How often do you spend 5 minutes checking what tenders are available and appropriate to your business? If you’re like most businesses, I suspect the answer is not very often. Whilst I always advocate checking for yourself, I know from experience that sometimes life just gets in the way. That is why most website portals allow you to register a profile and then issue email updates of tenders that are available.
If, for example, you register on Contracts Finder, you have the opportunity to build a profile and select a frequency for notifications. So, every day, usually at about 11pm at night, I get an email from Contracts Finder setting out some of the new opportunities that have been listed that may be relevant to my business. It isn’t a substitute for checking each tender – it isn’t unknown for people to categorise tenders incorrectly – but for those times when you’re busy it helps take some of the pressure off.
I’m also asked by clients why tender deadlines that are published in documents can slip with alarming frequency. Ordinarily, within Pre-Qualification Questionnaires, a procurement timetable is published and it is not unknown for those timetables to slip as the process progresses. There can be lots of reasons for this. Generally speaking, higher response levels than anticipated can lead to project slippage, or due to the nature of the contract, it takes longer for the process to pass through internal due diligence and sign off (by Councillors, Trustees or Boards) than is anticipated. The buying authority should keep you updated on any changes to the timetable however. If they don’t, then do contact them to ask them for a revised timetable, but don’t hassle them, as that will further slow the process down!