There’s no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic is having a wide-reaching economic impact, so where does that leave suppliers in the tendering industry?
Currently there is no shortage of tendering opportunities, with our team continuing to monitor thousands of sources, adding hundreds of opportunities into our database each day, and sending out tender notification emails to our subscribers as usual.
However, we are seeing a slight shift in the type of tenders being added, with more coming from local governments or asking for goods and services related to fighting the pandemic. These tenders often have a much shorter response and evaluation timeframe, which obviously has an impact on suppliers looking to bid on them. We've even seen some as short as 48 hours!
We’re also aware that while some businesses are still in a position to respond to tenders and deliver their goods/services throughout the coming weeks, there are also some who aren’t able to, for example, due to lack of supply from overseas or the impact of pandemic safety measures like border closures.
No matter which situation you’re in, here are some tips that we hope you’ll find helpful as you tender during these tough times.
If you’re still able to provide your goods/services:
- Get in early: A tender notification service is really helpful in this situation, as it ensures you’re aware of the newest tenders as early as possible, which gives you a head-start over competitors who don't, and also allows you more time to create a higher quality response - this is especially important with a lot of tender response times being shorter.
- Get relevant tenders: If you already have a subscription to a tender notification service, check that your search profile is up to date to ensure you're getting the most relevant tenders. For example, the geographical locations or industries that your goods/services can cater to may have changed due to government-imposed lockdown, or you may have to travel further than you normally do to find more work.
- Get creative: Consider changing or expanding the industry/category of tenders you’re receiving, as you may be able to re-purpose your goods/services to fulfill needs in a different industry due to the impact of the pandemic. For example, you might normally provide marquees for festivals and events, but now you can provide them as protection for temporary triage stations, or as additional outdoor waiting areas for lines at hospitals, pharmacies, supermarkets etc.
- Get organised: In our previous blog, we mentioned the importance of creating a tender document library. Ensuring you have key documents updated and ready to go means you can respond quickly but effectively when the response turnaround time is short because goods/services are needed urgently. Examples of documents you'll often need are: photos/evidence of previous work, case studies or testimonials, your company profile and policies, CVs of key people, organisation charts, and referee contact details. If you have these ready, you can just drag and drop the required elements into any bid response to save yourself from re-writing or searching for them every time.
If you’re not currently able to provide your goods/services:
We understand that this is an uncertain time for a lot of businesses, but you may still be able to use this time to build your work pipeline for when the economic climate is more stable and you’re able to respond to tenders again – see our previous blog for 5 tips for tendering to build your work pipeline.
Here are a few other things to consider:
- Get planning: If you have a subscription to a tender notification service, it’s still important to keep an eye on what’s coming up – for example, we still have tenders being added which don’t close for a few months. So while you may not be able to provide your goods and services now, these types of tender opportunities may still help you plan for the future.
- Get ahead: If you have a subscription which provides access to tender outcome information (also referred to as Award Notices) you can search by contract end date and predict when relevant tenders will come up for renewal in the future. Then you can start planning your bid response or building a relationship with the buyer early, so that you’re in a better position ahead of your competition further down the track.
- Get together: If you can provide some of the goods/services for a tender, but you fall short of the full requirements, you could partner or subcontract with another company who can help, where the partnership will be mutually beneficial. While this can add another layer of complexity to your bid response, and needs to be carefully considered, it can be a good way to keep some revenue coming in, build new connections, and help another like-minded business get through these tough times too.