Have you ever submitted a tender and thought, “That wasn’t my best work.” Maybe it looks different to previous tenders, or simply doesn’t have the polish you would like.
Rather than just feel awkward about it, remember the three simple things you need to produce a great tender, every time. These are:
This is more than just what your reports look like. Does your estimating methodology encourage consistency in your naming conventions, your calculation style and your project structure?
Good estimating software does that, which in turn leads to more consistency in pricing your items and in your estimation process. All of these things factor heavily on your productivity, your reviews and ultimately, your tender success rate.
This allows you to define the structure that all your estimates will take. Build templates and resuable resource libraries, as well as standardise naming conventions throughout every tender. Consistency? Check!
You know you need to be explicit wherever possible in your estimating process. So laying out your calculations for a reviewer to understand at a glance is critical.
Only the best estimation packages allow you to write your formula using an inline fashion rather than the restrictive syntax required by spreadsheets. This adds to the readability of an equation.
For example, can you tell what each part of the following calculation is referring to?
Not easily. But how about now?
3 hours * 5 labourers * 7 days
No one has to guess now—it’s clear what you’re calculating.
In addition to that, an estimating package that utilises transparent cost estimation windows allows a reviewer to see easily where every cent is calculated. This clarity is essential in building confidence in your process.
If those two reasons aren’t enough—this one will hit home. Certainty in your prices, rates and your final submission are the be all and end all of your tender.
You can have all the consistency you can shake a stick at, your tender can be crystal clear, but at the end of the day if it’s inaccurate, none of that matters.
“But I have great spreadsheets!” you say. “I don’t need software!”
Well, spreadsheets are a fantastic tool until something breaks, and with little to no live error checking, you could spend days trying to find out what’s happened before you can attempt to fix it and get on with the tender. And we all know how precious time is when trying to get a tender across the line. Industry leading estimating software will run the checks and save you the heartache and time, meaning you are more likely to win the work.
Consistency, clarity and certainty. If even one of these factors is out, your chances of a successful tender decline. Get them all, however, and you’ll always have a tender of which you’ll be proud.
There’s one more thing an expert’s estimating package will do for you. It will save all your projects securely in a platform rather than in a series of spreadsheets. So 12 months down the track your estimating history will be easily accessible and saved in chronological order, even if you change devices.
You’ll also have data on how projects have evolved over time and how rates have changed, helping you predict patterns for the future.
So ensure your chosen estimating software provides the ability to produce consistent, clear tenders with absolute certainty of accurate values time after time.