Tendering is a process where a business or individual responds to a formal request for the supply of goods and services. The organisation needing the goods and services is called a “Buyer”, and the person who can provide the goods and services is the “Supplier”.
A “formal request” can look different depending on the type of opportunity. For example, a quotation is a tender opportunity, which is a more simple request than a Request for Tender, which involves more complicated documentation (like conditions of contract, the scope of works, e.t.c.).
Types of opportunities are:
- Request for Tender (RFT)
- Approach to Market (ATM)
- Expression of Interest (EOI)
- Invitation to Offer (ITO)
- Request for Information (RFI)
- Request for Quote (RFQ)
- And more! We go through all of the types in our Glossary.
Even though they're all called different things, all the types have similar characteristics. The tender documents will typically include a description of the requirements and needs and request the supplier’s experience, capability, and capacity to supply goods or services. In most cases, the supplier also will need to identify their price or value.
The Buyer will ask for responses from more than one organisation and then evaluate and accept the one that meets their needs and offers the best value for money. Once the Buyer has selected a supplier, the Buyer awards the contract to the successful tenderer!
The tender process is used in hundreds of industries, including:
- Commercial and residential building & construction
- Civil construction
- Information technology
- Architecture & urban design
- Education & training
Should You Tender?
Tendering is often used by local, state and federal government organisations. Government policy dictates that the tender process must be used above a certain financial threshold, which varies from state to state and ranges from $150,000 - $200,000. It is also used by private companies, which means you could miss substantial work opportunities!
Tendering can be a fantastic way to ensure your company stands out in a crowded marketplace. Once you begin responding and winning, your experience and network will grow, giving you even more opportunities for work.
With recent Buy Local policies implemented in various states across Australia and improvements to procurement regulation, the market is looking better and better for small-to-medium businesses.
However, the procurement process can be overwhelming. With hundreds of pages of documents and limited time to prepare a response, we know it can be disheartening to get started. Plus, tender questions can be confusing to understand, and the cost of responding comes from the supplier’s back pocket. That’s why companies like Australian Tenders exist, to try and make the process as easy as possible for businesses like yours!
So, should you tender? That’s really only a question you can answer. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have the capacity to take on more work at the moment?
- Do I have time and resources to respond to opportunities?
If the answer is yes to these two questions, you’re ready to start your tendering journey!
Where do I start?
Once you’ve decided you want to start tendering, it’s time to see what opportunities are out there for your business. We have over 600 categories related to specific industries that you can search through. Using our search function, you can see precisely how many opportunities have been released in your area and what type of opportunities are coming out.
This is also the perfect time to review awarded tenders to understand which your competitors have won and review future tenders to know what opportunities will be released soon.
Australian Tenders can help you find out whether there are opportunities in your industry. Tenders can be challenging to find, so feel free to reach out to our team, and they can assist you in looking for work that may be related to your goods and services.
Once you know there are opportunities relevant to you, it’s time to start preparing:
- Do I have the relevant qualifications and insurances for government projects?
- Am I equipped with all the tools to simplify the process, such as tender notifications?
- Develop a bid-no bid process to know which opportunities you should be applying for.
When you begin looking at tendering as a step-by-step process, it becomes much more achievable for your business. While there’s lots of new lingo and procedures to learn, the opportunities procurement provides for your business can far outweigh the pressures and resource cost to get there.
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Thousands of small-to-medium businesses across Australia and New Zealand are breaking into the procurement world, and companies like Australian Tenders can help you get there.