Failing a bid is inevitable because in every tender, only one is awarded with the contract. However, if you at least fall in the top tenderers prior to awarding, it’s easier for you to evaluate your submission and improve on the next opportunity.
In order to secure the letter of award, it’s important to understand why some bids are unsuccessful.
We have asked for insights from the seasoned tenderers and below are the main reasons why a bid fail:
1. Missing a detail or not following the specification
Tender specification and Bill of Quantities (BoQ) provided by the client is your ultimate guide. It is very important that all of your costs are based on these guides for the following reasons:
The specifications are what the client required;
Your price is competitive as all other tenderers are pricing on the same specification;
It protects you and your company from possible claims of the scope of works that are not defined in the specification - meaning, what you priced on is what you will deliver.
In the event that no BoQ was provided, you should be able to produce your own based on what is specified as the scope of works.
2. Insufficient evidence of previous related projects
One big factor the evaluator and the client will look at is the previous projects your company completed.
Now, this may be a bias for companies new in the market or doesn't have enough evidence of previously completed projects. We highly suggest that you tap into the established construction companies.
We have had clients price for the whole tender and for a specific scope only at the same time. The latter is then submitted to other companies or contractors tendering on the same project. This way, you may not be able to win the bid but if it is awarded to the other company you sent your proposal to, you will still get the opportunity to build your portfolio.
Many tenders require a certain number of years’ experience within a field in order to be compliant. As such, there is no point in bidding for a contract that requires five years’ experience if you only have three.
3. Lack of review system
The most effective tender proposal has undergone a review system. We have a strict procedure broken down into three stages - initial review, final review, and proofreading. This ensures that the final submission is the strongest it could possibly be.
Here at Cubits Estimating, we don't believe in one person per project system. Our resident estimators are also the Estimating Lead of the Virtual Estimators assigned per client. They are the ones who oversee the projects of each Virtual Estimators are working on, as well as all the checking and revisions.
This the game-changer. It’s easier to determine a bad tender submission when it’s disorganized.
Put extra weight on organizing your files making sure it is easy to navigate.
Finally, plan your bid thoroughly to ensure the deadline is met. If your submission is late you are automatically excluded from the pool of tenderers.
A major tip to be able to submit early is to calculate how long can you actually deliver and add 3 days in before the deadline. If you are one of the early tenderers, your submission has a great chance to be actually reviewed. Tender evaluators starts trimming down the list the moment other tenderers start submitting their proposal.