Business Before Hours: Questions for Jason

Unfortunately, we ran overtime during Tuesday's Before Hours session and were unable to have our usual Q&A time, so we sent the questions we received to Jason so he could answer them post-event.

Q. Thank you Jason, Question, is there tender templates of some description or somewhere to go to find them for those who are just entering into the process or who want to submit tenders?

A: I am not aware of tender templates, and this would be particularly difficult to structure, unless you are tendering to the same authority each time.  The suggestion by Elizabeth to source a submission writer for your first tender submission was a great idea and one that may assist a first time tenderer.  Otherwise I would suggest that you consider reviewing similar tenders (quite often there are “open” tenders on government websites – available to anyone to view and submit on) as a start.  This will give you a feel for the responses that your client may be after and will allow you the opportunity to consider how you may provide a response.


Q: Could you please ask Jason what type of things he would consider during the go/nogo process.

A: By “Go/No Go” I am assuming the question arises as to how you determine whether to tender a project or not.  Elements that we consider when tender opportunities arise include:

    1. What is the type / size / timing of tender and do I have the resource to complete it?

    2. What costs are involved in the tender and are they worth spending?

    3. When is the work expected to commence and can I deliver it?

    4. Can I determine a competitive edge to the tender that makes my submission more attractive than others? You could try a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat)

    5. What are the commercial terms I anticipate, and am I willing to contract to these?

The decision to tender a project is made at a snapshot in time, and consequently circumstances can quickly change after you agree to a tender.  If circumstances change, then you are always able to withdraw from a tender, but you need to be wary of harming a relationship by doing so.


Q: How do you choose a tender partner?  

A: We tender on the basis that our company will deliver the project, and consequently haven’t partnered previously on a project.  We do however rely on our trade contractors to support us in doing this.  The contractors we turn to for that support at tender are companies that we know (generally from experience) have the resources and experience to deliver a project with us, who understand our terms of engagement and who have expressed a desire to work with us in the future.

If you are considering partnering with another company to tender a project together, then suggestions I would make include:

    1. Understand your client and ascertain if they believe a partnership is an acceptable form of tender.

    2. Select a partner who has a similar approach to business – acumen, behaviours, aligned beliefs – Long or Short Term?  Project based or Multi project agreement?

    3. Identify how this partnership may work and where the commercial risk lies, and how the risk and reward is shared.

    4. Look at why your partnership would be a benefit to your client and demonstrate this in your submission.

    5. Have the discussion with your partner before commencing to tender to put in place agreed terms of partnership.

These are some basic thoughts on looking into the formation of a Joint Venture/Partnership, but would highly recommend you obtain legal advice on how this should be structured.