How To Win a Construction Tender – Part 1 | Introduction



Winning a tender is not as hard as you think and it’s not as easy as you think. You need to have knowledge, have the right information, attitude and above all you need to be ready, not forgetting that you should pay attention to project details. You must meet the prerequisites, and if you lack in some departments, you must prove your potential and capability in other areas. Otherwise you should know when to or when not to bid based on a realistic assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. It’s also about having enough. Do you have enough capital, and if not do you have access to loans and other financing options? Do you have enough resources to complete the project? – skilled workforce, unskilled labor, management team, equipment and access to suppliers? Remember that using a labor for hire agency or subcontracting your human resources needs may not be allowed by labor laws and regional authorities. Do you have enough experience to carry out a particular type of project, what is your track record with regards to quality of workmanship and project completion time?  Do you consider yourself a specialist and if so what kind of projects are you good at?

The above are some of the questions that you must answer when you are planning to submit your bid for a construction tender. You have to know yourself very well. It’s surprising how some contractors know little about themselves. These are the types of companies that will waste time, money and effort in pursuing tenders that are out of reach for them. In one of my job roles as a Tender Evaluator, I have met different kinds of contractors. You have contractors ranging from novices to professionals. They include sole proprietors, start-ups, general contractors, trading companies, specialized contractors, engineering construction firms, corporations and transnational companies.

The problem with most of the small guys (small and medium businesses) is that a lot of them don’t put enough effort in proving themselves and often they are not aware of the magnitude of the project that is before them. They are too relaxed and often bid for the sake of bidding. They just hope that somehow, they will land the contract through luck by virtue of placing the right price. To them, bidding is like a gamble, a lottery where you buy a ticket and wait for the draw.

Bidding for a construction tender is not a gamble. This explains why some companies never grow and never become the best in what they do. Tender hunting should not be a mere profit-making venture. There are companies who are serial bidders , they believe in a numbers game – apply for as many tenders as you can to increase your chances of winning and make a huge profit in as little time as possible. This is a misguided attitude.

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