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Last edited 27 Dec 2020
When a firm such as a contractor or other supplier in the construction industry wants to secure work for its business, it will usually submit a proposal (a ‘tender’, 'quote' or ‘bid’) to a prospective client and in so doing becomes a ‘bidder’. The bid is a detailed description of how the supplier will manage and complete the works required if chosen by the client. If the bid is successful, the supplier will be selected to carry out the work.
In bidding for the project, suppliers usually try to submit their lowest possible price for consideration by the awarding body (the client). However, this may not be the sole criterion in selection as the supplier's experience, qualifications, availability, quality and so on may also be considered.
There are numerous ways of becoming a bidder but traditionally the main ways are:
- Invitation to tender (ITT): the client selects a group of suppliers and invites them to tender (bid) for the project by releasing details against which the tenderers assess the works required. They will include their price for supplying the goods or services along with proposals for how the client’s requirements will be satisfied. Bids must be submitted by a specified deadline.
- Call for tenders: project owners (clients) release project information to contractors and sub-contractors in an attempt to solicit bids. This can include public announcements advertising the project and making published construction data available to any interested parties.
Public projects or publicly-subsidised projects may be subject to OJEU procurement procedures (this may change when the UK leaves the EU). The regulations set out rules requiring that contracts must be advertised in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU). The OJEU can therefore constitute a useful tool by which potential bidders are made aware of up-and-coming projects.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Best value.
- Bid evaluation.
- Bid writer.
- Common mistakes in construction tenders.
- Compliant bid.
- How to prepare tender documents.
- Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT).
- Non-compliant tender.
- OJEU procurement rules.
- Pre-qualification questionnaire.
- Pre-tender interviews.
- Procurement route.
- Selection criteria.
- Tender documentation.
- Tender evaluation.
- Tender pricing document.
- Tender settlement meeting.
- Things to avoid when tendering.
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