The truth is, it’s a bit like the beginning of any relationship. We’re both excited about the possibilities, but we want to make sure we’re compatible. Do we both have the same interests? Are we realistic about where this relationship is going? Are we both ready to share the remote control during those long strategy sessions? 

Truth is, the tender process is way more than just paperwork. It’s about making connections that work and last. And guess what? We’re pretty darn good at it. 

And lucky you, we’re about to share some trade secrets (sort of). This isn’t just about impressing us at Fusion5 — though we won’t lie, that’s a great start — it’s about mastering the art of the tender with anyone and for any project. We're pulling back the curtain to offer you insider tips on how to craft a tender that not only ticks all the boxes but turns heads and wins hearts.  

Let’s dive in. 

Key criteria for a successful tender

Hey, look, just like you, want to start this relationship on the right foot  — there’s a lot on the line here, and we want to make sure we do right by you. So when your tender lands on our desks, it's not just about ticking boxes. We're looking for things that suggest our futures could be better together than apart. Here’s what you should consider when writing your tender submission: 


1. Is it fit for purpose?

First up, your tender submission hits the inbox of our Bid Management desk. Our Solution Architects will then dive in to see how well your ideas align with our strategic wheelhouse. Think of us as a dance partner — does your proposal demonstrate a clear understanding of the dances we are known to do? In essence, will our solutions meet your needs?


What Fusion5 looks for:

  • Perfect match: We check how well your needs line up with what we offer. But it’s more than just matching — it’s about making sure our solutions can genuinely enhance what you're trying to achieve. 
  • Finding and fixing gaps: We’re looking for any gaps between what you need and what we can provide. We’ll look for innovative solutions from Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) or custom extensions to not just fill those gaps, but enhance the overall functionality. 


Actionable tips:

  • Describe what you need as clearly and fully as you can. The clearer you are, the better we can find and fit the right solutions. 
  • Let us know where you’ve felt other solutions have missed the mark. This helps us focus on what enhancements or custom work might be needed. 

2. How much do we know about this opportunity?

Once your tender submission catches our eye, the next step is understanding the why behind your request. Think of this as learning your backstory, and why you think it’s time to shake things up. 


What Fusion5 looks for:

  • Understanding the need: We’ll explore why you're considering replacing your current systems. What are the main challenges you're facing, and what triggered your decision to seek a new solution now? 
  • Assessing the transition: Are you in the middle of a digital transformation, or adjusting the scale of your operations to better fit your business needs? 


Actionable tips:

  • Explain your reasons for change as transparently as possible. The more we understand your pain points and triggers, the better we can align our proposal to meet your real needs. If you’re not 100% clear on your ‘why’, this article from Fusion5 Solution Strategist, Diego Segreto, could help! 
  • Be clear about your current systems and the specific improvements you're seeking. Whether it's about upgrading for efficiency, cost-saving, or enhanced functionality, knowing the specifics helps us propose the most effective solutions. 


Key dates and compliance:

  • Timeline sensitivity: Let us know your critical timelines, such as desired go-live dates or any significant events driving these dates. 
  • Flexibility and feasibility: If your timelines are tight, we need you to communicate this upfront so we can assess whether they're flexible or set in stone. If we can't meet your specific timeline due to resource availability, we'll be upfront about it. 

Interested to find out how we could help your business achieve its potential?

Let's talk

3. Are the terms of engagement fair?

When reviewing your tender, we’ll focus on the terms of engagement to make sure they are fair and workable for both parties. In essence, we want to identify any terms that could restrict our mutual success and address these upfront. 


What Fusion5 looks for:

  • Feasible Contractual Terms: We’ll examine the professional services contractual terms you’ve proposed, looking for anything that may not align with our operational policies or capabilities.


Actionable tips:

  • Clearly specify any non-negotiable terms in your tender. This clarity helps us quickly understand whether we can meet these terms.
  • Consider flexibility where possible. Rigid terms that are out of the ordinary might prevent a successful partnership, but being open to negotiation can lead to agreements that benefit both sides.

4. Is this a level playing field?

We get it — competition is part of the game. But as we look over your tender, we're checking to see if everyone has a fair shot. Is the tender written in a way that seems to favour a particular vendor? Or does it give all of us a fair chance?


What Fusion5 looks for:

  • Vendor neutrality: We’re on the lookout for any signs that the tender might lean too heavily towards a vendor known for specific features. 
  • Market signals: We’ll look at any market intelligence that hints at a preferred vendor or a decision already in motion. 


Actionable tips:

  • Write your tender with neutral wording. It helps all vendors feel welcome to give their best pitch. 
  • Being upfront about your decision-making process really helps. If you’re leaning towards someone or just ticking boxes for due diligence, let’s keep it transparent. It saves time and effort all around. 

We're all for a fair competition. It brings out the best proposals and ensures you get top-notch solutions that meet your needs. 

5. What's the risk profile?

Finally, we’ll assess the overall risk involved in your tender. This might include considerations like adopting new modules or solutions that we haven't worked with before. 


What Fusion5 looks for:

  • New technologies: We’ll carefully consider how using new technologies might impact our ability to deliver top-notch work. 
  • Limited interaction: We understand that sometimes the tender process is “tender only by document”, but this can make it harder for us to fully understand what you need, which increases the risk. 


Actionable tips:

  • Give us lots of details about what systems you use and what changes you’re planning. The more we know, the better we can handle any risks. 
  • Let us know if there’s any way we can have even a little conversation within the tender rules. Every bit of communication helps us both. 

We take these steps to make sure that joining your tender makes sense for both of us. This careful approach helps us commit to projects where we can truly add value and meet your expectations fully. 

Interested to find out how we could help your business achieve its potential?

Let's talk

Cherries on top

While the core elements of your tender are crucial, there are some additional factors that, although not strictly necessary, can really light our fire. These "cherries on top" show us not just that we can fulfill your needs, but that the partnership could be something extraordinary.

  • Cultural fit
    Just like in any good relationship, compatibility is key. We like to know that our company cultures would mesh well during those long strategy sessions and beyond. Are you flexible, collaborative, and open to change? We really do thrive on joint effort, so we are always on the lookout for partners who aren't just looking for a project, but a true partnership.
  • Relationship fit
    We value both existing relations and relationships that have been nurtured over time. Have we been building a connection with your organisation? Maybe you perfectly fit the profile of the partners we're eager to work with, or perhaps we've had successful engagements with your peers. Do we share any common links in your organisation who have previously worked with us, or do your board members know one of our current partners? These connections might not be essential, but they spark our enthusiasm for what we could achieve together.
  • Innovation fit
    Think of your proposal as bringing a unique dish to a potluck — something that not only stands out but also introduces a new flavour to the feast. We love it when your innovative ideas or solutions add something completely new to our table. This isn’t just about improving existing processes — it's about creating a brand new success story, perhaps even breaking into a new sector or transforming the way things are done.

Let's make it happen together

We hope this peek behind the curtain has given you a clearer picture of how we handle tenders at Fusion5. Remember, it's not just about filling out forms and ticking boxes. It's about building relationships, sparking innovations, and creating success stories together.

If you have any questions about the tender process or if you’re ready to start a conversation about how we can work together, don’t hesitate to reach out. We're here to make the tender journey as smooth and successful as possible, so let's team up to turn your project into our next great collaboration. 

Thanks to Lisa Nicks, GM Sales, for her contribution to this article. 


Great outcomes start with great conversations


Great outcomes start with great conversations

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