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Tips on big tenders?

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by Luke212, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. vltrb-0

    vltrb-0 Member

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    quote the ideal solution cheap and when you win the tender put everything down as variations
     
  2. millsy

    millsy Member

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    Personally I've found government tenders are a bit wooly around what they actually require (main reason so many go tits up / cost way too much). Just respond to what they want, and how they want it, and make sure you're actually even able to respond.
     
  3. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    Keep it simple, straight forward, and to the point.

    (Unlike 99.9% of my posts here).

    Nothing pisses people off more than flowcharts, diagrams, and pretty excel spreadsheets, that take twice as long to read and decipher.

    One thing I was told long ago in the world of sales. Start at the bottom line and work back, because sticker shock is a very real thing.

    So get all the backwork done, arrive at a figure, and then work back from there (complying with tender requirements), to justify your bottom line, how you got there, and why YOU are the best tender to pick.

    Remember, whilst you are submitting the tender to (most likely) IT like minded people, at some stage the accounts and moneyholders get involved. They won't give a crap about Flash backed caches, or UPS uptimes. They care about how much its costing and how much value they can get (and how screwed they can get you).

    Given its most likely one shot, go in with a keen, but not stupidly low price. Maintain some dignity and make a suitable but not exhorbinant profit.

    and if you can, try and suss out what others competing for the tender may do (i.e over inflate prices, undercut but shave corners, etc).

    I know this isn't strictly tender advice, but its the only advice I can give, and I might strike the target on a few points.

    They lost me when they mentioned ACER on the document.

    You chose Acer if you want to spend a lifetime of misery troubleshooting and resolving issues with a manufacturer.

    Not to mention, a bad sign of problems is when you spend so long on hold lodging warranty repairs for a manufacturer, that you memorise their hold music loop in its entirety!
     
  4. leighr

    leighr Member

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    Depends what you're trying to do. Network architecture can be pretty well done with diagrams, as opposed to a wall of text. Follow the normal conventions for how something is displayed. If a picture makes sense, use a picture.

    Alright, we get it, you don't like Acer. Having just come from a government department that had deployed Acers to the desktop, they weren't the unmitigated disaster that you describe. Yes, they had a higher failure rate than the Dell/HP that had preceeded them. But, with a good SOE, automated software deployment and a bunch of spare parts, the total cost over the life of the machines was only slightly higher than using Dell/HP. The slightly higher cost includes things such as productivity losses of end users after they get the machine, not just the time spent by the techs working on it.

    All kinda irrelevant for the OP though.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    As far as the tender response goes, if it's like the ones I put through, meeting the criteria and the cost are king. If you didn't meet all the mandatory stuff, your response went in the bin.

    Once mandatory stuff was met, each criteria had a weighting, which was a multiplier. eg. High/medium/low = 5/3/1. Each criteria was assessed on a scale of 0-5. 0 = not met, 5 = exceeded, awesome product/idea, 3 = does what we need, nothing more. All of this went into a spreadsheet and was assessed by minimum of 3 people. Variances were argued back and forth until we had an agreed rating.

    Effectively, once the multiplier was taken into account, each criteria ended up with a score between 25 and 0. The only data we were allowed to take into account was what was provided in the tender response. Past history, technically inadmissable, but probably impacted some of the scores.

    Once we had all the scores, they were totalled, then divided by the cost, to give a value for money figure. Best value for money figured was awarded the contract, regardless of personal/managerial preference - last one I did (approx $400K of server gear) went to a T1 vendor we had dealt with before, but hated the quality of support, the lies from their account management team, etc, but they won the tender, so they got the work.

    This may not be the process followed at all, but it was at the department I was working for.

    Hope this helps a bit.
     
  5. uncyspam

    uncyspam Member

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    Pay Reality Tendering to write it for you.
    There are others out there, but i know reality, and they are good ;)

    I'm at the pointy end of a big Defence response, and I can tell you that our response won there due to being the best technical fit to the requirements. We lost one at DHS last year even though we we're evaluated best technical fit, as we didn't meet the procurement requirements as well as another company.

    My story is only to illustrate this point - don't expect to win them all, especially if you weren't engaged with them before the tender to help shape the requirements. Also make sure you get a full debrief aft the tender so you understand why you won or lost
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Luke212

    Luke212 Member

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    some 9 figure asshole won this tender. when it gets this big cronyism is the driving factor.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  7. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    If you truly believe this, then file Freedom of Information requests to get the documents relating to it. Somewhere there will be the decision matrix, and it will show what boxes the winning tender ticked, and what boxes your tender ticked.

    It will help you identify why you didn't win, and possibly help you to write better tenders in the future.

    Can you tell us all what you were tendering for?
     
  8. HumbleBum

    HumbleBum Member

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    They absolutely dont go this way. I can tell you that right now. Infact, to do so would get you in a world of hurt.

    Tender's usually go like this:

    Functional Requirements : Met
    References Accurate: Met
    Price : Cheapest

    The rest is just fluff, especially if there is a panel, sure the CIO or Exec may have a preference, but when there is a financial controller involved, price always wins usually.

    As a learning exercise I would ask for a post decision review meeting and attempt to get where you fell short. I would say it may have been risk profile (if you are quite a lot smaller)
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  9. kesawi

    kesawi Member

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    Getting post tender feedbak is the most valuale and beneficial part of the tender process. Win or lose it helps you to continually refine and improve your bids, particularly if it's a new client or process. This also helps you to build personal relationships and lets them know you're serious.
     
  10. HumbleBum

    HumbleBum Member

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    It is also a sign of business maturity. Critical step IMO.
     
  11. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

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    Based on the OP's attitude towards his lack of success in the tender, the post tender interview may not be beneficial ;) Otherwise, I completely agree.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Luke212

    Luke212 Member

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    It was my last ever tender. I've said goodbye to ICT forever.
     
  13. millsy

    millsy Member

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    You wahhh? Didn't see that coming.
     
  14. power

    power Member

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    I think those offering this tender might have dodged a bullet Luke....???

     
  15. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    So which career are you going for now?
     
  16. QuakeDude

    QuakeDude ooooh weeee ooooh

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    Same :wired:

    Luke - be interested to hear why you made such a drasti change to move away from IT as a whole.. Its a big decision that many of us have dreamt about, but in reality, could never actually do :p
     
  17. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    Did you make this decision, or did the company you were working for make this decision for you (if you catch my drift)??
     
  18. Copie

    Copie Member

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    Wish you would say goodbye to trolling forever, but alas no.

    Cmon, its Luke212, bullshit trolling artist of 2013/2014
     
  19. chip

    chip Member

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    Much, much longer than that.
     
  20. HeXa

    HeXa Member

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    holy shit OCAU needs a party emoticon

    9 figure tender hey.... how many decimal places are you counting?
     

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