Writing Tenders & PQQs

Be Careful Using a Tender Template

People frequently ask for a tender template but are disappointed when we say that we don’t have a generic PQQ or tender template.

Be Careful When Using a Tender Template or PQQ Template

Let’s look at the reasons why:

  1. Formal PQQs, RFQs and tenders rarely follow the same format
  2. Businesses are all different – even in the same industry
  3. Customers’ needs differ too

Therefore there is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution. However, there is certainly a case for developing your own tender template library.

What Tender Templates Can You Use?

If the invitation to tender (ITT) is not formatted then it is more like a formal sales proposal. See How to Write Sales Proposals for details on creating your own proposal / tender template.

Writing Tenders Top Tip: Start Early!

There are a lot of hints and tips about writing tenders in Bid Management. This post deals with a fundamental issue (and common problem) regarding writing tenders and bid management – actually getting started with the tender response.

Writing Tenders Top Tip: Start Early!

Writing tenders is not most people’s favourite pastime. Therefore they often put off looking at a tender until near the deadline. Also many agonise about what to write, leading to more procrastination. So tenders get left until the last minute and then rushed… normally resulting in a second rate tender submission and less chance of being successful.

Writing Tenders Top Tip – Get started as soon as possible!

You normally have 3-4 weeks to submit a tender or PQQ; this initially seems like a long time but it soon goes so do make a start in the first few days. This allows you to:

Responding to Tender Questions Guide

This guide to responding to tender questions also relates to PQQs, RFPs etc. If you follow these simple steps, you will improve the quality of your tender responses and your chances of winning the bid.

Responding to Tender Questions Guide

Responding to Tender Questions Checklist

These basic actions explain tender writing best practice and how to avoid making common tendering errors.

Before you start answering the questions, make sure the tender is right for you. And make sure you plan your tender correctly.

Be Careful When Re-using Old Content

You should build up a tender response library. There’s nothing wrong with re-using good content. As long as it is relevant and customised to each tender. Avoid just cutting and pasting or sticking to a tender template.

Answer All the Questions

Simply put – don’t leave any gaps. If you do, you cannot get marked and that means zero points / no score.

Answer the Question

Don’t fudge an answer – if you are not sure then ask.

Also check that you have really answered what is being asked – not what you think is being asked.

Tell the Truth!

It’s often tempting to give the answer that is expected e.g. “Is your company ISO 9001 accredited?” Too many companies have responded: “The company is in the process of getting 9001 accreditation”. Buyers know this normally translates to “No, and no intention of getting it unless you really push me”.

Therefore give a positive response by adding when it is due to be completed (if you really are in the process) or state that you do not have 9001 but do have quality processes in place / would be willing to get it. Or just say no. NB if it is a mandatory requirement, then you may just have to pull out.

10 Most Common Tendering Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

When trying to write good tender / PQQ / RFP responses, a good starting point is to understand what are the most common tendering mistakes – you can then make sure you avoid them!

10 Most Common Tendering Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

In no particular order:

1. 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 accepted or marked properly

2. Incorrect Formatting, Presentation & Non-conformance

A bit like the last one, if you don’t follow their format, you can get marked down.

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