Industrial suppliers and service providers winning 30 per cent less tenders YOY, but outlook positive

A snapshot of industrial suppliers and service providers has revealed that many are starting to feel the pinch of a slow down in major project activity with 31 per cent reporting a drop in tender wins compared to the same time last year.

This was according to a recent survey by online lead generation service Projectory of 130 individuals involved in preparing tenders, bids and proposals for major projects in Australia.

Just over half of respondents – 54 per cent – said their company was winning the same number of tenders as the same time last year.

Only 15 per cent said they were winning more tenders than the same time last year.

Despite the decline in tender wins year on year, the majority of respondents were bullish about the next 12 to 18 months with 60 per cent expecting to win more tenders than currently.

Just over a third expect to win the same number of tenders while just seven per cent expect to win less tenders than currently.

Market downturn was cited as the biggest reason for the drop off in tender wins. However, increasing competition and a lack of customer loyalty were also cited as major factors.

The average tender win rate among industrial suppliers and service providers was 39 per cent.

More time needed in tender preparation

Not allowing sufficient time to complete their response was overwhelmingly the biggest mistake that industrial suppliers and service providers to major projects make when it comes to tendering. This was according to 70 per cent of respondents.

Not clarifying any questions about the specifications and information required was the second biggest mistake made by their company, according to 24 per cent of respondents.

Nearly 13 per cent of those surveyed said that responding to tenders in a format different from that requested was the third biggest mistake made by their company.

An equal number of respondents (10 per cent) said failure to analyse the Request for Tender (RFT) and a lack of attention to detail in responding to tenders were common mistakes.

Just less than nine per cent of respondents said failing to answer all questions in the RFT was a common mistake made by their company.

Other mistakes included not understanding that their company understood the RFT requirements (6 per cent); poor presentation (5 per cent); not reviewing the completed response (4 per cent); and not having their response edited and proof read (4 per cent).

Effort underestimated preparing bids

Underestimating the effort required was the biggest mistake that industrial suppliers and service providers made when they prepared a major bid. This was according to 42 per cent of respondents.

Not understanding how to differentiate was the second biggest mistake made by their company, according to 29 per cent of respondents.

Nearly 20 per cent said there was too much emphasis on the back end i.e. design, editing and production of the bid document and not enough on the front end i.e. creating solutions.

An equal number of respondents said that assuming ‘good was good enough’ was another big mistake.

‘Believing their own BS’ was the next biggest mistake, according to 13 per cent of respondents.

Sloppy analysis of questions and planning of the written responses ranked equally with wasting time in workshops to develop the bid at eight per cent respectively.

Biggest challenges

Asked what was most challenging or frustrating about the process of tendering, bidding or proposing for work and responses varied from a lack of information or clarity from the client.

Other reasons given included coordinating the input of key stakeholders, boards trying to retain high margins in a depressed market, unrealistic timeframes, lack of resources and not bidding for the right work.

Constraints

While responses varied to the question ‘what was preventing their company from winning more tenders, bids and proposals?’ most respondents agreed that a lack of resources and expertise in preparing tenders, bids and proposals was holding their company back.

Other reasons cited included poor time management, a lack of organization in preparation and planning, no relationship with the client, and poor presentation and structure of tenders.

How to Win Tenders, Bids & Proposals

The survey was a prelude to the Projectory How to Win Tenders, Bids & Proposals seminar and master classes to be held in Perth, 30-31 October.

The event will bring together five of the most highly-rated tendering professionals in Australia including Bid Write director and Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) – Australian & New Zealand Chapter – chair Nigel Dennis; Aurora Marketing managing director and senior tendering consultant Leann Webb; Intertype principal Ian Bosler; Corfocus principal consultant Maurice Downing; and Southern Pacific Alliance Network managing principal Brad Cowan.

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