Help needed for SMEs to compete for government contracts

By Kate Burrows, Managing Director, Tender Training College

The Tender Training College is joining the fight to give SMEs a larger piece of the procurement pie, calling on governments at all levels to increase the tender participation rates of small and medium sized businesses, and to make the process easier and more accessible for all.

Kate Burrows, Managing Director of the Tender Training College, has helped business owners win more than $25 billion worth of new contracts over the past 15 years and believes SME tendering is key to giving the Australian economy the kick start it needs in a post COVID era.

“We have seen a 30 per cent increase in SMEs looking to improve their tendering skills in recent months so they can compete for government contracts, as they find new ways to survive during this tumultuous time. That’s because government contracts offer good tenures, clear payment terms, defined deliverables and reliable income streams for SMEs to grow their businesses securely.

“However, many small businesses simply don’t know where to start with tendering often because of the highly complex nature of the tenders themselves and the formalities of the process. Tendering is like learning a new language!

“Time and time again I witness how SMEs are unfairly disadvantaged in the process compared to big business because tendering requires significant time, effort and resources to be successful. It’s imperative SMEs educate themselves with the fundamentals of tendering to put themselves in the best possible position to tender, but also for governments at all levels to make the process more equitable and accessible,” explained Ms Burrows.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said small businesses will play a critical role in the post COVID economic recovery, calling on the Federal Government to offer contracts, with a value of up to $10 million, to small businesses before they are opened to the wider market. [1]

In the 2018-19 financial year, the Federal Government awarded 78,150 contracts, with 53% going to SMEs totalling $16.7 billion[2] in value. This represented an 18.2% increase[3] in the number of Federal Government contracts awarded to SMEs compared to the previous period.

Tender Training College has developed a FREE eBook specifically for SMEs with 10 strategies to help them avoid costly mistakes and to give them the best chance to win government and/or private sector tenders. DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY OF THE EBOOK NOW!

Some of these strategies include:

  1. Thoroughly review the tender: Read all parts of the tender closely to get a complete picture of what you are bidding for. Failure to do so means you are tendering blindly.
  2. Conduct a go/no-go process: Do the analysis when receiving a tender to determine your chances of success and whether or not you should actually bid for the work. Otherwise, bidding could be a waste of time, cost and effort.
  3. Offer the best value for money: Develop a competitive price and identify areas of opportunity that differentiate your tender response and provide value to the client. Put your bid on a superior footing.

[1] https://www.asbfeo.gov.au/news/news-articles/small-business-procurement-panel-essential-economic-recovery

[2]  https://www.financeminister.gov.au/media-release/2019/11/21/procurement-contract-targets-exceeded-small-and-medium-businesses

[3]  https://www.financeminister.gov.au/media-release/2019/11/21/procurement-contract-targets-exceeded-small-and-medium-businesses

Five key steps for developing a winning tender price

By Daniel Rothfield, Tender Pricing Specialist

Developing a tender price is no easy task. It is an all-encompassing activity that draws upon significant amounts of information, data and costs, and is extremely involved and time consuming.

I’ve helped many organisations to prepare their tender pricing over the last decade. I’ve seen lots of professionals jump in and start preparing the costs without fully comprehending what’s required as part of the tendering process.

The result of this can be costly mistakes, vital information is missed, a lack of robust modelling and/or, you potentially run out of time.

To make tender pricing easier and more efficient, I follow a step-by-step process* which provides for a structured and organised approach. Here are five key steps from that process for developing a competitive and robust tender price.

Step 1: Understand the tender rules and requirements

People have a natural tendency to launch into things on the assumption that they have all the relevant information and they know what the outcome should look like. But that does not work so well most of the time. The same applies when pricing a tender.

Think of what it takes to assemble a piece a flat-packed furniture, e.g. a TV cabinet with cupboards and shelving. While you may be able to assemble it by simply using the picture on the box as the guide, you will find it much easier and quicker if you follow the detailed assembly instructions.

The same applies for tenders. It is really important to read the tender documentation, including the draft contract, any scope of works, and of course, the pricing instructions and financial model (if one is provided). This will give you a thorough understanding of the tender rules and requirements before you begin preparing your bid cost.

Step 2: Develop a program to map out the actions and tasks

Think about the instructions for assembling the flat-packed TV cabinet. That instruction sheet is an ordered mapping of actions and tasks.

Based on what you have learned from the tender document, it is critical that you create your own complementary set of instructions for preparing the tender pricing – i.e. a program. This will help guide you in an organised and methodical fashion from start to finish.

