How many of you have received an invitation for a ‘Request for Tender’, got excited and spent months, weeks and endless days working on a tender submission? Not to mention the amount of resources you had to pull to get the tender completed in full and on time.

Quite frankly, I think tenders are a load of garbage. I know it sounds bold and to the point, but I think tenders are used by the private or public sector as a great way to rob agencies of their ideas, get educated quickly on the project’s requirements and immediately become the company rockstars – most of the time, all for free.

Recently, we were involved in a tender. It was a three month full time effort, four resources later. The tender had a closed date (which we met) and it had a line that read “appointment of the successful candidate”. That was 2 months ago and still waiting. No return phone calls and no apologies for all the work, not to mention the intellectual property they have in their hot hands.

How is it that these guys can get away with this? Being in a small business is hard enough. Most agencies with 50 or less employees are probably capable of winning the tender, but are mistreated and abused when it comes to the process. So, I ask myself, who is looking over this process to ensure there is a protocol in place that becomes an industry standard. Who do we go to when we have spent time, money and resources to deliver an outstanding submission but we never hear from that client ever again? Or we find out that the successful candidate is the brother, sister or best friend of someone on the decision making panel. The list goes on and on.

I read in November’s edition of Ragtrader an article on The Homeworkers Code of Practise Committee, they are a union body which administers ‘No Sweat Shop’ accreditation system to ensure the industry is not abusing employees working from home. Why can’t we have a similar body overlooking the tender process? If there is one, can someone let me know.

I hope I sound pissed off! I am! Love to hear your thoughts and make some noise on this topic.