Digital advertising tenders: how to prepare to win

Forewarned – forearmed! Knowing the pitfalls in preparing and participating in a tender will give you an edge over your competitors. And vice versa: it would be worth missing a seemingly unimportant little thing – and you are already overboard at the stage of the qualifying stage.

As a specialist, I have been dealing with tenders in MediaGuru since 2008. During peak seasons – early spring and late autumn and December – the number of tenders in which our team takes part reaches 30–35 lots, sometimes even more. The winning percentage is on average 1.5-3%. It cannot be said that this is not enough, since the won tenders themselves are too different in terms of labor costs of project teams and difficulties in preparing and implementing the assigned tasks.

In this article, we will look at how to prepare for a tender. This can and should be done. At least because some of the required documents (most often accounting) are processed by the tax authorities longer than the time allotted for filing an application from participants.

What tenders are based on

If you decide to join the world of tenders, first of all, check out the two whales that hold it together:

  1. Government bidding / procurement: Federal Law (FZ) No. 44 “On the contract system in the procurement of goods, works, services to meet state and municipal needs.”

  2. Commercial procurement: Federal Law No. 223 “On the procurement of goods, works, services by certain types of legal entities.”

Now let’s move on to the standard list of actions that a company needs to take in order to be accepted as a bidder.

Find information on tenders

To prepare a dish, we need utensils. In tenders, these are sources, search engines and portals from which we will take information on tenders. What for?

Most often, companies place their purchases through a specific site that specializes in conducting tenders. Registration is required to view documents, budgets and contacts. Its stages:

  1. Come up with a username and password.

  2. Upload company data to your personal account and fill out the card.

  3. Check the correctness of the information entered.

Only after that you will have access to part of the procurement or demo version, in which, for example, you can watch 10 tenders for free.

To get more opportunities, you need to purchase access: choose a tariff and period, pay – and you can freely use the site.

This seemingly trifle takes from two to five days: registration, verification of documents by the site, payment and crediting of funds. And if you go for the weekend? Then the procedure can drag on for a week, and the potential participant can safely fly with the tender he liked.

Advice:

  1. Select a few sites in advance where you will track tenders and purchases. These can be Sberbank AST, Rostender, Goszakupki, Zakupki.ru.

  2. Download all relevant documents and data about your company.

  3. Pay the tariff for a long period, for example, one year. The longer it is, the lower the total price.

  4. Subscribe to topics of interest, for example, you can filter the tender by contextual, display or targeted advertising, as well as indicate the region and budget. Tender notifications will be sent regularly to the mail, so you won’t miss anything.

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Make an electronic digital signature

Many companies have abandoned the “print a document – sign and seal – scan – send a scan” scheme in favor of documents signed with an electronic digital signature. It’s fast and convenient, no photoshop for crooks and scammers, no heavy scans.

The cost of a digital signature varies between 1,500 and 10,000 rubles. Cheaper doesn’t mean better or worse. It all depends on the sites of use and the validity period: the more expensive an EDS, the more sites that accept it, and the longer its validity period.

EDS is done in one working day and is usually brought to the office free of charge. Make it for at least one year and keep in mind – the license can be installed on one or several computers.

Installing the drivers is simple: at startup, press the “next” button 10 times, then “done”. However, some companies do this for an additional fee.

To receive an EDS for participation in the auction, prepare a simple package of documents. The list depends on the organizational and legal form of the organization.

For LLC:

  • certificate of registration with the tax authority (TIN);

  • certificate of state registration of a legal entity (OGRN);

  • a copy of the document on the appointment of the head (decision, order);

  • passport of the owner of the certificate (photo and registration);

  • insurance certificate of state pension insurance (SNILS);

  • company card with details for invoicing.

For individual entrepreneurs:

  • certificate of registration with the tax authority (TIN);

  • certificate of state registration of an individual entrepreneur;

  • passport of the owner of the certificate (photo and registration);

  • insurance certificate of state pension insurance (SNILS);

  • partner card with billing details.

All documents should be submitted as color scans of originals in good quality.

Advice: while preparing documents for obtaining a signature, order immediately an extract from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities (EGRIP) at the tax office. You will definitely need this document when passing accreditation on trading platforms, and the period for its production is several days.

