a Guide to e-tendering
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A Breakdown of Tender Portal Submissions

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Feb24_H1In the competitive landscape of winning business, mastering the art of portal submissions is crucial. Why? Because it enables you to submit complete and compliant tenders – further strengthening your position to secure lucrative contracts and partnerships. 

Getting acquainted with these initial guidelines can offer massive time savings and save you from potentially ending up with a non-compliant response at the last minute!

A Breakdown of Tender Portals Submissions

 Whilst some tenders can be submitted physically, most tenders nowadays are submitted electronically through the respective submission portal. This is known as ‘e-tendering’ or ‘e-procurement’.



So you're interested in a tender opportunity and ready to continue on to the next phase of The Tender Process. You follow the link to the Buyer/Issuers website to get more details and are greeted with a registration page that may look something like this:

Image source: https://www.tenders.act.gov.au/register

You may be thinking:
“I already have a subscription with Australian Tenders, why do I need to register here as well?”
Great question, we’re glad you asked.
Firstly, the registration process enables Buyers to establish a comprehensive database of Suppliers, facilitating efficient communication and systematic management of the tendering process. This database ensures that all relevant parties are easily reachable for updates, clarifications, and dissemination of additional information.

Secondly, registering suppliers helps maintain a level of accountability and transparency in the procurement process. By capturing essential details such as company information, qualifications, and experience, issuers can assess the suitability and credibility of potential suppliers, ensuring that only qualified and reputable entities participate in the tendering process.

Additionally, the registration requirement serves as a means of controlling access to sensitive information, safeguarding the confidentiality of the tender details and preventing unauthorised parties from obtaining crucial data.


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The Different Portals and Their Features

Perhaps the most significant part of e-procurement is analysing the e-procurement portal. This pre-requisite includes reviewing each section of the portal for important guidelines on submissions, addenda, who to contact for questions or technical errors, and how to connect with support. It also helps you understand how to answer questions within each schedule or part of the bid. Some portals require bidders to enter responses directly within the sections provided. Other processes could request for answers to be entered in either procurer-supplied response documents or individual document uploads for each response. In the case of document uploads, instructions are often specified regarding document formats, letterheads, and, most importantly, any limitations to the size or number of documents you can upload per schedule.


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Understanding compliance

Adherence to tender requirements is non-negotiable. Non-compliance can result in disqualification, making it essential to prioritise accuracy and thoroughness in your submission.

Some examples of non-compliance include:

  • not providing a mandatory documents
  • failing to use supplied response documents where requested
  • submitting your quote or pricing in a different format than as specified

Timeline & tools

The overall efficiency of a tender submission hinges heavily on a company's ability to adhere to an effective timeline and its ability to utilise the tools available to reach key milestones.

To optimize the document submission workflow, companies are advised to leverage recommended tools provided by some tender portals, such as a rough submission estimate. In essence, understanding and effectively managing the timeline and tools associated with document uploads are imperative for smooth and successful portal submissions

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Creating a centralised repository

At the very top of the list of recommended tools would be a centralised repository.

Tenders typically require key documents to be uploaded for different responses. Establish a centralised system to organise all relevant information and documents. This repository should include certifications, company profiles, case studies, and other commonly requested materials. Having a readily accessible resource saves time and ensures consistency across submissions.

Make sure your documents are updated and valid, such as insurance certificates of currency and relevant licences.


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Test Submissions

Test out the portal upload functionality at least 48 to 72 hours prior to the submission deadline.
Once you’ve finalised your response to each part of the bid, run a test upload to ensure documents are attaching seamlessly and there’s no hurdle in the process. As with any online portal, technical errors are inevitable. Ensure you have sufficient time to test document uploads so you can reach out to the procurement representative for assistance if required.


Submit ahead of schedule

Aim to submit your proposal at least 36 to 48 hours ahead of the deadline to account for any unforeseen issues or technical glitches.
Early submission not only demonstrates your commitment but also allows for adjustments if needed. Dozens if not hundreds of bidders could be using the portal on the day of the submission, which makes it critical to keep your submission timeline under check.


Prepare to record your submission

Whether you’re submitting a bid for your organisation or on someone’s behalf, it’s a good idea to keep a record of the submission.
Not only does this verify you’ve completed the process, but it also gives you valuable insight into ways to improve future portal submissions. Screenshot your submission once you get a confirmation that the response is submitted. These steps ensure you have tangible evidence in case you potentially need to prove a technical error.



By adopting these strategic practices, you can transform your approach to tender portal submissions. Efficiently managing the submission process not only increases your chances of success but also positions your organisation as a reliable and professional partner in the eyes of potential clients.


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Check out the Australian Tenders blogs for more informative articles on tendering, bidding, and procurement.


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