Setting up for tender success
Every business owner strives for success — and winning tenders is a big part of the equation for many companies.
Arming yourself with handy insights, tips and advice on the tender process will help you put your best foot forward and maximise your opportunities for winning work.
We spoke to Industry Capability Network WA Manager Ray Loh, who offered his tips for setting up for success.
ICN connects proponents of major projects with the local supply chain.
The ICN Gateway portal allows you to register your interest as a supplier. Contracts and procurement project teams then review information to shortlist candidates for invitations to tender for their supply chain needs.
Major activities that ICNWA undertakes include:
- Communication to market — industry forums, publishing work opportunities, feedback to suppliers.
- Engagement with EOI full scope suppliers to understand their capabilities and advise how to optimise their chances of winning work.
- Compile reports on capable suppliers for clients
- Support sub-contractors and regional suppliers through partial scope expressions of interest to ensure work cascades down the supply chain.
“In a nutshell, ICNWA enables project proponents to meet their local content commitments and identify capable Australian suppliers to connect into major projects,” says ICNWA Manager Ray Loh.
To begin using the gateway, you will need to create a profile, which you need to keep updated. Apart from company contact details, areas to focus on when setting up your profile include:
- Setting up notifications to receive automated alerts
- Using the right keywords on your core products and services
- Previous significant project examples
- Sectors or industry capabilities
“It’s important you keep your profile updated – ICN reaches out to those who may have missed new packages, and also for offline opportunities that aren’t published,” says Loh.
“The more we know about your business, the better we can help."
In addition, Aboriginal businesses are added to the Aboriginal Business Directory WA (ABDWA), which is used by State agencies as well as corporations for Aboriginal procurement.
In responding to a call for EOIs, focus on key areas such as:
- Relevant examples to the industry
- Contract value
- Sustainability initiatives
Loh says it’s important that businesses properly study the scope of works (i.e. full vs partial) to determine the scope and scale of the tender opportunity.
“Businesses should also focus on relevant examples of past work, including industry capability and capacity (i.e. contract value),” he adds.
Loh says ICN helps you keep up-to-date on relevant projects and packages, as well as award information.
“The platform also offers a partial scope option, which allows businesses to look for relevant scopes where they can offer support. An example of this is a labour hire or earthworks equipment supplier registering for partial scope on a civil/earthworks package,” he says.
“At least 25 per cent of companies that were awarded projects through ICNWA were not on the project teams' lists."
Loh says there are many benefits to joining ICN Gateway.
“Even if your company is already known to the project, so are a number of your competitors.
“By submitting an expression of interest on ICN Gateway, which most of your competitors are also doing, you will be put in front of the contracts and procurement team to further increase your chances of winning work.
By not submitting, you may be putting yourselves at a disadvantage.”
He says businesses should also request formal feedback once contracts have been awarded.
”It’s a good way to connect with the project team as well,” he adds.
“With a tightening market, there are more opportunities with fewer companies competing for the work, hence by registering your interest, you have a higher chance now of winning the work.”