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Learning never stops. Here you can find the information to help you learn more about tendering, with blogs, tips and answers to common questions, we’re sure you will find something for you!

The Tendup Blog

Tender Questions

Tenders are tricky at the best of times, so we’ve answered the most common tendering questions to help.

RFT (Request for Tender) 

A request for tender, or RFT, is a document or set of documents issued by an organisation (usually government) to the open market to procure products or services. The RFT document will outline the requirements and ask questions about the applicant’s ability to meet those requirements.

These documents are often large and complicated with multiple sections including terms and conditions, response forms, and pricing tables to be completed.  

RFQ (Request for Quote) 

A request for quote, or RFQ is usually the term for a document issued under the terms of a panel contract. Panels are a shortlist of suppliers who sign onto an overarching contract with pre-agreed terms and pricing. The RFQ will only be issued to organisations that are on the panel, so getting on panels and responding well to RFQs is important for government suppliers.  

RFQs are shorter and less complicated than an RFT and more like completing a form, but you may still include some more complex information as an attachment if the products or services being bought are for large projects. 

A Request for Information (RFI) is a document or process used to gather information from potential suppliers to make a more informed decision about a potential project. RFIs are typically used to gather information about products, services, or solutions that may be available to meet the needs of a specific project. It’s a tool to gather information in a non-binding way, and it’s used to gain a better understanding of the market and the solutions that are available.

A Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) is like a RFI in that it is used to gather information from potential suppliers. However, an REOI is typically used at the beginning of a procurement process to identify and pre-qualify potential suppliers for a project. REOIs are used to gather information about the capability and capacity of potential suppliers to perform specific work, and to determine their level of interest in participating in a future procurement process.

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The three critical success factors for efficient tendering

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, time is precious. As organisations strive to maximise productivity and optimise resources, it’s crucial to ensure your tendering process is highly efficient.

Tendering requires a substantial amount of documentation, ranging from response documents, legal forms to detailed appendices and attachments. The sheer volume of paperwork can be overwhelming and time-consuming to manage.

Using technology to manage streamlined documentation and tracking practices can significantly reduce time, allowing you to focus on what truly matters.

As professional bid and tender managers, we have three key areas of focus when it comes to supporting successful tenders. These are preparation, collaboration and decisive governance.


Preparation is the key to success in anything, and tendering is no exception. There is great value in investing sufficient time for response planning. This involves a detailed analysis to understand the requirements and outline these clearly as a briefing for all tender contributors. This allows you to pick up on the small details and ensure a compliant response that meets all criteria.


Collaboration and communication are critical components of tendering success. However, miscommunication, delays in response times, and lack of clarity can create confusion and hamper progress.

Fostering a culture of open communication is important to minimise misunderstandings and streamline the tendering process. Tendup focuses on three critical collaboration functions to support tender teams. These are:

1: Checkpoints: establishing and maintaining checkpoint streams that allow contributors to come together at a regular cadence and hold accountability for response items

2: Collaborative tools: utilising collaboration tools including shared documents and a clearly marked document storage hub to allow all contributors convenient access to any relevant supporting materials, as well as a real-time view of the draft response

3: Tracking: a single source of tracking for the entire proposal, outlining each piece of criteria, the response owner, current status of the response and defined due dates.

Establishing and maintaining clear lines of communication within your team provides an essential foundation to a high-quality response.

Decisive governance

The tendering process often involves waiting for internal responses, evaluations, or contract approvals. Prolonged decision-making can be a significant time waster.

By proactively managing your internal stakeholders, holding teams accountable to the response timing plans and ensuring you have a clear understanding of the requisite approval processes, you can limit the last-minute issues that can propel tenders into panic mode. A hot tip is to create a calendar booking with your tender deed or declaration signatory well in advance, as these senior authorisers can often be unavailable at the last minute.

In the competitive world of tendering, time is an asset that should be used wisely. By identifying and addressing the top time wasters in the tendering process, you can set yourself up for a more successful response while also minimising the stress and overwhelm that can come with bids and tenders. Embracing documentation practices, thorough preparation, effective communication, efficient review strategies, and proactive decision-making are all important contributors to provide a solid foundation for a successful tender response.

Tendup offers a range of services to support your bid journeys. Talk to us about how we can help take your tender or proposal to the next level.

Three reasons why document design matters for tenders and proposals

Win themes provide a solid foundation for any proposal. They help you to focus your proposal on the value that you uniquely bring and to inform a narrative that clearly and persuasively differentiates your solution from competitors.

Win themes are also a powerful tool for setting up engaging, collaborative proposal response teams. By defining them, you can ensure that all responses to questions and sections consistently highlight the strength of your offer. 

The three things you can do to make the most of your win themes:  

Here are our top three tips for taking your win themes to the next level:

1: Distil them into a single tagline that summarises your value proposition for the bid. This is a powerful introductory message for the cover and in the header of your response.

2: Integrate your win themes into the response as subheadings within your executive summary. This creates structure for your key messages and puts the ‘why you’ out there so it can’t be missed.

3: Use ‘callout’ boxes to highlight key points, featuring them prominently on the page. This allows an executive reader who scans the document to easily catch the reasons why you are the right choice to deliver.


Here’s an example of these tips in action:

Tendup offers a range of services to support your bid journeys. Talk to us about how we can help take your tender or proposal to the next level.

Three reasons why document design matters for tenders and proposals

David Copperfield famously said that “the most important thing is presentation.” The importance of presentation is universally accepted. This is reinforced by the billions of dollars spent each year on industries dedicated to presentation, such as fashion, advertising, and interior design. The presentation of a proposal or tender is just as important.

