Submissions and Tenders

Amazing company. Amazing Bid. Unsuccessful. Why?

I have just read an extraordinarily impressive tender response. A bid by a remarkable business that was carefully prepared by subject-matter experts. A bid that was backed-up by all the experience, systems and policy compliance one could ever want. 
Despite all this, it was unsuccessful.  Why?

“Easy!” I hear you say.  “You can write whatever you want but tenders are all about price or existing relationships.  They must have been too expensive. Either that, or the winning respondent was already well known to the company”. 

I agree that many tenders are decided on the basis of price and/or relationships – although increasingly less so than before. But these are not the only considerations. 


  • Seeking optimal value is embedded in the DNA of all good Finance and Procurement teams. Accept this as a given. However – Optimal value does not necessarily mean the cheapest bidder – good Finance and Procurement teams also want to partner with companies that offer sustainable pricing to reduce the risk of expensive and damaging supply disruption.    
  • Relationships and trust are enormously valuable. But they can be quickly and easily forgotten and, moreover, are transferable. Believe it or not but you are not the only provider (or may not be for long)! 

The reason the bid was unsuccessful was because it did not answer the questions asked in the tender specifications. It simply failed to offer a solution that directly addressed the client’s requirements.  

The respondent was too busy enthusing about the capacity of their systems to solve their own needs and problems – not the client’s needs or problems that were clearly detailed in the Request for Tender. 

When preparing your submissions, it is essential to demonstrate capability, value, experience and how you intend to mitigate risk to the client. Commercial considerations are obviously a huge element.  Fostering strong business relationships is essential to effective client attraction and retention strategies. 

However, your point of difference and the focus of your submissions (and subsequent delivery) must always be your superior understanding of the client’s specific needs. The emphasis must always be on how well you fulfil a need or present a solution to theirrequirements.   

Hardie Consulting can help position you to win your next submission.  To arrange an obligation free discussion about your needs, simply email me at