the opportunity to thank you for all your help during my studies. I think your training company is very professional and I would endorse you and Transformed to anyone looking to study distance learning”

Doug Madarovski

“Thanks for your support over the years and I look forward to doing more courses at Transformed in the future”.

Cert IV in HEES - March 2022

“I am so appreciative of you and Transformed for your flexibility and support- THANK YOU”

Louise Anderson
Cert IV in P & C student - May 2020

“My assessor was absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t have achieved this without her encouragement and guidance’.

Cert IV in Procurement & Contracting - March 2022

“Just wanted to say thanks for putting up with me and getting me over the line!! Which I know was a bit difficult with no background in the industry!! Thanks very much and I look forward to starting my business and conquering the world as an Energy Rater!”

Laura Lace

“I’m extremely impressed by The Cert IV in HEES delivered by Transformed. It is a fantastic, relevant, and interesting course with great content. The study materials and assistance have been exceptional. Thanks again to Transformed for their support”.

Matt Wade
Cert IV in HEES Student – April 2022.

“All round I’ve been really impressed with how professional everyone at Transformed has been”

Diploma of PM

“Ease of delivery, completing from work”

Qld Health

“The course is really well organised, your videos and zoom meetings were extremely helpful, the platform functions perfectly, your response time to queries and questions is always prompt and overall it is just been a wonderful experience”

Cert IV in HEES student, July 2021.

“Easy to deal with”

Laura Lace

“Working at my own pace online and the response time to emails and responses were always great”

Ekaterina Sidorova
Lend Lease

“I want to thank you for providing that encouragement and feed back at appropriate times. You make me and I’m sure all students, feel special and like we are getting personal assistance, which I have received. I don’t know how you manage all that you do but you do it well. Thank you”

Cert IV in NatHERS Assessment student

“Learning – I have now fine-tuned my existing skills”

Brian Peterson
Moreton Bay Regional Council

“The excellent and prompt communication from my assessor”

Cert IV in NatHERS Assessment student

“I engaged Michael Young from Transformed to assess me for the Australian Institute of Project Management Certified Practicing Project Manager. I wanted to be certified as I wanted to verify that the skills and knowledge was in line with industry best-practice. At first it seemed a bit daunting, however, Michael made the process very easy, providing templates for references and self-assessment as well as providing a list of the project management documents I would need to provide as evidence. The assessment interview was very relaxed and more like a conversation than an assessment, which brought out the best experiences to evidence my capabilities. Because of Michael’s current government security clearance, we were able to look at specific of particular projects, rather me than having to spend a heap of time sanitising documents. Since the assessment, I have been successful in gaining a promotion..”

Mike McCarthy

“The self-paced learning it allowed me to work whilst studying”

Haylea Edwards
Efficient Living

“Just wanted to say thank you so much for offering such a great course, I have really enjoyed studying my Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability with Transformed”.

Cert IV in HEES student, July 2021

“I am very satisfy with the study”

Eric Lam

“The most practical and well organised course I’ve been involved with, perfect for anyone with a demanding full time career and family commitments. My facilitator was extremely helpful and being part of the construction industry applied a very focused approach to the course content which assisted me in completing my studies, Would strongly and have already recommended Transformed to those looking to complete their Cert IV and Diploma in Building and Construction. Thanks for all your efforts and support.”

Aleks Petrovic
Cert IV and Diploma in Building and Construction Student