FIVE hallmarks of great tender documents

Suppliers tell us they won’t bother to respond to poor tender documents. Here are five features that will get the very best suppliers responding to your tenders:

  1. Logical, predictable structure that puts the important things first. The best RFT documents DON’T start with scores of pages of special conditions and legal requirements. They start with a simple explanation of what the contract’s all about; how and when the tender will be evaluated, and simple, clear instructions on how to respond. The legal can be pored over later (and likely, by their lawyers – if it’s really necessary)
  2. Clear, transparent and fact-based preconditions and scored criteria. This eliminates guesswork on whether they have a chance of winning. Suppliers have more faith in the process integrity, and are more likely to invest their time and effort when there are fair and clearly articulated scoring systems
  3. Enough time to respond. Squeeze the response time and you’ll not only risk poorly put-together responses, but it’s more likely that suppliers won’t have had time to properly assess risks and price their contract accordingly. If time is short, many busy suppliers simply won’t bother… they have a business to run!
  4. Response templates. These make it clearer and easier to respond, and suppliers need far less time to analyse the documents and check that they haven’t left anything out. There’s an added bonus too – Response Templates will make your job of evaluation far, far faster, fairer, and easier. They’re worth the time invested, which will pay off handsomely.
  5. Complete designs and specifications. You can’t expect a top-notch supplier to guess at what they have to price. If there’s too much uncertainty in your documents, a smart supplier will do one of three things – they’ll price in the worst-case scenario (and you’ll pay that price even if it doesn’t happen); they’ll put in plenty of tags so that uncertainties or risks they can’t manage are excluded; or they’ll just walk away (noting that you’re a difficult customer anyway). That leaves you with uninformed suppliers who haven’t done their homework and are far more likely to disappoint or desert you.

If your RFT documentation doesn’t tick these boxes, or if you’d like an honest appraisal and some suggestions on how to improve the attractiveness of your RFTs to your best suppliers, please contact caroline.boot@cleverbuying.com or 021 722 005. We’re ready to help; and we have simple, user-friendly, compliant RFT and Response documents that are ready to roll.