Ideally, your program will identify tasks and actions, and define who is responsible for completing them, as well as a nominated time for completion. This helps keep the team accountable and on track to deliver to the deadline, and to avoid an unpleasant and potentially stressful rush to the finish.  

Step 3: Build a robust pricing framework

The final tendered price is the outcome of a significant amount of work of gathering inputs and outputs for the financial/pricing model. The key to developing a competitive and robust price is setting up the framework for the pricing model at the outset.

When developing a framework, you need to think about all the elements of the pricing requirements to be addressed and how these elements will fit neatly together.

It is similar to building a house – which requires consideration of where the kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms and stairs might be before the house is built. The same applies to building a price model.

If you don’t prepare the pricing framework, it is inevitable that you will miss something and have to spend lots of time to make corrections or re-work later on.

Step 4: Build a robust pricing model

It is hard to sum up in words what it takes to build a great financial pricing model that gives your bid the competitive edge. The following tips cannot possibly do that justice, but they will help make this process a lot more efficient:

  • The model should be dynamic – which means it is quick and easy to update, and that multiple inter-related model outputs update simultaneously based on a single change.
  • Check and test the model as you build it with dummy numbers – this will allow you to efficiently make changes and corrections as you progress. This avoids substantial time at the end to fix it. Or even worse, the possibility that the team will make an incorrect decision based on that model.
  • Use defined formats in the model to clearly separate and highlight sections for cost inputs, distinct from cost outputs. Visually appealing colour codes and shades are also invaluable for this.

Step 5: Approval of the tender price

A tip for developing a winning tender price is to engage with all people in the tender team to ensure you capture their requirements for the price model throughout the bid.

Host pricing workshops to engage the wider team in the development of the price. This way you bring people along the journey and it helps to increase acceptance of the model outputs and results.

Finally, allow sufficient time for the senior executives of your organisation to review the price model in detail. They will need to make an informed strategic decision to approve the tender price in accordance with their overall bid strategy.

*Daniel Rothfield, is a tender pricing specialist and is the principal of Agility Corporate. He has authored the Tender Training College’s new tender pricing course, which provides a step-by-step process to develop a winning bid price. 

Check out the new Tender Pricing Fundamentals Certificate for more tips on preparing a winning tender price.

Tendering in the COVID–19 environment – a test of endurance of a different kind!

 By Kate Burrows, Managing Director, Tender Training College

I recently had the ‘unprecedented’ experience of working on my first tender in a pandemic – from home, with a new kitten and a puppy. 

I must admit to feeling grateful for the tender as a focus during the uncertain times, albeit a test of endurance of a different kind to what I previously experienced on bids!

The bid period was lengthy because of the complex and high-value nature of the contract that was being tendered (more than $1 billion).

The COVID-19 lockdown restrictions came into place several weeks before the bid was due, so the team was working remotely for the ‘pointy end’ of the submission.

A virtual set-up of this kind does put more pressure on a bid team, but conversely, it means that people can be quite productive if their work from home environment allows.

The good thing to note was that the client submitted the tender on time and it proves remote bidding can be done effectively – with a few improvisations.

It is likely on the other side of this crisis, that we will engage remote bidding more readily using the lessons learnt throughout this time.  Here are some of my key learnings from my recent COVID-19 tendering experience.

Key learnings for remote bidding

Key learnings

1.  Sense of team – one of the things I most enjoy about tendering is the camaraderie that develops between the bid team members from the shared experience. It is this ‘teamanship’ that helps you to pull together and get the submission in the box after potentially long days and nights. This can be difficult to recreate in a virtual environment. However, celebrating milestones, managing the submission and collaborating on the bid solution can all be done virtually with strong leadership, the right systems and tools, and regular communication.

2.  Encourage flexibility and care – when working on a tender remotely in a pandemic there are extra dimensions at play. Family responsibilities, distractions from pets and keeping up-to-date with the household chores included. We need to be flexible to enable people to work when is the most productive for them – whether that is at 5am before the kids wake up or between looking after elderly relatives. It is also important that people check in on each other to make sure they are taking the appropriate breaks, and that they are OK. Bids can be exhausting, not to mention the added stress of a pandemic, mixed with home schooling and pets demanding extra attention.

3.  Set-up strong communication systems – this is vital to keep the bid on track. Systems can include regular video conferences to discuss matters impacting all team members, phone calls and instant messages to resolve more immediate issues, and emails and a document management system for documentation and information flow.

