Welcome to the third and final article of our series explaining how the bid process works. At this point, you should have received the bid package, asked any questions you may have and filled out all of the required documents. Congratulations! This could lead to new government contract opportunities for you and your business. You are now ready to submit your proposal.
It’s up to you how you want to submit your proposal, but remember that many agencies only accept two methods of delivery: by mail, or in person (It is possible some agencies accept bid proposals through an online submission module; make sure you know which method the agency prefers for bid submissions). It is very important that you note the date and time when the bid needs to be received by, as well as the location where the bid needs to be mailed to or dropped off. All bids are date and time-stamped by the receiving agency and bids that are submitted late will automatically be disqualified. You don’t want to put in all the time and effort of reading the bid requirements and filling out documents just to be late handing your bid proposal in! Create a reminder on your email calendar, hang up Post-It notes, set an alarm, tell your employees, mark your calendar in red with a big circle around the date and time – whatever method you use, make sure that you don’t miss the deadline!
The Bid Opening
You are not required to be present at the bid opening - it’s up to you whether you want to go or not. Most representatives who attend bid openings do so to reinforce their own research: they want to know who their competitors are and what kind of pricing they can afford to charge for their services.
The bid opening can be a short or long process, depending on how many bids are submitted and the length of the bid proposal form. Each bid is opened one by one and read aloud; this process happens even if vendors do not show up for the bid opening. The bids are recorded and the administrators in charge sign the records to prove that they were present during the process and followed all of the necessary procedures. After the bid opening, all of the submitted bids are thoroughly reviewed to ensure that the required documents are present, that they are signed and dated appropriately and that the cost calculations included with each bid are complete and accurate. Once all the bids have been reviewed, a bid tally is drawn up in which all of the bids are listed by quoted price, from lowest to highest; an award is then granted to the vendor who submitted the lowest bid and who possesses the required qualifications for the contract.
Once the winning proposal has been selected, a letter detailing the results of the award process is sent to all of the vendors who submitted bids. As a bidder, you will be informed of whether or not you won the contract; if so, you will also be notified about any additional documents you need to fill out, or the documents will be enclosed along with the letter.
If you submitted the winning bid, don’t get frustrated about the additional documents coming your way. You are one step closer to growing your business and positioning yourself for more success in the future!
These articles were designed to help guide you through the bid process and provide some insight into what to expect at each stage of bidding on a government contract. We hope that they have been a great resource for you and your business. It can sometimes be frustrating or overwhelming to navigate the bid process, but in the end the potential to win a lucrative contract makes all of the hard work well worth your while. If this is your first time submitting a bid, don’t let the strict guidelines scare you off. Keep pursuing the contracts that are a good fit for your product or service offer - you never know what the future holds for your company.
Danielle Calamaras | BidNet.com