Tendering can play a large role as to whether you win a job or not, and many contractors in the electrical industry can struggle to have the tendering process nailed. There can be many factors that play into the tender decision-making process, but understanding it can give you a higher chance of success and improve your chances of landing your dream projects.
Take a look at Ensign’s pick of the top 5 reasons why you’re not winning electrical tenders.
1) You didn’t meet minimum requirements
It’s important to take note of exactly how the client has requested the tender be submitted and pay attention to exactly what is required of you. Even though a lot of project managers are used to requesting tenders by hard copies, there are a growing number that are demanding electronic tenders. If a company has requested hard copies, make sure you’ve submitted the number of copies they have requested and if they need it electronically submitted then make sure it is in the right format.
2) Your estimate was suspicious
A contractor’s time is a contractor’s money, and no contractor can afford for either to be in short supply. Not accurately estimating the tender can set a contractor back weeks and even put them at risk of losing the job.
Accuracy is key. It is important to show your breakdowns for how you came to your final estimate and an important element of that is using a reliable automated take-off and estimating software. Estimating tools reduce the likelihood of human errors on your estimates by building the list of materials you require, as well as running the numbers for you. It can also itemise things like labour costs, prelims and more.
Accurate estimates will put you ahead of the competition. If your estimate seems much higher than others, the client might suspect that you inflate your pricing, but if it is too low then they may think that you are cutting corners. The best estimates fall within a range that seems reasonable to the client.
3) You didn’t utilise your marketing
Marketing your company to the decision maker can play a big part in their decision making. Project Managers want to know that the contractor they pick are trusted and experienced, if there is no indication of this then they may be more inclined to give the job to a more established competitor. When you’re writing up tender documentation, there’s no need to be modest about your achievements and experience.
To really sell your company and your skills, it may help to think about the decision maker asking, “why should I pick you?”. This is the time to showcase your previous successes, case studies and testimonials. Think about creating a website and social media pages. If you can promote your skills online, then it will validate what your tender is suggesting.
4) You need to perfect the presentation
This can be linked to reason number three. Presentation and marketing can go hand-in-hand and if you get them both right then it can bring you steps ahead of your competition. There can be a number of points that fall under bad presentation such as inappropriate language, bad spelling and grammar.
Play close attention to how your documentation is presented. If you were reading it for the first time would you find it easy to read? Is it well spaced? Is every section titled correctly? Sometimes some simple formatting such as paragraphs or bullet points can make a big difference.
5) You’re bidding for the wrong jobs
The tender process is a long and difficult one. Sometimes there’s just no telling whether this job is the one for your company or not. Procurement rules often stipulate a minimum number of bidders, so there may already be a preferred or promised supplier, while other companies get added to the list but stand a very small chance of actually winning.
This opportunity may not be worth the time, money or resources it takes to apply. Take a look at your relationship (or lack of relationship) with the prospect and whether you can fully deliver the required service. Are there any other opportunities in the pipeline you feel more confident with? Gather your team together to calmly assess the real chance of success.