EP 7 - Why you should audit your tender enquiry

Tendering is a time-consuming and costly activity for any business. Too often, tenders don’t go through an audit process to see if the project and client are suitable matches, but more importantly, what needs to be included within the pricing.

Auditing an enquiry may seem unnecessary and time-consuming, but it will save you and your team time and money and help streamline your estimating process.


Tendering is a time-consuming and costly activity for any business, and subcontractors aren’t selective enough on what and who they tender for, particularly when they’re in their growth stage.

Adding an audit step to your tender process will help filter the right client and project matches for your business.

The way to audit a tender is to create a simple checklist which covers the following:

      The project – projects are not a one size fits all, and certain businesses are set up to work on different types of projects.

      For example, commercial work with incumbent tenants have tight deadlines so they can get back up and operating quickly. Contractors who are set up for this type of work have different overheads and management than a contractor who’s set up for residential projects.

      The client – not every client is the same, and the way a main contractor operates will be a lot different to a developer.

      With a developer, you’ll be effectively working directly for the client, so in theory, you should get paid quicker than you would by a Main Contractor who have rigid and typically longer payment terms.

      However, developers can be less experienced with programming, phasing and construction generally, so they may lean on your expertise and assistance more than a main contractor would.

      Tender details – understanding the key tender details early on is really important. One key detail is to understand is the tender return date.

      If you feel it’s unrealistic, then you should request an extension in the first few days of receiving a tender rather than waiting until a few days before the return date or just simply delivering it late, which will count against you.

      Scope – obviously, scope is really important, but if you’re being asked to carry out design, you’ll most likely need Professional Indemnity insurance, so getting clarity on this early will help you understand if you have the insurance capabilities to do the project.

      Commercial – understanding the commercials of any project is paramount. Most subcontractors are interested in payment terms and retention.

      However, the form of contract, defects period, and any requirement for warranties or guarantees will affect your price and capabilities of doing the project.

There’s much more detail we can go into with a tender audit, and just for you guys I’ve created a FREE audit template.

In this template you’ll find a detailed checklist and a scoring metric to help evaluate the authenticity and quality of the opportunity. You can download it here.

The Takeaway:

Auditing a tender is one of the most important steps for businesses looking to grow with the right client and project opportunities.

By doing this, your return on investment on estimating will be much higher and you’ll leave your business less commercially exposed, which will in turn keep your business more profitable.

Related resource

Tender Return Template

Here’s our tender return template to improve your company image and help you win more work!