European Tendering can be learned: Awarded, not yet completed

By: Cleo van Engelen

The tender has been completed, the contract has been awarded, and the contract has been signed; so, we're done! I disagree. A common situation is that a tender is seen as a standalone process within an organization, but in my opinion, a tender is part of an ongoing process. When a tender has been completed for a (new) service or product, it is essential not to simply close the book on that tender. In my previous blogs (part 1 and part 2), I described the lessons learned before and during the tendering process.

Below are my top 5 lessons learned after the completion of a tender.

Een veel voorkomende situatie is dat een aanbesteding als een losstaand proces wordt gezien binnen een organisatie, maar mijns inziens is een aanbesteding onderdeel van een doorlopend proces.

1. Ensure continuity in the tendering process in the future

A tender is sometimes seen as a standalone process. In many ways, as previously mentioned in my blogs, this can lead to the loss of knowledge, money, and/or time. Therefore, find a way to make a tender an integral part of an ongoing process. A tender, transition, and contract execution are not separate processes but components of a chain. By smoothly connecting these links, time, money, and energy can be saved, ultimately benefiting the overall process's quality.

2. Evaluate

Schedule an evaluation with all parties involved. It can be effective to discuss the lessons learned with the individuals involved in the tender and plan next steps, as well as to evaluate with the tenderers. Embed this knowledge in the organization and ensure that it is applied in (possible) future tenders.

3. Effectuate your agreements

During a tender, you have made various requirements regarding collaboration with a (new) supplier. After awarding, it is essential to effectuate these agreements. This includes:

  • Establishing a communication structure
  • Setting up reporting (including follow-up)
  • Finalizing documentation, such as SLAs, DAPs, DFAs
  • Setting decision-making lines (central/decentralized)

4. Knowledge transfer

If everything went well, you involved all stakeholders in the execution of a contract throughout the tendering process. However, a tender might start at your neighbors' place soon. Ensure that all the knowledge and experience you've gained are not lost but explicitly shared. Make it clear what went well and what didn't in your situation; perhaps this could help someone else a long way. Dare to learn from the mistakes you made and ensure that others don't have to make those mistakes again.

5. Update your demand calendar

A tender is part of an organization's demand calendar. This demand calendar includes all upcoming activities related to contracts and tenders. Update it as soon as a new contract is awarded so that you won't be surprised in the future.

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