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Competitive Procurement: How to Run a Tender Process | Video

Competitive Procurement: How to Run a Tender Process | Video

Many projects need to procure services or long-term supply contracts. And getting the best value often means running a competitive tender process. So let’s see the steps you need to take.

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My 17-Step Tender Process for Project Procurement

1 Determine requirements

2. Document requirements

  • Create your tender documents
  • And, maybe, your draft contract

3. Determine priorities and relative importance of things like:

  • Functionality
  • Quality
  • Timeliness
  • Operational arrangements
  • Cost
  • Other commercial matters
  • Bidder’s commercial standing

Create weightings

Please do not simply accept the lowest cost tender for anything that actually matters!

4. Create evaluation framework for bids, against requirements

5. Set a tender deadline

Also other elements of the procurement timetable

6. Advertise the opportunity

Or you might do your own search for bidders

7. There may be a pre-qualification stage, with a Pre-qualification Questionnaire (PQQ)

  • Successful applicants will receive a formal
    • ITT – Invitation to Tender – or 
    • RFP – Request for Proposal.
  • Secure indications from prospective bidders that they intend to bid

8. Create bidder briefing:

  • Documentation
  • Maybe presentation or briefings

9. You may choose to accept and answer questions from bidders. 

  • RFI – Request for information
  • TQs – Technical Queries or Questions

Make arrangements to record all questions and provide answers to all bidders

10. Brief the evaluation team

11. Receive bids

Note that, in many public procurements, you will not be able to receive or open bids that arrive late. You may need a colleague with a timer in your reception area!

12. Evaluate Bids

  • Exclude non-compliant bids (process non-compliances, or non-compliant responses)
  • Score remaining bids

13. Clarify uncertainties

14. You may now select the best bid.

The ‘MEAT’ Most Economically Advantageous Tender.

However, you may have a process that includes:

  • Shortlist best bids
  • Conduct interviews

15. Notify winning bidder 

and secure their commitment to proceed before notifying other bidders

  • Be prepared to offer feedback to unsuccessful bidders

16. Contract negotiations to finalize contracts

17. Formal award of contract

Parties sign the contracts and the process is complete 

Some Project Procurement and Tender Process Jargon

  • PQQ – Pre-qualification Questionnaire 
  • ITT – Invitation to Tender
  • RFP – Request for Proposal
  • RFI – Request for information
  • TQs – Technical Queries or Questions
  • MEAT – Most Economically Advantageous Tender

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About the Author Mike Clayton

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.

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