4.  Maintain the submission status – getting a tender in the box is a team effort and requires a level of commitment from everyone to deliver their requirements on time. It is much harder when authors are working from home to get an answer as to where their document is at – and when it is going to be delivered. Setting clear deadlines is essential (as always), but ensuring they are regularly reinforced up by the bid leader(s) is also critical.

5.  Robust version control and document management is essential – be clear on what the expectations are for authors in terms of how to manage version control, and how to submit their documents. It’s much harder to keep a track of version control when you have people working offline on documents in different locations.

How to get better tender content from your SMEs

By Kate Burrows, Managing Director, Tender Training College

One of the biggest challenges of any tender is getting members of the bid team to submit quality and timely content that effectively responds to the question.

Sometimes, the authors/subject matter experts (SMEs) who are charged with writing responses are so busy developing the solution or working on the tender price, they fail to write an adequate response.

There are many risks associated with this, of course. 

My approach to tender submission management has always been to reduce risk wherever possible – regardless of whether it is an $800,000 or an $80,000 bid.

Here are three ways to extract bid-winning content from your authors that I have successfully applied to previous tenders.

1. Early engagement

The evaluators can’t score your company’s approach to a tender when it is in the head of your bid team members!

Early engagement with your SMEs is critical to get them focused and aware of what they need to submit in written form – and by when.

The right time to do this is after they have had the opportunity to thoroughly read the tender, and before the madness of meetings and workshops really sets in.

The best bet is to book a session with each author/SME to:

·     Ensure they understand the question they need to respond to and how best to answer it

·     Identify the evaluation criteria that applies to the question

·     Understand what tender requirements are relevant to their question

·     Discuss the key elements that need to be included in their response.

The result from this early session is a framework for answering the question that can be referred to throughout the bid period.

2. Rigorous draft and review process

The later you begin the tender writing process, the less time is left to develop and refine the content. It also results in gaps, mistakes and inconsistent information – and unnecessary panic.

An effective draft and review process is vital for the development of a quality and mature tender response.

The draft process helps the authors to progressively develop the content in line with their thinking and the feedback from reviewers.

The number of drafts will depend on the length of your bid period. Even the smallest tenders can benefit from two drafts.

It will also make sure the authors keep their answer in mind as they develop their approach, so neither is developed in isolation of the other.    

3. Socialise and integrate

We all appreciate the benefits of socialising – especially in this current COVID environment!

This is also particularly important in the bidding environment – where you need to socialise your response with other members of the bid team to share ideas and align the submission.

For example, it is necessary for an author writing the Workforce Training Plan to understand what training initiatives are listed in the Safety Plan so that both responses are consistent. 

One approach to achieve integration is for individual authors to swap responses at the appropriate time – the more mature the draft, the better the outcome here.

Alternatively, workshops can be held where bid team members present the key elements of their respective approaches. 

One of my clients has a member of their team with an eagle-eye read every response for consistency and integration at the final draft stage. 

This is a very valuable exercise. You don’t want the evaluators to read mixed or conflicting messages across the tender response!

If you would like to know how to implement the above approaches, contact kate@tendertrainingcollege.com.au for more information.

Five tips to get bidding for government tenders

By Kate Burrows, Managing Director Tender Training College

The opportunity for small business to grow through government tendering is expanding with a 30% increase in the value of Federal Government contracts awarded to SMEs in the last financial year.

More than 9,000 different SMEs won almost 39,000 of the 73,000 Federal Government awarded contracts in 2017-18. These contracts were valued at nearly $13 billion, representing an increase from $9.95 billion in 2016-2017.

Government represents an attractive client for SMEs to grow their business, with procurement policies in place to pay on time, simplify tender documentation and targets to ensure small business participation is increased.

There are a wide range of Federal Government contracts available across Australia, not to mention those tenders issued at a state and local government level so it really is an opportunity not to be missed for small business.

However, government tendering is overseen by compliance and formal procedures that small business professionals need to understand before they begin bidding.

Tendering can be time consuming and costly, so it is important that small business is familiar with the framework and rules of government procurement so that they can deliver a compliant, client-focused and compelling tender response.

