Issue Date: 
Thursday, August 16, 2018

7 Disadvantages of Competitive Bidding

The bidding process can be very tedious sometimes. Here are some of the disadvantages of the bidding process.

1.    Leading suppliers may not tender

In Australia, for example, government procurement guidelines only allow suppliers who actually tender to be considered for a procurement decision. If the leading supplier or suppliers do not tender, the purchaser can only consider bids from suppliers who do tender. If leading suppliers are not considered, the purchaser may end up buying inferior product or service.

2.    Barriers to communication between supplier and customers

When making significant purchases, frank and open communication between potential supplier and customer is crucial.
Competitive bidding is not conducive to open communication; in fact, it often discourages deep dialogue because in many cases all discussions between a bidder and the purchaser must be made available to all other bidders. Hence, Bidder A may avoid asking certain questions because the questions or answers may help other bidders by revealing Bidder A's approaches, features, and the like.

3.    The cost-plus phenomenon

There is a bear-trap in the purchase of goods and services on the basis of price tag that people don't talk about. To run the game of cost plus in industry a supplier offers a bid so low that he is almost sure to get the business. He gets it. The customer discovers that a change is vital. The supplier is extremely obliging, but discovers that these changes will double the cost of the supply. The supplier runs the risk of making a loss on the contract.

4.    Use of cheaper, poor quality materials and/or labour

A supplier forced to play the competitive bidding game may come under pressure to keep costs down to ensure he gets a satisfactory profit margin. One way a supplier can lower costs is by using cheaper labour and/or materials. If the cheaper labour and materials are poor quality, the customer will often end up with inferior, poor quality goods or services.

5.    Safety shortcuts

Another area where suppliers may be tempted to lower costs is safety standards. Safety costs can ran away with a contract. Cutting down on safety costs is a sure way to keep the bidding price low.

6.    Competitive bidding can be extremely slow

When Organs of State, and indeed, private companies use competitive bidding it can take sometimes years to award the bid. The result is the customer can wait incredibly long periods for goods or services that may be required quickly.

7.    Insufficient profit margin to allow for investment in research and development, new technology or equipment

Competitive bidding can force a supplier to accept a very slim profit margin. These low margins can result in a supplier having little or no money to spend on research and development, new technology and equipment.

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

This article was written by Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender (Pty) Ltd. which specializes in tender consulting and tender training.

Title Closing Date Tender No.
Appointment of a Panel Of Attoneys to Assist Sedibeng District Municipality with Legal Related Matters on an Ad Hoc Basis. 2019-01-08 12:00 8/2/1/2-2018
Appointment of service provider to provide security services at Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality – Silver Crown Old Age Home for the Department of Social Development, Eastern Cape for a period of three (3) years 2019-02-04 11:00 SCMU4-18/19-0037
Provision of Short Term Insurance for the Period From 01 July 2019 to 30 June 2022 2019-01-18 12:00 FIN 01/2019/20
Consulting engineering services for the routine road maintenance of national route N2 section 8 km 80.08 to section 10 km 73.50 and national route R62 section 6 km 36.76 to section 8 km 2019-02-04 14:00 X.003-030-2019/1F
Consulting engineering services for the routine road maintenance of national route N2 section 12 km 0 to section 13 km 103.56 and national route R67 section 2 km 0 to km 36.19 2019-02-04 14:00 X.003-032-2019/1F
Appointment of service provider to provide security services at Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality – Enoch Sontonga Rehabilitation Center for the Department of Social Development, Eastern Cape for a period of three (3) years 2019-02-04 11:00 SCMU4-18/19-0036
Leasing of Premises for Customer Care Centres For uMgungundlovu District Municipality 2019-02-04 12:00 39/2018
Upgrading of the Kleinbrak 66/11kv substation 2019-02-08 12:00 TENDER 51-18/19
Appointment of Communication Service Provider to Assist the Department to Design, Develop and Edit a Publication on the Success Stories of the Environmental Programmes Branch of the Department of Environmental Affairs 2019-01-11 11:00 E1496
Spesialisdienste van Afrikaanse Taalkundige word verlang vir projek om Historiese gemarginaliseerde Afrikaanse varieteite te onsluit (Oranjerivier Afrikaans) 2019-02-12 11:00 ATM 017/2018-2019
Appointment of the service provider to conduct an Implementation evaluation of the Environment and Culture Sector within the EPWP 2019-01-11 11:00 E1497
Supply and delivery of gloves to PetroSA, GTL refinery (call of contract) 2019-02-15 11:00 CTT20907
Redesign, fabrication and installation of lifting platform main beams at Syncrolift dry dock in the Port of Cape Town 2019-02-19 10:00 TNPA 783/CIDB
Supply and Instal 4 Air Conditioners at NHLS Doran Nginza - Port Elizabeth 2018-12-28 11:00 RFQ 1469498
Supply, Deliver & Installation of Furniture at Gonubie Resort 2018-12-19 12:00 RFQ/DCS/2018-19/285
Supply and Delivery of Faltering Acid to BCMM Stores, Chiselhurst, East London 2018-12-19 12:00 RFQ/SCM/2018-19/283
Overhaul Bauer K 14 Upright Compressor 2018-12-19 12:00 RFQ/HPS/2018-19/281
Supply, Delivery & Installation of Storage Containers for Traffic Services 2018-12-19 12:00 RFQ/HPS/2018-19/280
Period Tender for Manufacturing and Installation of Transformer Fire Protection 2019-01-31 10:00 194Q/2018/19
Supply and Delivery of HTH Chlorine to Bcmm Stores, Chiselhurst, East London 2018-12-19 12:00 RFQ/SCM/2018-19/282

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Advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums

Consortiums are often considered as entities to use when responding to tenders in South Africa. The question that arises is whether to use a Consortium or a Joint Venture when responding to a tender. To help you with this we have compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages for both Consortiums as well as Joint Ventures. In this article we list the advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums. Look out for the same article on Joint Ventures.

Consortiums Advantages:

  • Easy to establish as there are no formal procedures... Read More
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