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How to Evaluate a Tender Request and Choose the Right Tender

Tender Evaluation is an incredibly important part of your overall bid writing process.

It’s not just about finding the right bid, it’s about evaluating the cost, resources and time it will take to complete the bid and deciding whether you can actually successfully complete the bid.

Today we’ll be going over how to evaluate a tender request, what you need to consider before choosing a tender and what to consider when it comes to completing the tender to a satisfactory level.

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How to Choose the Right Tender

It can be difficult finding the right tender suited to your organisation. Whilst it may be tempting to target a large number of tenders, choosing and focusing on single tenders that are more suited to your organisation, which you’ll be able to successfully complete, allows you to better focus your efforts.

Not sure where to start? Tools like the government's ‘Contracts Finder’ can be used for information about contracts worth over £12,000 (including VAT) with the government and its agencies. If you’re looking for more high-value contracts (usually above £138,760 including VAT) use the ‘Find a Tender’ service instead.

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Evaluating a Tender Request: Three Key Factors to Consider

If you feel you’ve found a tender that may be right for your organisation, then it’s time to evaluate the full tender.

The first thing to consider when evaluating a tender is whether it is achievable in the first place. Whilst it may be tempting to bid for the big tenders that offer greater monetary rewards or come from more reputable organisations, it’s important to ensure you have the resources, time and technical specifications to complete the tender.

You aren’t punished for not bidding on an unachievable tender, but winning a bid and failing to meet the requirements can paint your organisation as unreliable, reducing your success in winning future bids. 3 key factors to think about before you take on a contract to ensure it can be completed are cost, time and technical specifications.

1. Cost/Resources

Calculating the cost and resources it will take to complete a bid is vital to ensure you can successfully complete it to the client’s standard, while not depleting your own budget or resources. Doing this at an early stage also helps to identify whether you may need to outsource some of the work or hire new people to assist, which may impact the time it takes to complete a bid if you’re calculating and figuring this out at a later date within the bid process.

It should be noted that calculating the cost won’t always give an exact figure. Issues that could arrive, such as staff leaving or limited access to resources needed to complete the bid, may affect the cost in a negative way. For cases like these, you should always ensure you have reserved resources available to ensure that any negative impacts to cost don’t slow down your bid timeline or, in serious cases, means you aren’t able to complete the tender.

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2. Time

The tender you’re bidding for is likely to have a timeframe for when it must be completed. Failure to complete tenders within a certain timeframe may have severe repercussions for the client offering the tender and may portray your organisation as one that is unreliable. Setting up a timeline on how and when you will meet the targets of the bid is a good way of keeping your organisation in check and showcasing that you can successfully meet the bid requirements.

If you feel like this might be difficult to keep in check on your own, having a bid manager/project manager overseeing the bid is a good way to keep yourself and your team in check and ensure targets are being met and the timeline is being kept to.

3. Technical Specifications

It’s unlikely that the client will find someone who will 100% match all their requirements of a bid, however, it’s important to consider whether the client is after someone with a specific qualification or accreditation. There may be a number of reasons why a client has these, such as a legal requirement, and failing to notice or have these requirements may cause issues with completing the bid if the client later requests proof of them.

In some cases, the client may ask for something non-specific, such as 2 years of experience working in a certain sector. In this example, having less than 2 years may not automatically exclude you from being considered for the tender, however, it may be more difficult to win the tender over someone who has the experience.

If you’re bidding for a tender where you don’t quite meet the requirements but still feel you have a good chance of being considered, it’s important to think about the quality of your bid, how far away you are from their requirements and the types and amount of competitors that will also be bidding for the tender.

Want to Improve Your Bid Writing? Download our Free Handbook

Now you know how to evaluate tender requests, it's time to learn how to write winning bids. Check out our bid writing handbook for the best ways you can improve your bids from the planning stage to completing and winning your bid. Download your copy using the button below. 

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Ross McDermott
Marketing Assistant

Previous experience in EdTech and public sector training. Striving to provide public sector professionals with resources and content to improve their skills and achieve their goals.