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Frequently Asked Questions

Help - I'm new to bidding. What should I do?

Everyone starts as a beginner. Many people have fellow workers or managers who show them how the process works. Most others learn on their own - missing out on valuable opportunities and losing more than their share of bids.

Here is a basic overview from Bid-Winners:

1. What is a Bid or RFP?

  • The term Bid, RFP, RFQ, and Tender all describe a process where a buyer issues a specific set of requirements, then asks multiple suppliers to submit competitive offers.
  • Each supplier submits a bid response that describes their goods and services, delivery information, and prices.
  • The buyer selects the best overall bid response and awards a contract to the supplier. Contracts often cover one to three years.
  • Bids and Tenders are issued by governments and large corporations.
  • All levels of government purchase goods and services through a bidding process

2. Finding Bids.

  • 95% of government bids are open to the general public to enter a bid response.
  • Large corporations use a similar bidding process, but bids are not normally open to the general public. Some bids are sent to specific suppliers because the corporation has pre-screened the suppliers and is only willing to deal with a specific group.
  • Governments and many private corporations post their bids on procurement portals for the suppliers to access.
  • The most popular bid portals are MERX, Biddingo, BCBids, most provincial, municipal, and civic governments post their bids on one of these three bid portals, or operate their own website for public bids.
  • Most portals allow you to search through open bids using search words or other criteria.
  • Bids have a life cycle of 2 to 4 weeks so it is important to visit these websites often to watch for new bids being posted.

3. Selecting a Bid.

  • The Bid / No-Bid decision is one of the most important steps of the bidding process.
  • Some bids will be a good or close match for your company.
  • Others should be avoided. If you vary too far from you normal goods and services it will come through in the bid response and buyers will easily pick up on this. These are a waste of your valuable time and resources
  • Many bids have strict requirements: security clearance, professional certifications, taxes or E.I. paid and up to date, extended warranty periods, performance bonds, etc. Read these carefully to make certain you can meet all mandatory requirements.
  • Once you have selected a suitable bid...go all out and give it your best ever bid-proposal. Poorly written bid responses die a quick death in front of the buyers.

4. Preparing and submitting your bid-response.

  • Bids have strict rules that must be adhered to.
  • Always start the process by understanding the rules and adhering to all dates and bidder requirements
  • Clearly address all mandatory requirements.
  • Demonstrate your superior knowledge and experience through compelling writing in each response to bid requirements.
  • Consider how the buyers will view your bid-response in comparison to those from other bidders..
  • Submit a first class response that is as professional as you can afford. Everything counts...even the quality of the paper you print on sends a message about you and your company.

5. Following up on your bid-response.

  • Keep in contact with the designated buyer.
  • Don't be a nuisance, but do demonstrate that you really want their business.
  • If you win - thank the buyer for his/her assistance.
  • If you lose - ask for debriefing conversation so you can learn from your mistakes for future bids. You will rarely be denied this request.

Visit our Learning-Centre for additional bidding information.

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