You don’t get a second chance at a first impression. 

Document design is a crucial success factor for producing winning tenders. Document presentation is not just about designing something to be aesthetically pleasing. It’s equally important to use design to make your response easy to read and understand. A well-presented proposal or response effectively communicates your value proposition to potential clients. It makes your offer easier to understand and evaluate, and it demonstrates your professionalism and attention to detail.    

Why layout and design matter   

Document design is the process of planning and creating a visually appealing and considered layout for your documents. This includes the structure of the information, the use of visual devices to support readability and supporting graphics to reinforce important messages. This usually takes the form of headings, subheadings, sections, paragraphs, lists, tables, charts, a table of contents.  

Three reasons that document design will elevate your tenders and proposals in the competitive line-up   

The design of your tender can make a huge difference in the value that a potential client assigns to your brand. Well-designed documents will provide:    

1: Increased readability (and ability to scan): quality document design helps reduce clutter and avoid confusion in your proposal documents. Common document design considerations help with the readability of documents, such as short sentences, subheadings, lists, bullet points and white space. These optimise the response for easy scanning, allowing readers to pick up the key points without wading through every word. 

2: Increased impact and reader retention: first impressions are everything. A well-designed document will highlight the key aspects of your proposal while also differentiating your brand beyond the elements of content or price. The visual aids (images, icons, and graphs) included as part of the design will make your key messages easy to understand and your proposal more memorable. A well-presented response will demonstrate quality, projecting professionalism and capability for your organisation’s ability to deliver a high-quality outcome for the client. 

3: Consistency and professionalism: a good document design will ensure a consistent and recurring look and feel for your proposal documents. With the use of consistent fonts, colours, logos and other elements that embody your brand identity, you reinforce its professionalism and build brand equity. 

Structuring information and supporting it with design and layout is a valuable tool in the proposal process. Winning tender and proposal documents make a great first impression, stand out from the crowd and highlight your capability and value in a clear and memorable way. 

At Tendup we provide professional support for the development of high-quality tender responses. Our team brings extensive experience in tender writing, management and the design of high impact materials. Contact us if you’d like to discuss how we can take your tender or proposal to the next level.  

3 Most Common Tender Response Mistakes

When we’re called in to help our clients, we see all sorts of tender writing mistakes. From big to small, we’ve picked 3 of the most common mistakes to help make sure that you’re giving yourself the best chance of getting the contract. 

Mistake 1: Not starting with strategy

When writing your tenders, start with your response strategy, not your prewritten content, or what comes to mind straight away. Your strategy should be based on your strengths and the weaknesses of your competitors, and how your strengths align with the requirements and questions in the RFT. Taking the time to analyse and set out your response strategy will help you create a clear and focused response.  

After you have finalised your strategy, then you can start looking at your prewritten content to see what you can edit and include and what does not fit within your strategy.  

Mistake 2: Using an incomplete structure

Structuring your tender response is essential to answering the tender questions well. A structure helps your evaluator understand your response. If you do not have a structure, or use a poor structure, it will be harder for an evaluator to give you a positive evaluation.  

Answering tender questions is like answering exam questions. Answers are evaluated with criteria – if you don’t answer the question well, you will get low evaluation scores.   

A starting point for structuring your response is to break down the question into its different components. Then, create headings and dot points for answering each part of the question, including points that align to your response strategy where appropriate.  

Mistake 3: Using too much complex language

You want your tender to outline exactly what you can do, and help the evaluators understand why you are the best choice. That information can easily be lost with use of overly complex language, technical language, or jargon – words and terminology that won’t be understood by someone who isn’t an expert in your field.  

Remember, the reader will not necessarily understand your area of expertise. Any complex terms or language should be used sparingly and explained, and if possible, translated into everyday terms. This will make sure that the evaluator understands exactly what you are offering and make your response easy to score highly.  

5 trends to watch in tendering 2023.

Did you know the Australian tendering landscape is changing and evolving? Recent changes in the sector may prompt you to adjust your approach to bidding on government business opportunities.
The experienced tender proposal team from Tendup have shared the top 5 trends we see influencing the government tenders in 2023 and beyond…

1. Competitive Dialogue

A process mostly used by the public sector, the competitive dialogue process is becoming more widespread – particularly for large and complex opportunities. The process allows buyers to enter a workshops and discussions with a group of selected sellers to explore potential solutions together in a different way to traditional tenders.

2. Onshore versus Offshore

Covid created global supply chain issues which impacted at least one third of Australian industry sectors, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Civil unrest in some international markets and the growing threat of cyber security attack, has also led many organisations to bring capabilities back onshore to minimise risk. For sellers offering secure Australian-made services and solutions, this may well provide the winning edge.

3. Opportunities for SMEs

Various Federal and State government initiatives are driving a movement towards creating more opportunities for small and medium enterprises to supply services to government. Changes over the last few years in the commonwealth procurement rules have incentivised buyers to consider small and medium enterprises for a wider variety of contracts.

4. Capability is King

Buyers have become very discerning and are not necessarily awarding tenders purely on price. Buyers are placing more value on the non-price elements of tender proposals. Key aspects to highlight are: demonstrated experience, track records of quality service and company values.

5. The Rise of Collaborative Bidding

It is becoming more common for multiple businesses to group together and combine skills, knowledge and resources when bidding for government work. Collaboration provides businesses with an opportunity to expand their capabilities and capacity, and potentially apply for larger and more lucrative contracts.

Need help managing and writing your next tender? The experienced team at Tendup assists businesses to deliver high-quality tender responses and offer a range of services that cover strategy, writing, management, and production.

Feel free to reach out at: info@tendup.co