Tips for the Perfect Tender

Pronamics Expert Estimation - General Estimating

IT’S CRUNCH TIME – The tender is due and the pressure is on.

Do you ever look back and think:

This wasn’t my best—what could I do differently next time?

Before you start on your next project, remember your Best Practice Principles.

Cost Breakdown

Let’s go back to the beginning. Your schedule items need to be broken down into components that you are able to price confidently. These components will be composed of your resources; your cost units that can no longer be broken down any smaller. It’s first principles 101.

Once you’ve priced these items confidently and accurately, we can then start to build them up again until you have a completed estimate.

“The sum of confidently estimated components equals a confidently priced item.”

– Glen Townsley, Founding Director of Pronamics

Allocate time to validate

Each one of us has a different method we use when working on projects, so make sure you set out enough time to be able to validate your work.

Estimating can be very involved, and under pressure, even the best of us don’t always pick up on errors that may be made along the way. Ensuring that you leave enough time once you’ve finished your tender is essential. This will give you a chance to work back through it and make certain that every item has been entered correctly and precisely.

“Do it right or do it twice!”

– Everyone’s mother

Expert Judgment

No matter how good we are, it is important to have your tender reviewed. Rigorous checking by a co-worker, senior estimator or project manager gives you an informed and carefully considered review, and will make your tender all the better.

“Don’t be afraid of criticism. It’s an opportunity to learn.”

– Glen Townsley, Founding Director of Pronamics



Does the methodology applied show your project structure, naming conventions and calculations consistently? Do you have reusable resource libraries, project templates and standardised naming conventions?

Good estimation software will help lead to consistency in item pricing and in turn efficiency in the processes you use an estimator. This will flow on to your reviews, your productivity and ultimately your tender’s success.


Be concise. Make sure your calculations are easy to review. Use an estimating package that uses transparent cost estimation windows that enable the reviewer to clearly recognise where every cent is calculated. Being able to provide this kind of clarity is crucial in your processes to build confidence.


In your rates, pricing and in your final estimate certainty will be what makes or breaks your tender.

You might have aced Clarity and Consistency, but if you don’t have Certainty and it’s inaccurate, none of what you’ve applied is going to matter anyway. Use an estimation package that has live error checking, where you can drill down quickly into issues.

We understand how precious time is, so when you’re trying to get that estimate across the line remember your Best Practice Principles and win that bid!