Topic 5.8: Going to tender
Organisations will then select an offer from the pool of bids or responses (the tenders) that meets their needs and provides the best value for money.
Tender request documents – also referred to as invitations to tender, Requests for Tender (RFT), Requests for Proposal (RFP) – outline the requesting organisation’s needs.
These documents also explain the particular requirements, criteria, and instructions that are to be followed.
Tenders are usually advertised widely to offer opportunities to a number of suppliers, encourage competition and provide a greater pool of offers to select from.
Interested suppliers will then prepare a tender – the documents that outline the offer that they are making.
Each tender will include pricing, schedules, and their eligibility for the project or procurement.
They will also outline their advantage over competitors, as well as providing information on qualifications, competencies and experience.
The submitted tenders are then evaluated against defined criteria, not unlike the criteria used to evaluate alternatives in the business case.
In fact, you will often use the multi-criteria framework (albeit with different criteria) to decide on the best option.
The tender process should be conducted fairly and honestly, and in a manner that is free from bias or favour.
The offer that best meets all the requirements outlined in the request and provides the greatest value for money should win the contract.