During the last twenty years of my tendering career, I have been approached by a large number of organizations who are looking for help responding to tenders advertised in the daily newspapers. Many of these are new subscribers to tender notification services such as Tender Service Pakistan. The prospect of a continuous flow of potentially lucrative contracts is very seductive, yet the reality can be very different, particularly for those who haven’t yet considered the role that tenders advertised in the daily newspapers will play in their business development strategy.
Most tenders advertised in the daily newspapers are called by government or semi-government organizations. Government departments purchase billions of rupees worth of products, services and works each year. PPRA procurement guidelines are required for the proper procurement of these items. That’s a pretty rewarding business, but getting a share of it requires some effort.
Responding to tenders advertised in the daily newspapers isn’t called ‘competitive tendering’ for nothing. It’s a bit like responding to job advertisements listed in the major newspapers. A number of other contractors, perhaps equally qualified, have also seen the opportunity and could easily put their hands in the pot of honey.
The odds of being selected for a particular tender can be slim indeed.
Another limitation is that, in tendering, the purchasing departments know what they want. By the time an opportunity goes to tender, the purchasing departments have already decided what they want and the suppliers have a narrow set of criteria within which they must deliver the goods. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that government tenders can be an extremely good source of new opportunities, provided you are choosy and selective about what you respond to and are prepared to invest time and effort in setting up a strategy in your tendering efforts to accomplish your goals.