Five tips for SMEs to get started in government tendering include:

1. Search local council and State and Federal governments tender opportunities to see what contracts are available and relevant to your business – most government tenders are released through electronic portals at no charge

2. Develop a process for responding to tenders, including a program for gathering quotes and information, and developing your response to ensure you meet the tender deadline

3. Government like low risk suppliers – make sure you can demonstrate a sound track record in contract delivery and performance, with strong client and project references

4. Government tenders are assessed on value for money – identify your company’s differentiators so you can show how you will deliver value along with a competitive price

5. Develop a thorough understanding of the contract requirements in the bid phase to be compliant in your response and certain your company can deliver upon these if you win.

If you are an SME and new to tendering, join me at the half-day Secrets to Winning Tenders workshop in Sydney on 21 November: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/secrets-to-winning-tenders-tickets-73772923801 as I share the key steps and practical tips to get started in government tendering.

I am the Founder of the Tender Training College. I was inspired to start the Tender Training College to help businesses and professionals secure their futures by providing quality tender training courses.

Overcoming the challenges of remote bidding

By Kate Burrows, Managing Director, Tender Training College

Gone are the days in tendering when everyone on the bid team was located under the one roof for the duration of the tender period.

Nowadays with the benefit of technology, it is not uncommon for members of tender teams to be working remotely in various geographical locations, including in different corners of the globe.

There are many benefits to working as a remote tender team. You have access to ‘world-class’ team members and people can work ‘around the clock’ across different time zones to achieve more efficient outcomes.

But with the benefits, comes the challenges.

I’ve noticed these issues pop up from working in and managing remote tender teams across Australia and New Zealand over the last several years. These are the workarounds I have employed to help overcome these trials.

Tender Team Training - Avoid Emails

1. Avoid death by email

Email communication in tenders is ridiculously voluminous at the best of times. But, when it is the primary source of communication between remote bid team members, it can easily become unmanageable and potentially blow up your inbox!

At the beginning of the tender, agree with your team, or work stream:

  • How you will communicate
  • Who needs to know what and by when?
  • A priority system for relaying your information.

For instance, you might agree to:

  • A daily team video conference to discuss matters impacting all team members
  • Phone calls between key members to resolve urgent issues
  • Send all files through a document management system
  • Save emails for formal, transactional communications.

I have also found the occasional text message can be quite effective for matters that require an urgent, but informal answer.

In-House Tender Training

2. Prevent document or version control nightmares

We have all been there. You spend hours making changes to a document, only to find someone on the other side of the country has also been working on the same file, and you now have two versions.

Document control and version control go hand-in-hand, and you need to agree a system for both early in the tender to avoid multiple headaches.

These days, the beauty of modern technology also provides a range of options to:

  • Enable simultaneous inputs to, or reviews of a document
  • Keep the versions of documents in a controlled and orderly manner.

Regardless of what system your team is using, ensure everyone understands how to use it and the importance of using it to avoid document and version control nightmares.

Bid Team Training

3. Keep a single source of truth

“But I thought we decided to bid 20 units, not 40 units to help keep our costs down,” one bid team member said to another.

“Well, the operations guy told me 40 units, so that’s what I am going with,” the colleague replied.

Keeping your team’s bid strategy consistent and up-to-date is a massive challenge when you are working in different corners of the state or globe.

It is vital to know who in the team is responsible for determining and communicating the bid strategy to keep a single source of truth in the written response.

Clear roles and responsibilities will help achieve this, as well as strong leadership and effective communication.

Successful bid leaders will provide regular updates on matters of strategy that impact the team, and have a system for ensuring that the bid documents retain a consistent message. 

However, ultimately as a bid team member, we each have a responsibility to make sure we are on the same page as our colleagues – no matter where we are working from.

How to avoid the heat in the tender moment

By Kate Burrows, Managing Director, Tender Training College

When you are knee-deep in a tender, your focus is on the prize and the task of submitting the bid on time.

It is very common to over promise in the heat of the tender moment – that is, offer the client the world to increase your chances of success.

It pays to stop and ask yourself the following questions before you press the submit button:

  • Why are you offering the client that initiative or innovation?
  • What benefit will it give the client?
  • How will you deliver on your tender promises?

Asking these questions will help keep your company accountable to your tender commitments, and also give your proposal greater credibility.

I have helped numerous clients in the delivery of new contracts that were won through a competitive tendering process.

This included being part of the delivery team for the $3.6 billion Waratah Train Project in NSW after also working on the tender.

I learnt the importance of being highly accountable to the client for what we committed to in the tender and what was in the signed contract.

The following are key learnings I took from this experience and others that can be applied to tendering process to ensure you can deliver on your bid promises.

