The Man with the Hat, the Moustache and Three Greyhounds

Tenders. That old chestnut. I wonder have the people that write tenders ever actually completed one? If they had they might spare a thought for those of us that, from time to time, are required to ‘do them’ to try and earn a living.

I recently went for one and praise God was successful. Took me about four days equivalent in hours to complete it. I also worked on another for a client, they were unsuccessful falling at a minor administrative hurdle, not being able to tick a particular box. Another one I assisted with during the summer has yet to be awarded. We have run out of bated breath to wait with.

The inclusion of seemingly important but arbitrary criteria like ISO 2000 are a serious pain in the arse. Granted, their inclusion is an easy hurdle to place in the way of a would be supplier. To me ISO suggests that you are good at ticking boxes. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are a good manufacturer, printer, designer or whatever your expertise. Therein lies the rub.

Likewise a client recently was required to demonstrate their ability to provide business continuity in the event of a fire, flood or other act of God. The fact is that had there been any natural or man made disaster that impacted on production, they would have been able to continue their business by subcontracting. They just hadn’t written down how they would do, so busy were they actually getting on with doing what they do.

I must admit I am gamekeeper turned poacher. I used to devise these fiendishly clever criteria thinking I was the big guy. How the suppliers must have despised us. I faced down a supplier once, he was expressing legitimate concerns about not getting a face to face meeting. Our process was rock solid, tight and fair. This guy just wanted the opportunity to tell us he could do the job. His business later went bust. Not my fault, but I’m sure we didn’t help.

I accept people need these sorts of processes. It’s nice it you happen to win a few but often you don’t get that satisfaction. And as one client told me, these things are often written so the right person gets them. That’s true.

If its written for a guy with a hat, a moustache and three greyhounds, then it’s most likely that the guy who applies who has three greyhounds, a moustache and a hat will get it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *