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Tips and FAQs

Tender Tips

A collection of tips to help you on your tender writing journey.

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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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

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.