Non-price criteria is all other criteria except for the price on a tender, bid or proposal. Generally, when submitting a tender or quote a company puts a great deal of thought and estimation into the actual price they are willing to offer for the goods and services or project the client may be looking for. Whilst price is important, when assessing tenders, often organisations will refer to non-price criteria to separate bids that have a similar price or are within a similar ball park.
Sometimes organisations are transparent about how much money they are willing to pay and the tender, is for the value that can get added to that budget. Either way, the concept of non-price criteria is very important. In fact, it can be the point that separates first from second in assessing tenders.
Non-price criteria is often overlooked or not well-thought out and the reason that organisations can succeed is when they spend ample time and put a lot of effort into making a non-price criteria work well.
Non-price criteria can be used to separate your bid from the others and can include:
How to use non-price criteria to strengthen your bid.
The tender itself.
The first part to strengthen your bid is to use every single opportunity within the format the organisation is asking for. If it is an excel workbook, then fill out the cells within that excel workbook. If it is an online application, then fill out each part of the online application and make sure that each section, whether excel, online, or written document format, every answer or response is a full stand-alone answer.
Sometimes a panel will be assembled to assess bids, and this panel will sometimes assign one person who will look at criterion one and another person who will analyse all of criterion two responses, and so on. What that means is that there is not one person reading your bid from start to end. So keep this in mind. By making sure you have all your answers as stand-alone items, no matter how your bid is being assessed, you’ll be sure to be putting your best foot forward.
Your website is incredibly important when you are tendering and bidding. Often what will happen in assessment panels is when they read the claim in your tender, someone will pull out their smartphone and do a quick check or verification against your website, to see if any of the claims stated in your application are true.
You might put into your bid that you have 10+ years of experience in producing similar projects, so your website needs to reflect and validate 10+ years experience in producing similar projects. If you have made reference to an Indigenous employment policy in your bid, then make sure your Indigenous employment policy is easily accessible and easily found on your website.
What we're looking for here is a verification check or a credibility check. The organisation that is assessing your tender needs to see that the claims made in your tender are truthful, accurate and reliable. One sure way they do this is by checking the information you have provided in your application against your website.
We have participated in many tender assessment panels over the years where organisations have failed to do this and fallen out simply because their claims can’t be verified.
Your capability statement.
The third part to making your bid strong and to stand out from your competitors, is your capability statement.
Your capability statement may be used in sections within the bid itself, depending on what format the organisation is asking for. Sometimes bids are asked to be filled out in an online documentation, in an excel workbook, or in a word document and so therefore you want to have words ready from your capability statement to copy and paste into the relevant areas. Sometimes you can add attachments or if a physically printed format is requested, you could have the glossy capability statement printed and included.
Whichever format it is, make sure the capability statement is in the format that the client organisation is asking for. If they don’t want additional documentation, don’t attach it. But if they do, make sure there is consistency between the capability statement, your website and your actual tender documentation. If we have these three sources all singing from the same song sheet then we have more credibility and more strength for the bid.