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Last edited 24 Feb 2022
A preferred tenderer is a prospective supplier who has been chosen on a provisional basis by a client as the party to carry out works or supply goods or services. Their selection is conditional upon the outcome of further negotiations after which the appointment may be confirmed.
Following an Invitation to Tender (ITT) in a traditional, single-stage process, prospective suppliers prepare and submit their tenders. From these, the client (perhaps acting on the recommendations of its consultants) selects the tenderer with the best potential suited to the particular project. This will be based on what the design team feels most closely meets its client’s expectations in terms of price, construction methodology, past work and their available labour resource. In addition to comparing tenders, interviews may be set up to garner further information from the applicants prior to reaching a decision.
The supplier eventually chosen by this method is called the ‘preferred tenderer’. They are called ‘preferred’ because at this stage it is not certain that they will be appointed to the project. Preferred tenderers usually have to enter into further negotiations with the client and their advisors regarding price, timescales, contract terms and so on; only if successful at this stage will they be confirmed to the project and a contract signed.
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