Business Clinic: Are you ready to bid?

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By Dorothy M. Tuma

Posted  Tuesday, December 17  2013 at  00:00

There has been an increasing number of conversations about the possibility of “affirmative action” in procurement to increase opportunities for under-represented businesses (small and medium size enterprises as well as women-owned businesses) to bid on tenders to supply goods and services to large entities in both the public and private sectors.

This broad description of potential customers includes government, corporations, institutions and development agencies.

Suppose Uganda passed a law requiring that a minimum of 25 per cent of all government procured goods and services to be provided by qualified SME; or a company decided that a minimum of 10 per cent of its procured goods and services were to be provided by women-owned businesses, would your company qualify?

In deciding, find out the advertising party. Visit their premises, conduct an online search and talk to people who know the advertising party well. Is it the type of customer your business would like to serve and does our business have the capacity to meet the necessary requirements?

Below are some tips based on International Trade Centre;

The right quality is determined by the customer, not you. Do you know the quality standards the customer demands and will your company fulfill them? If you are a dressmaker whose seamstresses constantly have to redo the clothes returned by unhappy customers, identify the source of the poor workmanship and fix it. Teach your employees to spot and correct their own errors and appoint someone to oversee quality control. Once the number of returned clothes dwindles, you might be in a better position to bid on a tender.

Can you provide the right quantity? If a supermarket would like you to deliver 500 trays of eggs a week and your farm only produces 350, do you know of other farms that produce the same size and colour of eggs and that would be willing to supplement your quantities reliably every week?

If a company requires that all breakfasts are delivered at 7:00am for a 12-month contract, only bid if you can do that.

Can you provide the products/services at the customer’s named price?

Only submit a bid if you can provide the right quality and quantity at the right time for the right price.