Issue Date: 
Thursday, October 31, 2019

Steps in the bid process

By Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender (Pty) Ltd which specializes in tender consulting and tender training.

Each year, Organs of State invite the Private Sector to submit competitive bids for the supply of goods and services.  Organs of State bid requests attract SMME's and large businesses across a wide range of sectors - from office supplies to major construction projects.

Here is an overview of 10 steps you should take to prepare a competitive bid.

  1. Register your interest
    Follow the instructions in the bid document to register your interest with the purchasing agency.  This crucial step will help keep you up to date on any bid information sessions.
  2. Attend briefing sessions
    If you registered through a bid website, monitor the website for updates about bids.  Attend any bid briefing sessions offered.  These are valuable opportunities to ask questions and make contact with Organs of State.  They may also give you a chance to meet potential subcontractors or make contacts that could participate in a consortium.  Organs of State are also usually under no obligation to otherwise make available copies of information, presentations, etc., that may be given at a briefing session.
  3. Develop your bid response strategy
    If you are bidding for a high-value bid, plan your bid carefully and consider the requirements and resources involved.  For example, ask yourself:
    a) How much will it cost to prepare the bid?
    b) What information do we need to gather?
    c) What resources will we need to fulfil the contract?
    d) Who will manage the bid project?
    e) How will we plan the workload, assign the work required, schedule the meetings?
    f) Who is our competition and what are our chances of winning?
    g) What is our plan for marketing our products and services and pitching our business?
  4. Review recent awarded contracts
    If you are unclear about any requirements in the bid request, contact the bid coordinator to seek clarification.  What type of companies won similar bids in the past?  What does the contracting Organ of State look for?  What can you do to match their expectations?
  5. Write a compelling bid
    Prepare your bid response.  This includes planning, drafting, and refining it.  Make sure that you use the response forms provided and answer all questions.  Stick to any word/page limits that there may be, and (generally) do not go altering things like fonts and font sizes and numbering unless expressly permitted.  Be clear about your structure and propositions.  Decide on several key propositions you can use to set your bid apart from others.  Review the evaluation criteria to gain a better understanding of what things the government agency is particularly looking for and will be evaluating your offer against.  If you are not a strong writer, think about engaging a professional (a range of businesses offer bid writing services).
  6. Understand the payment terms
    When putting together your bid response, make sure you are aware of the payment schedule specified.  Organ of State payment schedules will vary from entity to entity and procurement to procurement.  You may not get paid as soon as the job is finished, or goods are delivered.  If you require payment different to that specified, you should detail this in your offer.
  7. Provide References
    Provide References who know your business and can attest to your work.
    Give your References clear information about the bid request so they know what points to emphasise in their reference.  If you have previously supplied goods or services to an Organ of State, ask them for a reference.
  8. Check and submit your bid
    Make sure you check your proposal carefully before submitting it.  Use a checklist to make sure your bid meets all the requirements (some bids will include a checklist that you can also use).
  9. Present your bid
    Bid panels responsible for high-value contracts may request a formal presentation from bidders.  If you need to present your offer to an evaluation panel, stay focused on the key messages in your proposal.  Most importantly, prepare.  Plan your presentation carefully, rehearse and, if you do not feel you are a strong presenter, get some coaching in presentation skills.
  10. Request a debriefing
    You can request a debriefing on the bid after the process, especially if your bid is unsuccessful.  Feedback from the evaluation committee can be extremely useful in understanding how your offering can be improved and can assist you in preparing for your next bid.  Look for ways to improve your next bid.

To learn more about this and many other bid conditions please attend one of our HowtoTender workshops.  For more information on the tender courses please email Werner at werner@how2tender.com.

To learn more about this and many other tender conditions attend our “Become a Tender Expert” 2-Day workshops presented in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town.  Book and pay online at https://howtotender.co.za/tender-expert-form/

Contact us at wernervr@howtotender.co.za should you require more information.

You can also purchase a Tender Manual (Handbook) on our website https://howtotender.co.za/ which is a step by step guide how to respond to a South African Tender.  It includes examples of completed SBD forms.

