An idiot’s guide to the Tender Process for Construction Projects

20 May 2020

No offence but navigating the somewhat murky waters of a tender can be difficult. While the acceptance of one is
always a great achievement, when the basics aren’t right, or there’s a hiccup somewhere in the chain,
tenders can be a wasteful experience.
Here at Copronet, we believe in building connections in the construction network, and part of that
ethos lies in helping members get better at the tender process. In this short blog post, we will be
laying out the typical tender process for a construction project, as well as pain points in the process
that you should be aware of.
Let’s start with the typical process chain.
What steps does a typical tender process entail?

Step 1: Finding a tender
Where does one start to find a tender? Using Copronet of course.
Tenders are cast out in such a wide way that finding relevant tenders for your business can be quite
difficult. Our tool provides users with the option to access thousands of construction tenders and then
filter those options down to fit perfectly with your business needs.
You can find tenders based on budget, company size, area and niche. We find it helps users home in
on relevant tenders, rather than wasting time on tenders that may be beyond their capabilities.

Step 2: Expression of Interest
Once you find a tender you think your company can work on, you’ll need to send out an expression of
interest. In most cases, this will involve you also sending out a relevant PQQ at the same time.

Step 3: Filling in the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ)
Never underestimate the importance of the PQQ. This is the document that your potential client will
use to exclude applicants from the full tender process. Fill it in accurately and make sure it clearly
answers every question the client wants.
A sloppily completed PQQ could stop you from getting an invitation to tender. And check to see if the
client would like proof of certifications in there with your PQQ.

Step 4: Invitation to tender
Your PQQ was successful, and now the client has given you an invitation to tender. This is the crux of
the tender process.

You will need to provide a full tender document laying out every aspect of the job, from your estimated costs of goods and services to how you’ll able to complete the job to the client’s specifications happily.

Documents to include in your tender:

  • The letter of invitation
  • Your preliminaries
    • includes additional files like certain management plans, planning conditions, progress
    • report samples and relevant reports
  • The completed form of tender
    • will be supplied by the client
  • The form of contract
  • The tender price list
  • Your presumed schedule
  • Employer information
    • (the client may need it for creating their building information model)
    • (the client may ask for specific CV information as well, so have that handy)
  • Your specifications
    • (remember this is completely different from your price list)
  • Resource availability
  • References
    • (make sure to include prior experience on relevant jobs as well)

Step 5: Contract Award
So your tender has been sent off and now you play the waiting game. If you’re successful and win the
tender, the client has to send you a contract award.

This means you’re now clear to start work.

Step 6: Tender Feedback
Whether or not you win a tender, it is a good idea to ask or feedback on what the client thought about
your tender. It will help you know what the strengths and weaknesses of the document are and where
improvements could be made.

Making the process easier

Now that the typical process is covered, we thought it would be a good idea to give some pointers on
how to make sure you have a smooth tender process and don’t encounter the common pitfalls many
businesses have.

What is my tender missing?

Sometimes it can feel like you’re throwing everything and the kitchen sink at your tender to highlight areas you want to stick out and get noticed. You never want to miss out on leaving essential information from your tender though. Information you can’t afford to leave out of your tender include:

  • Your preliminaries
  • Your estimated pricing budget
  • Tender supply slip

What bad habits should I avoid when sending tender?

We’re all prone to getting a tender out the door as fast as possible to try and secure a contract. One of the biggest misconceptions is that your potential client will want as much information as possible, but information overload can be dissuasive.

Bad habits to avoid when completing a tender include:

  • Information overload
  • Breaking your tender down in a dedicated section that are clear and concise works best
  • Costs don’t add up
  • Clients want the best value in their tenders, but double-check the math makes sense and final
  • Costs match totals throughout
  • Check your formatting
  • Double-check that your client doesn’t want your tender delivered in a very specific way.
  • Sometimes a client will want all their tenders to look the same, so they’re easier to analyse
  • and judge

How do I make sure I carry out the tender process correctly?

Copronet can help you keep on top of your tenders with our tender management software. Join for
free today and see how much easier the tender process could be for you.

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