Whose Tender is it anyway?


The “tender process” and its perceived failures is a favourite topic around weekend braai fires and other social gatherings.

Often the general public’s opinion on the process, its challenges and outright problems are not without its valid reasons. The reality, of course, is that newspaper headlines, (and therefore public opinion) are not always 100% accurate.

“Many businesses have a common misconception that all Government Tenders are corrupt,” says Tender Expert, Wynand Cronjé, in this July 2017 article. “The bulk of tenders are awarded fairly and according to the preferential procurement act which factors in technical compliance, pricing and B-BBEE.”

The key to being in with a winning chance is to ensure your company delivers a compliant and effective bid response.

To win (not just one but repeat government business) you need to have the right mix of skills, staff, cash-flow, equipment and, often, partners to deliver the project within given rates and time-frames.

It’s much easier said than done and, sometimes, “winning” the wrong type of tender for your business can be your downfall – sending you in a downward spiral faster than you can say “who’s tender is it anyway?”

Below we touch base on a few tips for successful tendering and, of course, should you win the day you may require finance in the shape of Purchase Order or Tender Funding to make things happen.

Tips to assist you with the Tendering Process

Obtain tenders documents quickly, concentrate on those relevant to your business: There are many tenders flying about so it is advisable to make use of a tender notification service to help you identify which are right for your business.

It takes some time to complete the application so, once you know what you are going after, make sure you get the tender documentation as quickly as possible, reading through it carefully to ensure you have the time and resources to fulfill all the requirements.

The bigger the tender the more complex the requirements. It is not something you can throw together in a few days, especially if you are new to the process.

Ensure you can do the job: If you are nowhere close to being able to fulfil the requirements its best to leave it be until you have a fighting chance. Alternatively (and if the tender allows) you could find a partner that is able to contribute in areas where you are “light”.

Often a substantial cash-flow injection will be needed to procure equipment, talent and other assets. Fortunately there are institutions that extend funds and business loans to companies who’ve been successful in their tender process.

Purchase Order or Tender Funding is one such an option.

Once you’ve established that the tender sits within your wheelhouse you need to:

  • Submit your tender before the closing date. A logical step but often missed due to misreading the submissions date or waiting too long before starting your process. The earlier you enter the more time you have to respond to any issues that may arise, e.g. missing documentation.

  • Keep a copy of your submission documents and all its attachments.  Not only for your own records but to able to quickly respond if some of your information goes walkabout. It’s advisable to check-in with the person your tender is addressed to (in a timeous fashion) to ensure all your materials were received as intended,

View more basic tips here.

Working with the government and other large companies can be lucrative and significantly boost your own business growth ambitions but it requires hard work and the right mix of resources to help you successfully execute on the requirements.

Connect with FundingHub for more on financing and other requirements during or after the tender process.