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Successful Competitive Tendering

The aim of this Report is to help you become more skillful and more successful in your tendering.



The aim of this Report is to help you become more skillful, and more successful in your tendering. If you follow the suggestions and instructions contained within you should see your success rate rise.

To win business, you must make a convincing case. Your product, your service and your company will certainly lead to creating a platform for your tender. Nevertheless, you will have to perform the contracts you have gained – perhaps against unclear specifications and certainly against competitors. Failing in performing to the expected and required standards will lead to you loosing the contract – no matter how reputable your company, no matter how high your standards of quality and reliability.

This Report is a practical guide with the aim to lead you towards winning successful contracts. Success is not about winning contracts at any price – success is about the long-term prosperity of your organisation.

The Benefits

This Report will show you how to:

  • Reach and satisfy your customers’ needs and requirements
  • Avoid commercial and legal pitfalls
  • Make your tenders highly persuasive and effective
  • Improve the written content and physical appearance of your tenders
  • Boost your presentation and negotiation skills
  • Enhance your performance when dealing with tenders and contracts

Who will benefit from this report:

  • Commercial Managers and Directors
  • Contracts Managers
  • Bid Managers
  • Sales and Marketing Managers and Directors
  • Anyone who is involved in the tendering process within his/her organisation.


1. The commercial context

  • The competitive environment
  • What is the customer’s procurement process?
  • Purchasing policies
  • Tender documents – content and format
  • Legal status
  • Evaluating and tenders
  • Sub-contracting and teaming
  • Customer ethics

2. How European rules can help you

  • The public procurement directives
  • Notices
  • Specifications
  • Where to find information

3. The bidding decision

  • Early tracking of prospects
  • Bidder conferences
  • Analysis of the requirements
  • Deciding whether or not to submit a bid

4. Prequalification

  • The customer’s process for selecting bidders
  • The principal objectives

5. Planning and organising for the tender

  • Team organisation and planning
  • Estimating and sub-contractors
  • Tender setting
  • Ideas, options and solutions

6. Pricing and risk management

  • Defining what has to be costed
  • Direct costs
  • Risk provision
  • Relationship of cost and price
  • Profit
  • Inflation
  • Credit insurance
  • Customer-demanded financial constraints and information

7. Writing your tender

  • Making your customer’s life easier
  • Communications
  • The style for tenders
  • Using plain English
  • Clarity, competencies and consistency
  • Trade names and proprietary items

8. Putting your tender together

  • The contents of a proposal document
  • Executive summary
  • Technical section
  • Management section
  • Commercial section
  • Covering letters and other materials
  • Presentation and appearance
  • Adding spice

9. Presentations and review

  • Preparing for a formal presentation
  • Successful presentation techniques
  • Follow-up and debriefing
  • Successful negotiations
  • Preparing, planning and practising
  • Using successes and failures to improve hit rates

10. The legal issues

  • Law of contract
  • Implied and express terms
  • Enforcement of contract
  • Intellectual property rights
  • EC regulations

11. Electronic tendering

  • Pitfalls for the unwary
  • The way ahead

12. Perfect your tenders

  • Review of actions to improve your proposals
  • Key points for good tenders
  • Key points in European regulations
  • Key points on deciding to bid
  • Key points about tender preparation
  • Key points to help you write effective, selling tenders
  • Key points you must remember when putting it all together
  • Key points to do with publishing
  • Key points for presentations
  • Key points for negotiations
  • Key points on the legal issues
  • Key points for electronic tendering

Appendix 1: Common Estimating Procedure (Engineering)
Appendix 2: Risk factors in practice
Appendix 3: Bid registration system

The author

Jeff Woodhams is an experienced independent commercial consultant specialising in all aspects of procurement, tender assessment and particularly the European Directives on public and utilities purchasing.

Before starting his own consultancy practice he was Head of Staff Support, Group Procurement Department, National Grid. His responsibilities included the implementation and development of procurement procedures, forms of contract, contractual conditions and terms,vendor evaluation,procurement training,trade association support .

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