Terms & Acronyms

What Is a Tender in Procurement?

What is a tender in procurement?

New to the world of procurement and confused by the terminology? Don’t worry. In this article, we’re explaining the meaning of a core procurement term – the tender. Let’s dive in!


Tender meaning

In simple terms, a tender is a formal document that is used by organisations, both public and private, to invite suppliers to provide goods or services. It’s an invitation for interested parties to submit their bids, outlining how they can fulfil the required specifications, at a specified price or rate.

Tenders play a crucial role in procurement as they allow companies to find the best suppliers who can offer competitive prices and high-quality goods or services. By leveraging tenders, businesses can ensure a fair and transparent buying process, giving all suppliers an equal opportunity to win the contract.


The difference between tender and procurement

Tender and procurement are terms that are often used interchangeably. But there are some core differences.

A tender is a key component of the overall procurement process. It acts as a formal document that is used by organisations to invite suppliers to provide goods or services.

On the other hand, procurement refers to the entire process of acquiring goods or services, which includes activities such as sourcing suppliers, evaluating proposals, and negotiating contracts.

While tendering is a crucial step within the procurement process, it is important to note that procurement encompasses a broader scope of activities.


Types of tenders

There are many different types of tenders. Among the most common ones are Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Information (RFI) and Invitation to Tender (ITT). These are all tenders, but with slightly different focus and structure.


Key components of a tender

A tender typically consists of several important elements that provide clarity and structure to the procurement process. These components include:

  • Tender notice: A short description of the tender.
  • Tender documents: All detailed information on the project, needs, how to submit a proposal, evaluation criteria, etc.
  • Technical specifications: Specific requirements and standards that the goods or services must meet.
  • Eligibility criteria: Conditions that suppliers must fulfil to be eligible to submit a bid (e.g., qualifications, experience).
  • Evaluation criteria: Factors and methodology used to assess and compare submitted bids.
  • Terms and conditions: Delivery schedules, payment terms, and any specific contractual obligations.


Reading the tender documents and understanding these key aspects of a tender is vital for suppliers to effectively participate and create compelling proposals that align with the buyer’s needs. By having a clear understanding of these components, businesses can navigate the tendering process more efficiently and increase their chances of securing contracts.


Benefits of competitive tendering

Now that we have a basic understanding of what a tender is, let’s explore some of the benefits of competitive tendering:

  • Cost savings: Competitive tendering allows organisations to get the best price for their required goods or services. By inviting multiple suppliers to submit their proposals, companies can compare different offers and negotiate better deals.
  • Quality assurance: By inviting suppliers to demonstrate their ability to meet specific requirements, organisations can ensure that they choose a reliable and competent supplier. This helps in guaranteeing quality goods or services.
  • Transparency and fairness: Competitive tendering promotes transparency as it provides a level playing field for all suppliers involved. The process is based on objective evaluation criteria, ensuring fairness and equal opportunities.
  • Innovation and continuous improvement: Tendering encourages suppliers to propose innovative solutions and ideas to meet the buyer’s requirements. This leads to continuous improvement and fosters collaboration between suppliers and buyers.
  • Compliance: Tenders help organisations ensure compliance with various laws, regulations, and policies. By following a structured procurement process, companies can mitigate legal and financial risks.


Where do you find tenders?

If you want to start responding to tenders, you might be wondering how to actually find them. There are, in fact, several places where you can find them.

One common source is government websites, as public organisations often post their tenders there to ensure transparency and equal opportunity for suppliers. The European Union, for example, has its own database of tenders in the EU. Additionally, many private organisations also publish their tenders on their websites or on dedicated procurement portals. Business networks and associations can also provide information about upcoming tenders.

Many suppliers use tender monitoring services to avoid having to manually check many different sources. A tender monitoring service notifies you when a new tender in your search profile has been published. With Tendium’s smart monitoring tools, you can find more tender opportunities faster, so you can focus on writing a good tender response.



We hope you now have a clear understanding of what a tender is. Tenders are important and offer a fair and transparent way of selecting suppliers, ensuring cost savings, quality assurance, and compliance.

Here at Tendium, we strive to simplify the process of responding to tenders, making it accessible and efficient for suppliers of all sizes. Our platform is designed to save time, enhance the quality of proposals, and ultimately increase the success rate in winning tenders.

So, whether you are new to procurement or experienced in responding to tenders, embracing technology and leveraging AI can undoubtedly give you a competitive edge. Good luck!


Optimise your business with the public sector with the Tendium bidding platform. Forget expensive and inefficient bidding processes. Say hello to modern, transparent and AI-powered sales to the public sector. Welcome to the future.

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