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Invitation to Tender

18th January 2022   |   Jamie Barrett   |   Reading Time: 3 minutes

Common Invitation to Tender mistakes clients should avoid

An Invitation to Tender forms part of the competitive procurement phase of your project.

If your construction project is approaching tender stage it’s time to start thinking about how you will issue invitations to tender, who to and what information you will provide. 

Creating clear, comprehensive and easy to understand Invitation to Tender (ITT) documentation will help ensure the returns you receive from bidders are high quality and allow you to appoint with confidence. 

Over the years the Evolution5 team has been on both sides of the tender process fence and have experienced the good, the bad, and the downright ugly when it comes to ITTs. 

In this article we help you understand five common mistakes we’ve seen clients make on their ITT documentation so you can avoid making the same mistakes. 

Packaging problems

Your ITT will invite sub contractors to tender for specific packages of work. For example, demolition, drainage, M&E and so on. 

You need to ensure that you do not split the project into too many packages and that there are clear interfaces between each with all tasks only being allocated to a single trade package – thus avoiding overlap which you will have to pay for twice.

Insufficient or incomplete information

Depending on how developed your design is at the time you issue ITTs, your tender process may commence without final design and full information. However, it is vital that you make this clear in your Invitation To Tender in order for potential bidders to properly assess what assumptions they need to make with their return and the risk this may pose.

Poorly formatted documentation

If you are stipulating the format of ITT returns and will issue documents for the bidders to complete, take the time to ensure they are high quality. 

For example, if you issue a pricing excel workbook double check any formulae work properly, if you issue text documents for bidders to use ensure that the text boxes will expand properly to allow them to input their information, and if you are duplicating documents used in a previous ITT, take the time to properly update them with the correct project information.

Lack of clarity

It’s good practice to allow time for potential bidders to submit clarifications; however it’s even better to reduce the number of clarifications by creating clear and concise ITT packs. 

Be explicit about your requirements as the employer, provide detailed specifications that demonstrate the quality you are aiming for, and offer a site visit in order for potential bidders to see the project first hand. 

By being clear about your expectations, bidders will be able to submit returns detailing how they can deliver to your requirements.

Unrealistic deadlines

In order to receive good quality, reliable tender returns that you can rely on when awarding contracts, you must give potential bidders sufficient time to research, raise any clarifications and complete their submissions. 

The role of your project or construction manager

If you have appointed a project manager or construction manager they will lead this process for you. Depending on the size of your organisation, they may also be the point of contact for clarifications, arrange site visits and evaluate the submissions after the closing date. 

How Evolution5 can help you?

Evolution5 is a professional consultancy offering project management, contract administration, construction management, quantity surveying, principal designer, and employer’s agent services for projects across London and the South East.

If you are approaching tender stage have a construction project and would like to explore how the team can help you, click the button below or call 023 8040 5073.