Award notices are the formal notices issued after tenders are awarded, advising bidders who won the contract. In a previous blog, we identified a few challenges and shortcomings around these notices. However, despite these shortcomings, we’ve seen an increasing demand for award information. This tells us that our customers see value in them. At the very least, it’s reasonable to expect that people who have gone to the trouble of submitting a tender are curious about the outcome.

At its core, interest in award notices lies in the benefits gained from information sharing.

As an organisation that sits between buyers and suppliers, we encourage buyers who use our e-tendering technology to publicise award notices. We view it as a matter of professional courtesy to “close the loop” and provide full disclosure back to those who took the time to submit a proposal.

But why are purchasers sometimes so secretive? We often encounter a number of common reasons. Sometimes, one side or the other demands confidentiality. Other times, the buyer may believe that knowledge is power and think they are maintaining some kind of bargaining advantage for future work by keeping the results of their tenders to themselves. In yet other situations, the buyer may simply want to avoid having to deal with queries from unsuccessful bidders.

Whatever the reason(s), it’s disappointing when the buyer clams up about the results of the tender.

To a supplier, award notices can be rich vein of opportunity and the value of the information runs far deeper than simply finding out who won the contract.

Smart suppliers try to learn from their failures and like to know which competitor has got the better of them. Such suppliers generally have a good idea against whom they are bidding, and sometimes may even have insight into their rivals’ competitive offerings and pricing. So, it’s valuable for them to see who is picking up business to get a sense of buyers’ true preferences.

Large, complex contracts also present subcontracting and direct supply opportunities. For example, a large construction project will require a range of supplies and services, from architectural and drafting work to concrete and plumbing supplies. However far along the supply chain, downstream suppliers are wise to watch out for business opportunities arising from the award of significant contracts.

But the value of award notices extends far further than an individual contract outcome. Good aggregators of tender and award information will provide users access to historical award data, enabling searches across a number of attributes that could include geographical region, industry category, tender close date and contract end date. This enables users to determine where and when future opportunities may arise.

However, we know that award notices are not the tender opportunities themselves and that they present a different type of opportunity, which is why TenderLink distribute them as a separate stream of notification content, avoiding any confusion with our procurement notices.

The publication of award notices is a valuable addition to any tender notification service. Publishing them is in everyone’s best interests - the winning bidder, who is exposed to downstream suppliers to help them complete the project; the unsuccessful bidders, who get some closure and insight into their competitors; and the original buyer, who retains the goodwill of bidders who failed to win this time, but remain keen to hone their skills and offer for next time.