Organizations that desire to procure products or services generally try and get the best deal in the market. The more organized ones have empanelled vendors for almost all items the organization wants. They also will have a procurement policy and procedures to ensure that they get the best possible products at the right price from the market. This will enable them to provide in turn, to their customers the best possible products and services.
So what is tender management? In today’s competitive business world, many potential projects and services are put out to tender. That is numerous potential companies are provided with the opportunity to bid for the work.In their bids, they will describe how their company will solve a business problem, provide the service required or supply the goods requested. They will also need to provide a competitive price for this work.The process of designing and writing these proposals or tenders, complete with the competitive pricing, is called tender management, proposal management or bid management.
Managing tenders is a time consuming exercise and a lot of paper work is involved. Manual systems have some merit but are prone to errors and cannot deal with growing volumes of tenders to be managed by both buyers and sellers.A tender management system, either manual or electronic, is required to ensure an effective and efficient process for the buyer who is wishing to source products and services and a seller who bids supply to a company.
A tender management system manages the information content of a tender being issued. The sourcing professional is often under pressure for time so it is important that the administrative tasks are streamlined and minimized. Securely managed tenders can be issued to selected bidders error free and on time. The content and structure and production of the bid submission and time and resource management for the bidder are managed and the record keeping and audit trail of changes by documenting all material in a repository.
A simple electronic tender management system that permits procurement organizations to manage the main activities in sourcing is a good place to start. It should at least be able to compile online tender documentation, allow the pre-qualifying of suppliers, be able to invite and receive bids. A really good feature is to have a function that allows internal messaging and provides collaboration tools.
There are standard bid management processes available to manage these activities and one published bid methodology. There are also some computerized systems that will manage the workflow of a tender management process but bid management is nowhere as formalized as project management.
This makes experience proposal writers with a history of winning highly sought after.
A tender or bid writer manages risk very well and is always organized and able to manage staff within a very highly charged environment.
Pre- qualification of suppliers is the first part of the system that provides business with one source of accurate, up to date and validated supplier information. Being better informed about the suppliers enables better decision making which in turn reduces risk, saves money and frees up time to focus on higher, value added procurement tasks.
Procurement Tendering Process is the second part of the system, which facilitates the corporate services to streamline and manage the procurement tenders in a centralized manner.
While the concept of tendering may seem daunting at first, it can be easily tackled by having a plan of ‘attack'. When becoming involved in a tendering process, it is important to understand your business' suitability for the project; whether your business' current situation will allow for you to tender, as well as your ability to manage the contract if you are successful in winning the tender. [i]