Even newbies in the tender game will be familiar with the term “Award Notices.” It’s that ‘but wait - there’s more’ sales pitch you get when shopping for a tender monitoring service.

But what exactly are award notices and why do we think you should proceed with caution? Let’s delve on into it.

An award notice is a formal notice issued by a company, telling you who won their contract.  It’s a big deal, because this information gives you huge insights.  Which is why some tender monitoring services include this information in your notification subscription. With award notices you get to see:

  • Who you were competing with
  • Who won the contract and, in some cases, for how much
  • Who you can approach for sub-contract opportunities 

So far, so good. You sign up to receive award notices and then… after receiving a few you start to see the limitations of this service.

  • The number of award notices released is very small compared to the large volume of tenders published.  It’s up to individual companies to decide whether or not they want to issue an award notice. And the general feel is that, unless they are required by law, they prefer not to release them
  • When a notice has been issued it tends to be published without any useful information – which doesn’t help you gain insights
  • Many purchasers don’t want the hassle of dealing with unsuccessful tenderers, so they tend to keep things pretty close to their chest

So, while the promise of award notices is good, the reality can be somewhat different.

We are hopeful that, in time, releasing award notices becomes a commonplace business practice, but until that time comes be sure to go into the award notice sales pitch with your eyes wide open. They are more valuable to some industries than others and if they are truly important to you, make sure you ask how many award notices they publish vs the number of tenders they release.  Lastly, don’t forgot to ask to view one so you can see how detailed or not they really are!

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts – comment below on the pros and cons if you use an award notice service.