Tender Training - Show How You Will Deliver

1. Show how you will deliver

Provide an action plan for how and when you will deliver against key initiatives or innovations you have proposed in your tender.

This not only provides the client with tangible evidence for when they can expect these tender commitments to be realised, it helps you plan for how they will be delivered.

For example, an action plan for communication and marketing activities can be included in the relevant management plan to keep you accountable to your promises.

Tender Training - Demonstrate The Relevance

2. Demonstrate the relevance

Often, we are so enthused about offering the client our new app, or, latest whiz-bang service that we forget to tell them about:

  • How it will meet their requirements
  • How it benefits them.

Remember, a tender proposal has to meet the tender requirements set out in the bid document. Failure to do so may mean the response is non-compliant.

So, draw the link between how your innovation or initiative meets a particular tender requirement or requirements, and also what benefit it will deliver for the client.

In doing so, it will help you to weed out any tender promises or offerings that aren’t relevant to the client and their requirements.

Tender Training Course

3. High value, not high volume

Remember, the client is paying for your tender commitments, and they want assurance what you are offering is going to be of value to them.

Most tenders, particularly government bids, are assessed on the basis of value for money.

Working out what is of most value, or importance, to your client at the beginning of the tender process will help you to determine what you offer in your tender proposal.

If the client’s goal is for accelerated project delivery, then make sure your tender commitments are geared towards helping them achieve this goal.

And, don’t forget to spell this out for the client when writing your tender response. Tell them how your offering will deliver them the best value for money.

Kate Burrows is the Founder of the Tender Training College. Kate was inspired to start the Tender Training College to help businesses and professionals secure their futures by providing quality tender training courses.

What I wished I known on my first tender

By Kate Burrows, Managing Director, Tender Training College

My first major tender was a $9 billion Defence contract for new Air Warfare Destroyers in Adelaide.

There was a large international team of specialists working together for many months, long into the night, to get the very best outcome.

I was part of the editing team. Even though I was a professional writer, I had very little experience in tendering and even less knowledge about warships!

However, I sat in the editing chair, day after day, week after week, to help get the thousands of pages in the box on time.

And the best news – I survived the process and the company won the tender!

Looking back now, with 15 years’ tendering experience under my belt, I realise the win was no accident. This was a very well-planned and executed tender.

There are several elements I now know from that tender are essential for a similarly successful outcome – whether you are working on a $9 billion, $900,000 or $90,000 tender:

  1. Teamwork is essential

There is definitely no “i” in a tender team. And to use another coined phrase: “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.

Regardless of the size of your team, the way it is managed and functions can make or break the tender. Strong teamwork is essential.

Here are several characteristics of a well-functioning tender team that I witnessed:

  • Communicative – teammates talk regularly with one another and as a group, and raise any concerns or issues so they can be resolved early
  • Considerate – colleagues consider one another and display positive behaviours
  • Consistent – you follow through and do what you say
  • Cooperative – colleagues support one another to get the job done, particularly through the tough times
  • Collaborative – teammates work together to get the best possible price and outcome.
  1. Process is key

A team without a tender management process is like a rudderless ship.

Having a robust tender process is crucial to keep things on track to meet the deadline. This will also ensure you meet the submission date in the most efficient and effective way.

Key elements of the tender management process include:

  • Program – to outline who is doing what, by when
  • Budget – to keep your tender expenditure on track
  • Scheduled drafts and reviews – to improve the tender response, you need draft and review processes at key dates throughout the tender period
  • Tools – to ensure you have the right systems, templates, and checklists in place
  • Rules/guidelines – to guide the team on how to submit and control documents, meet deadlines, and develop the core elements of the response.
  1. Develop a competitive price and approach

Every bidder should meet the minimum requirements of the tender, or, what is the point of them bidding?

What differentiates the various tender responses is the “how” – how each party demonstrates their approach for meeting the tender requirements and their price for doing so.

You need to set yourself apart from the other tenderers in a way that most benefits the client.

The right approach or solution only comes after concerted effort of integrating the following elements:

  • Identifying what is of value or importance to the client who has issued the tender
  • Understanding the client’s areas of concern or risk
  • Fully understanding the tender requirements and how you are going to meet them
  • Knowing who your competitors are, and their strengths and weaknesses
  • Knowing your own company’s strengths and weaknesses, and its unique points of difference.

The final element is developing a robust and competitive price that fully reflects your approach and delivers a sustainable profit margin.

Kate Burrows is the Founder of the Tender Training College. Kate was inspired to start the Tender Training College to help businesses and professionals secure their futures by providing quality tender training courses.

