Monday, 28 April 2008

Running a Tender Evaluation Process

As I gear up for part 2 of the tender evaluation process, I thought it might be helpful to summarise some of the things that the process has taught me or reminded me about;

For Buyers
1. think about how you will score bids when you write the ITT
- it will save time and help to ensure that you get information in comparable formats
2. Leave sufficient time to evaluate the submissions
a. It can take a long time to do justice to a submission, maybe an average of an hour per submission. Make sure that bidders are aware that the process will take time
3. Only mark what is in the proposal
a. Tempting as it is when an existing supplier does not do themselves justice the only fair thing to do is mark them on what they write – other bidders might also be underselling themselves
4. Specify how you want the pricing information
a. Day rate or hourly rate, and what levels or job titles – these can vary a lot between suppliers, so is better that they work out how their fits your requirements than you spend ages trying to work out whether an Executive is senior or junior to an account manager
5. Be clear about what you actually want and what is important – how you will distinguish between bids
6. Score the bids the way you said you would –
a. Which requires thinking about it first, so that you don’t give equal marks to a company with good policies, but no quality of work, and a brilliant supplier who forgot to include their environmental policy
7. Be clear about the financial critieria
a. Do SMES and new starts really stand a chance?
8. The people who write the ITT should be the people who mark the bids (or at least part of the team)
9. Remember that you can get jaded evaluating bids
a. Leave a day a week for other work
b. Consider taking an hourly break on a 48/12 minute cycle
10. Your idea of a good bid can change as you read more bids
a. Consider going back and rescoring the first couple of submissions again to ensure that scoring is consistent
b. Don’t always start with the same bid when evaluating muitiple submissions- move through the alphabet, or order of receipt
11. If something is not included in the submission or not clear you can ask for further information – as long as all bidders get the same opportunity

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