We have recently come across a few scenarios where large tenders have been awarded on what we believe could largely have been based on cost.

At the same time, after analyzing what is required in the brief or scope of work, it is somewhat difficult, at times, to comprehend how on earth this project will be delivered at that cost to the client.

I know of a particular tender awarded in the scenario described, above. One can only assume that the contractor in question was either

  • Unable to deliver; or
  • Had misunderstood the scope of works required entirely.

On the other hand, we all want to land that one life changing big deal. And the reality is that not all of us are competent enough to deliver once that deal has been clinched.

I have read some interesting literature on the aspect of selling yourself or your organisations ability “as if” you are able to deliver. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with this approach if you are confident enough to understand what is required to deliver and you are structured enough to do what is necessary. In many cases you would need to be backed by a network of contacts and infrastructure which will assist you.

And one would only hope that pricing, in this scenario, will reflect the effort and quality of the finished product.

On the converse, should you honestly believe that there is a remote chance that you may not be able to deliver, it is my sincere belief that you have a responsibility and duty of care to recognize any limitations you may have and stay away from the specific tendering process.

The consequences of not being honest with yourself and /or your potential client may be dire.

Pricing on its own has its own integrity value too. And an unusually low price could reflect on the expected quality of the product to be delivered. Differentiating factors such as service excellence experience and quality could negate the need to price low in the hope of winning that tender.

Eric Wright

CEO