What is a tender?

Ausschreibung in German, aanbesteding in Dutch, marché public in French. All words for something that’s internationally known as a tender. But what is a tender exactly? The word is widely used by procurement professionals. But asking around at a random group of people working in a variety of professions at SME's or as entrepreneurs, most of them don’t really know what is meant with the word ‘tender’. How tenders can be interesting for them too is even less known. Not surprising, since our research shows that SME’s are highly underrepresented looking at tendering. The lack of knowledge being one of the possible reasons. Therefore we have decided to write this blog: to explain the concept of ‘tendering’ in an easy way and showing how this can be interesting for all kind of businesses and not just the big guys. 

What is a tender?

Let's start at the beginning. Governments, at all levels, as wel as semi-public institutions (think public transport, schools, health organisations, fire brigades etc.) all need supplies and work to be done that can’t be done by its own employees. Buildings need to be maintained, roads to be contructed, schoolbooks to be written. The entirety of services and supplies purchased by the government is known as public procurement. But a public institution can’t just go to the nearest shop and buy its supplies. People need to have a fair chance to offer their products and services to the government. And the government needs to investigate to get the best price. To make this system work, tenders were developed. Simply said: a public body writes a notice (or request for proposal) in which it tries to get clarified what it needs and invites suppliers to do an offer. This offer needs to be submitted within a certain deadline and has to be written in a set format. Officially the word tender entails more than just the notice. It covers the whole procedure of publishing, bidding and selecting the best offer based on set criteria. 

What’s in it for me?

Daily thousands of tenders are published in the world, asking for all different kind of services and products. There’s a considerable chance that within this heap of tenders ther's a interesting business opportunity for you. But finding the right tender is a time-consuming task when you’re new in the field of tendering. Where to start? That’s where we step in. Tender-it developed a user-friendly low-cost search engine to find the best tender opportunities in your area of interest and location. By setting your own search profile, interesting tenders will come to you by email and make it possible for you to compete with the big guys.

This was our first blog in our series to shed some light on the concept of tendering and to give you a clearer view of how tenders can be new business opportunities for you. If you want to read more blogs from our series about how to get successful in government procurement, just click here. If you have any questions or remarks please contact us at info@tender-it.com