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Tender writing – get the basics right

Tender writing – get the basics right

Every request for tender or proposal has a unique set of requirements, but there are questions common to all. Getting these sorted at the start of the process can help your bid team build up a clear picture of what they need to do – and when.

Every request for tender or proposal has a unique set of requirements, but there are questions common to all. Getting these sorted at the start of the process can help your bid team build up a clear picture of what they need to do – and when.

So, as a tender writer on a bid team, here are 20 basic questions to get us all started:

  1. Is the procurement document a request for expression of interest (REOI), a request for proposal (RFP) or a request for tender (RFP)?
  2. What is the procurement project’s name and reference number?
  3. Who is the client?
  4. Where they are located?
  5. What is the description and scope of the works or project?
  6. What are the name(s) and contact details of the client’s representative?
  7. What is the name(s) and contact details of the person to address queries?
  8. Can you phone them or do you have to email?
  9. Is there a close-off date for questions?
  10. Do you have to register interest before a certain date?
  11. When is the tender response due (date and time)?
  12. Where does your response have to be sent (address)?
  13. How is the response required to be submitted? For example, via an online response form, as an email attachment, and/or as several hard copy documents delivered to a physical address?
  14. Is there a word or page limit? Search carefully for this as it is not always where you might expect it to be.
  15. Are there any special format requirements such as fonts, type size, spacing, etc?
  16. What is the commencement date and required completion date of the project?
  17. Is there an advanced briefing or on-site inspection? When is it?
  18. Do you have to pre-register for it? Is it compulsory?
  19. Are there special requirements that are a prerequisite to winning the tender? For example, are there minimum qualifications/experience of key personnel, or ISO compliance?
  20. Do you really want to proceed?

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