Title Closing Date Tender No.
Placement of next generation sequencer for a period of (5) five years for Virology Doctor George Mukhari with service and maintenance. 2020-10-09 11:00 RFB187/ 19/ 20
Standard Laptops 2020-10-13 11:00 0010430697
Renewal of Mimecast licenses for KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlement for a period of three (3) years. 2020-10-09 11:00 RFB 2130/ 2020
RFB 2226/2020: Supply, install and configure an electronic mail secure archive and compliance solution to Sita with maintenance and support for a period of five (5) years 2020-10-09 11:00 RFB 2226- 2020
Supply and delivery of Lidar camera (with maintenance and spares contract) and post-processing software (including updates) for the SAEON Elwandle Node’s existing Airborne Remote Sensing Platform in Port Elizabeth 2020-10-23 11:00 NRF/ SAEONLIDAR/ 12/ 2020- 21
Supply and delivery of 9mm and 5.56mm ammunition to the Public Transport Enforcement Services Directorate for a 3 year project 2020-10-09 11:00 ZNB0068/ 19T
Appointment of a suitable service provider for a once-off supply, delivery and installation of office furniture at the Office of the valuer General Centre Walk building. 2020-10-09 11:00 OVG (03) 2020/ 21
Expression of interest in the appointment of service providers to be included in a database for the replacement of defaulting service providers and allocation of new clusters in the provision of food items [perishables and non–perishables] to feeding schools within Ugu District under the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) for KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education for the duration of the current tender ZNB 0799-0958 E/ 2019/2020 2020-10-09 11:00 ZNB 0007 E/ 2020/ 2021
Expression of interest in the appointment of service providers to be included in a database for the replacement of defaulting service providers and allocation of new clusters in the provision of food items [perishables and non–perishables] to feeding schools within Umlazi District under the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) for KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education for the duration of the current tender ZNB 1325-1450 E/ 2019/2020 2020-10-09 11:00 ZNB 0010 E/ 2020/ 2021
Expression of interest in the appointment of service providers to be included in a database for the replacement of defaulting service providers and allocation of new clusters in the provision of food items [perishables and non–perishables] to feeding schools within iLembe District under the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) for Kwazulu-Natal Department of Education for the duration of the current tender ZNB 0249-0379 E/ 2019/2020 2020-10-09 11:00 ZNB 0004 E/ 2020/ 2021
Expression of interest in the appointment of service providers to be included in a database for the replacement of defaulting service providers and allocation of new clusters in the provision of food items [perishables and non–perishables] to feeding schools within Umzinyathi District under the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) for KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education for the duration of the current tender ZNB 1451-1595 E/ 2019/2020 2020-10-09 11:00 ZNB 0011 E/ 2020/ 2021
Expression of interest in the appointment of service providers to be included in a database for the replacement of defaulting service providers and allocation of new clusters in the provision of food items [perishables and non–perishables] to feeding schools within Umgungundlovu District under the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) for KwazZulu-Natal Department of Education for the duration of the current tender ZNB 0959-1127 E/ 2019/2020 2020-10-09 11:00 ZNB 0008 E/ 2020/ 2021
Expression of interest in the appointment of service providers to be included in a database for the replacement of defaulting service providers and allocation of new clusters in the provision of food items [perishables and non–perishables] to feeding schools within Pinetown District under the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) for KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education for the duration of the current tender ZNB 0600-0798 E/ 2019/2020 2020-10-09 11:00 ZNB 0006 E/ 2020/ 2021
Expression of interest in the appointment of service providers to be included in a database for the replacement of defaulting service providers and allocation of new clusters in the provision of food items [perishables and non–perishables] to feeding schools within King Cetswayo District under the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) for KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education for the duration of the current tender ZNB 0380-0599 E/ 2019/2020 2020-10-09 11:00 ZNB 0005 E/ 2020/ 2021
Expression of interest in the appointment of service providers to be included in a database for the replacement of defaulting service providers and allocation of new clusters in the provision of food items [perishables and non–perishables] to feeding schools within Amajuba District under the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) for KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education for the duration of the current tender ZNB 0035-0126 E/ 2019/2020 2020-10-09 11:00 ZNB 0002 E/ 2020/ 2021
Expression of interest in the appointment of service providers to be included in a database for the replacement of defaulting service providers and allocation of new clusters in the provision of food items [perishables and non–perishables] to feeding schools within Harry Gwala District under the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) for KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education for the duration of the current tender ZNB 0127-0248 E/ 2019/2020 2020-10-09 11:00 ZNB 0003 E/ 2020/ 2021
Expression of interest in the appointment of service providers to be included in a database for the replacement of defaulting service providers and allocation of new clusters in the provision of food items [perishables and non–perishables] to feeding schools within Umkhanyakude District under the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) for KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education for the duration of the current tender ZNB 1128-1324 E/ 2019/2020 2020-10-09 11:00 ZNB 0009 E/ 2020/ 2021
Expression of interest in the appointment of service providers to be included in a database for the replacement of defaulting service providers and allocation of new clusters in the provision of food items [perishables and non–perishables] to feeding schools within Uthukela District under the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) for KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education for the duration of the current tender ZNB 1451-1595 E/ 2019/2020 2020-10-09 11:00 ZNB 0012 E/ 2020/ 2021
Expression of interest in the appointment of service providers to be included in a database for the replacement of defaulting service providers and allocation of new clusters in the provision of food items [perishables and non–perishables] to feeding schools within Zululand District under the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) for KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education for the duration of the current tender ZNB 1451-1595 E/ 2019/2020 2020-10-09 11:00 ZNB 0013 E/ 2020/ 2021
Call for expression of interest to provide various off-the-shelf eLearning courses 2020-10-07 15:00 AUC/AHRM/C/006

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