If your business needs assistance with incorporating the above best practice elements into its tendering, please contact kate@tendertrainingcollege.com.au

 

 

Three tips to complete your online course

So, you have signed up for an online course with the best intentions, but are finding it difficult to find the time to complete it? You are not alone!

Online study offers the convenience of being able to learn anywhere, anytime and at your own pace. That is why it is such an attractive option for many. However, life also gets in the way and it is difficult to juggle competing priorities.

Here are three tips to help you get back on track with your eLearning:

Step 1: Set a deadline and establish a study schedule

Whether you are studying in work hours or outside business hours, it’s essential that eLearning becomes a part of your schedule.

The best way to do this is to schedule time in a daily or weekly planner – just as you would any other commitment or event that you don’t want to forget.

This gives you the flexibility to schedule study time that fits with you and your other commitments. If you have an upcoming tender to prepare for, it is particularly important to set a deadline for when you are aiming to finish the course.

Regardless, having an end date when you want to finish will help you keep motivated and on schedule.

 

Step 2: Ensure your environment is right

If you have scheduled study time in your office and you keep getting interrupted by colleagues, you might want to consider a better place to complete your course.

Everyone is different with what works and what doesn’t when it comes to their physical learning environment.

Some learners will find background music helpful, while others will be distracted by it. Others will excel by heading to a coffee shop and getting online, while others will find the noise and constant movement difficult to concentrate.

Work out what is the best environment for you so that you can make the most of your dedicated study time.

Also, remember the Tender Training College’s online courses can be complete on any device – so you might want to consider how you can integrate your online learning into your daily commute, or lunch hour, for example.

 

Step 3: Know you are not alone  

Online study can take a bit of getting use to, particularly if you normally learn in a traditional classroom setting with other people. Make use of the customer support along the way.

Our Customer Excellence Team is happy to provide support online and offline. Email us at support@tendertrainingcollege.com.au or telephone 1300 414 000 during business hours.

Also, ensure you download the training materials to guide you through the course and to apply your learnings to the real-life tendering environment.

However, there is one constant to remember when you embark on an online learning journey – that’s don’t forget your WHY.  Why you started this journey! Reminding yourself of this motivation will give you the extra push you need to complete your course.

Stop, wait a minute!

Benefits of auditing your past tender performance

By Kate Burrows, Managing Director, Tender Training College

Are you too busy submitting one tender after another to take stock of your company’s bidding performance?

Many of us fall into this trap – we get stuck on the cycle of one tender to the next.

This can lead to bad habits in your tender process, poor quality submissions and unskilled bid team members.

Pressing the pause button to review your past tender performance can lead to big benefits: 

  1. Apply best practice in tendering

I recently undertook an audit of a client’s non-successful tender to help them identify areas of improvement, and ultimately win more business.

The client wanted to check if its tendering performance was in line with industry best practice as they look to compete in more sophisticated tenders and grow their business.

I helped them to identify the gaps between their existing tender performance and best practice, and how these shortfalls could be addressed.

This included updating templates for core documents to encourage the authors to really consider what the client was asking when writing their tender responses.

2. Define a process to enable success

During a tender, most of us are focused on submitting a compelling and competitive bid on time.

So, after you press the send button, it’s worthwhile considering whether your tendering process enabled your performance, or disabled it.

The aforementioned client knew something was wrong with their process as they had forgotten to include a response to a key question in their final submission.

I reviewed their tendering approach to identify where the link in the chain broke. Somewhere along the line, their process let them down.

The client now has a step-by-step process for planning, managing and delivering future tenders that includes a more rigorous bid review and finalisation stage.

3. Give your team the tools of the trade

A tender team can be made up of any number of individuals with a great range of skills.

However, many of these people don’t have official tender qualifications. They have, like many of us, learnt from doing bids over and over again.

An audit of your company’s tender performance can identify where the skills and capability shortfall is in your team, and what you can do to address this.

Tenders can be stressful due to their very nature – don’t make them harder on your people by not giving them the tools of the trade to succeed.

A well-trained team will drive up the quality of your submissions and put your performance back on track.

Kate Burrows is the Founder of the Tender Training College. Kate was inspired to start the Tender Training College to help businesses and professionals secure their futures by providing quality tender training courses.

To see how the Tender Training College can help you or your company improve its tendering capabilities, contact kate@tendertainingcollege.com.au or visit https://tendertrainingcollege.com.au/review-my-tender-online/