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Tendering is not a new concept. Today, most tenders in India that are released are online tenders or e-tenders. Online tender submission procedure has made the procurement process more streamlined and efficient where you can access end-to-end tender details in one place. Moreover, e-tendering ensures that the work is delegated in a fair way.


While access to tender information is easy, the tender submission process comes with specific guidelines. Tenders must be submitted in a specific format, tender documents must be prepared as per specifications, tender fees and Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) must be paid – in short, the tender submission guidelines must be followed meticulously to increase chances of winning the tender.

In this article, we discuss the online tender filling process in detail, to help you fill and bid for government contracts with ease.

What are the types of e-tendering?

There are four main types of tenders: open tender, selective tender, negotiated tender, and serial tender. Let us discuss in brief each of the different e tenders to understand the tender submission process better.

  • Open Tendering: Commonly used by both government and private sectors, in this type of tendering, the buyer publishes this requirement along with scope of work, budget, eligibility, and so on to the market and anyone interested to bid for the tender can do so.
  • Selective tendering: In this kind of tendering, only a shortlisted group of people based on several eligibility factors are invited to bid for the tender. The aim of this type of tender is to improve the quality of bids and make the e-tendering process in India more manageable and less burdened.
  • Negotiation tendering: In negotiation tenders, the buyer invites a contractor of his choice to cite prices. This type of tender is more common in specialised work mostly in the engineering and construction industry.
  • Serial tender: This tendering process usually takes place in one or two stages and is more advanced and hybrid in nature where negotiation is involved along with the normal competitive tender.

What is the tendering process?

The tender process, also called the bidding process, is used to select the most suitable supplier at the best price and timelines.

It involves the preparation bidders have to make to write the bid proposal and submit it online, and the evaluation and selection process of the suitable winner. When it comes to the e-tendering process, the steps are carried out online (i.e., all tender information is available online, bidders have to submit the proposal online, and the tender results are shared online).

What are the steps in the e-tendering process?

The tender process involves a series of steps from its inception to the final awarding of the tender contract to the eligible tenderer. Every step has a defined procedure that you must be aware of to maximise your chances of winning the tender. Here are the steps in the online tender submission procedure.

7 steps in the e-tendering process
1. Determination of the tendering process
2. Preparation of Request for Tender
3. Invitation for tenders
4. Response from suppliers
5. Evaluation and Selection
6. Notification and Debriefing
7. Establishment and management of contracts

Let us understand each step of the online tendering process in detail.

1. Determination of the tendering process

At the initial step of the e tendering process, the organisation who plans to issue a tender will decide the type of tender to be floated – open, selective, etc. and the eligibility criteria to be asked for.  Tenders can be issued through the following means:

  • Request for proposal (RFP) – RFPs are used in cases in which the requirements are defined, however an innovative solution is sought.
  • Expressions of Interest (EOI)- This type of proposal is used to pick out potential suppliers before the detailed offers are sought.
  • Request for Information (RFI) – This is the initial planning stage and is useful to define the project.
  • Request for Quotation (RFQ) – This involves inviting quotes from businesses to supply a particular product or service.
  • Request for Tender (RFT) refers to the invitation by public advertisement for all suppliers to bid.

2. Preparation of Request for Tender

The tender request comprises the requirement for that tender and the way you should respond to the same. The candidate who fulfils most of the criteria wins the bid. While proposal documents may vary as per organisation, here are the common elements found in a tender document.

  • Detailed description of the products or services that needs to be supplied, its technical specifications, outcomes and deliverables.
  • Terms and conditions that will govern in order to qualify for the tender.
  • The criteria of evaluation that describes the evaluation and assessment process for tender selection.
  • Format for submission, templates to be used and presentation norms to be followed.
  • Timelines to be followed regarding the submission of tenders.

3. Invitation for tenders

The third step in the e tendering process begins when the tender is drafted and released for bidding. Once the tender is out, as a first step read the instructions for online bid submission and check for eligibility. Additionally, it helps if you find out organisations – be it government or private sector, beforehand who might need your products or services.

You can also make use of tender information service providers like Tata nexarc to keep track of the latest in the tender market. You can visit the section and get leads matching your business, from across Tata Group companies, government agencies, large corporates and other MSMEs.

4. Response from suppliers

How to write a tender submission is very crucial when you respond to an identified tender. Make sure you have all relevant documents for tender submission in hand.  At times, organisations conduct pre-tender briefing sessions. Make sure you attend the same and clear your doubts. Discuss well with your stakeholders when you plan and prepare your tender response. Ensure that you ready and submit the prepared response in the right format and on time. Since it is an e-tendering process, consider delays related to internet or network challenges and plan.

5. Evaluation and selection

Once the tender is submitted, each tender goes through a stringent checking process for compliance and evaluation. It is checked if it follows the terms and conditions, it is submitted on time, the required documents are in order and notarised, all mandatory requirements are met, etc. The tender that fulfils all criteria and gives the best offer is selected.

It is important to ensure that you follow all the instructions and supply complete details to increase the chances of winning the tender.

6. Notification and debriefing

Once the selection process is complete, and the winner of the contract is decided, the successful bidder will be informed via email of the outcome while the tenderers who failed to qualify are called for a debriefing interview.

7. Establishment and management of contracts

Once the winner of the tender is declared, a formal agreement between the successful bidder and the relevant agency is drawn up.

Once you have won the tender, the onus lies with you to manage the contract effectively and reach a successful completion of the project. This will help you to build trust and a long-lasting relationship with the organisation you are catering to.

Things to keep in mind while writing a tender
• Respond to all sections
• Proofread the tender response document
• Select your reference with care
• Meet the deadline

How should tender documents be submitted?

There are definite tender submission guidelines to be followed during online tender filling process. e-submission of the bids online through the eProcurement Portal involves the following steps:

  • Complete the Digital Signature Certficate enrollment process. This has to be done with the e-token obtained from authorised certifying authorities such as eMudhraCA/GNFC/IDRBT/MtnlTrustline/SafeScrpt/TCS.
  • Login into the portal using the user id / password chosen during enrollment.
  • Update documents such as certificates, purchase order details etc., under ‘My Documents’ section in advance and these can be selected as per tender requirements.
  • Ensure not to modify or replace the Bill of Quantity (BOQ) template and use the same to apply for the tender. You are allowed to enter the bidder’s name and values only.
  • Get clarifications on queries online through the eProcurement Portal.
  • Prepare the bid documents as indicated in the tender in PDF/XLS/RAR/DWF formats. You can scan the documents in 75-100 DPI for clarity and to enable easy uploading at low bandwidth.
  • Click on the ‘Freeze Bid Button’ to complete the bid submission process. Check for the successful bid updation summary with the bid no, date & time of submission of the bid and other relevant details. You can print the same for records.

To sum up: Getting started with e-tendering

In this competitive age, you will find that every tender in the market will have huge number of contenders. Therefore, it is essential to submit a winning tender application. This is only possible by following the correct online tender submission procedure that not just helps you to become the desired supplier but also helps in establishing a long-term relationship with the buyer.

To start bidding for online tenders get your business registered on the CPP portal and GeM portal, or a trusted tender website like Tata nexarc to get latest tender alerts for your business.

Pradeep h

Pradeep a SEO professional and passionate content writer who loves writing on various topics with 5 years of experience. At Tata nexarc, it has been 4 years since he is helping MSMEs to know the business challenges deeper and strategies to solve those. While not writing, he loves reading about digital marketing to hone his skills for business growth.