Selling to government represents possibly the biggest market in Australia but many businesses are missing out because they are unaware of or unprepared for tackling government tenders, according to a new book, 'Winning Government Tenders'.
Last year, the Federal Government spent more than $32 billion on about 80,000contracts for the supply of goods and services to the Commonwealth, with the lion's share of those contracts won by small to medium Australian-owned companies. Add State and Local government expenditure and the total market approaches an estimated $85+ billion, an immense opportunity for Australian businesses.
Maurice Downing, an expert in Government tendering and procurement, and author of 'Winning Government Tenders' believes that in a tight business environment, winning a government contract can turn around the fortunes of a business which might otherwise be looking at laying off staff.
"Many businesses are reluctant to chase government business because they mistakenly believe the contracts are in the "too hard basket", they cannot contend with the complex documents and bureaucracy or they believe that the decision on who wins has been made even before the RFT has been advertised," says Downing.
"But any business has the opportunity to win government business -it's all in the preparation and understanding of what happens inside the evaluation room. Winning a government tender is similar to an actor auditioning for a lead role in a movie or play - solid preparation, knowing what the director wants and delivering a great performance before the casting panel are key to winning the lead role. If they are successful, the play may enjoy a long run, just like a three-year contract to supply goods and services," adds Downing.
Downing's new book provides insider information which will assist Australian companies win tenders and access government business.
The book, 'Winning Government Tenders: How to understand the Australian tendering process and write proposals that win consistent business' is a practical guide to producing a successful government tender proposal and setting up tendering systems that win business consistently. Written in a style that demystifies the mysterious and makes the complex simple, the book also reveals what goes on behind closed doors and how the final recommendation will be made. Readers will get a fuller understanding of the tender review and evaluation process, and ultimately, the selection of the successful tender.
Downing stresses preparation is the key to a winning tender. "Spending the time to prepare for tenders, understanding exactly what the Request for Tender document is asking for and then making the evaluation panel's job easy seem obvious things to do, but often companies used to dealing in the private sector neglect to cover off the basics, which can mean the difference between winning and losing a tender and long-term income generation for your business," says Downing.
Maurice Downing worked for more than 10 years for the Queensland and ACT Governments, and later as a contractor developing tender documents and chairing Tender Evaluation Panels (TEP) for ACT and Federal government agencies. After researching the market and seeing there was only a handful of consulting firms working in the tender assistance space at the time, he decided to establish a consulting business, CorFocus, in 2004 dedicated to securing government contracts for its clients.
Having worked on both sides of the fence, he has a very rare knowledge and perspective on government procurement, which is reflected in his new book, 'Winning Government Tenders: How to understand the Australian tendering process and write proposals'.
Winning Government Tenders
Author: Maurice Downing