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Check out the types and types of tenders

This measure will save you from wasting your time. For example, one of the popular types of tender is a purchase from a single supplier, which does not imply the selection of another contractor. At the same time, the sending of applications and commercial proposals (KP) from participants is not prohibited. This type of tender is needed to formally renew the contract with the current contractor in the event that a company (usually a state-owned enterprise) purchases goods or provides services only through a tender.

In Russia, according to the legislation, from July 1, 2018, the following are carried out in electronic form:

  1. Open contests – for everyone to participate;

  2. Limited participation contests. To get to participate in the lot, you need to comply with the customer’s pre-selection requirements.

  3. Two-stage competitions. The tender takes place at least in two stages: first, the selection of participants, then the selection of a service provider or product.

  4. Electronic auctions involving participation through a specialized online platform.

  5. Quote requests. Often used in public procurement, it does not require participants to pay for the security of the application, that is, participation.

  6. Requests for proposals imply a free request for commercial settlements from companies, there are no strict rules for participation

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Determination of a supplier in a closed way can also be carried out in electronic form, but on specialized electronic platforms these are sites that are accessed through secure communication channels (this was discussed above).

Competitive procurement methods under 44-FZ are divided into open and closed.

The competition assumes that the customer will select a supplier not only by price, but also by their stated criteria: whoever offers the best conditions will win the competition.

The peculiarity of the competition with limited participation in accordance with 44-FZ is that the participants are prequalified. This is how companies are selected if their products or services are complex, innovative, and require special qualifications.

If among all the applicants who have submitted an application for participation, there is only one left, the auction will be declared invalid. They are closed, after which the whole procedure is repeated. If the selection is passed by several participants, the commission examines and evaluates each application, and the customer identifies the winner based on its ratings.

The next type of purchase is an auction. It is used by the customer if the main criterion for identifying the winner is the price of the auction object. The electronic auction is held on the ETP, it is provided by the site operator.

In my opinion, this is one of the most unfair types of tender. Prices are not always transparent, besides, it is not known what your competitor did not include in his amount, if only his offer would be visually more profitable than yours.

A notice of a request for proposals (today one of the most popular among commercial large companies) is placed in a single information system for an unlimited number of participants. The winner is the one whose proposal most closely matches the object of purchase.

Paid participation is also permissible (but not required): you pay the security of the application – a fixed percentage of the amount of the potential contract, which will be returned to you if you win the tender. So the customer weeds out a number of insolvent companies. As a result of the win, you need to pay the amount of the contract security – also a percentage, which is frozen for the duration of the entire contract as a guarantee of the correct fulfillment of obligations by the supplier. If you have fulfilled all your obligations in full, the customer returns this money in full.

The law provides for closed bidding in electronic form on special platforms and in “paper”. This is when you print all documents, sign, certify with the signature of the general director, take them to the tender commission with scans of everything specified, also on an electronic medium (flash drive or disk).

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Make a normal commercial offer

Your commercial proposal (KP) should be clear and understandable, ideally small. Imagine yourself in the place of the commission: there are many participants, everyone makes a presentation of 100+ pages. And you need to find the time and energy to look at all this, not to miss anything and make an adequate comparison in order to identify the winner or the one who will make it to the next qualifying stage.

Remember that a good CP should be short and concise – the brain catches and more often remembers the beginning and end of what it sees, so try to put the whole point at the beginning. Be sure to add a clear explanation of your quote and highlight your main competitive advantages.

Important nuances:

  1. The total amount of your calculations with VAT, commission for 12 months, etc. Often companies operating without VAT miss this moment and quietly keep silent about the real reason why their price is lower than competitors.

  2. Period… This item takes pride of place on the pedestal of mistakes. Example: The tender is for three months, and the contractor indicates the amount for one, probably thinking that the client will calculate the full cost himself, and everything will be fine. No, it won’t.

The organizers of tenders for the most part have learned how to correctly draw up the documentation for the tender assignment and indicate what and how should be included in the commercial proposal, and what – separately from the final cost. Your task is to carefully read and check (!) Your finished materials.

Tenders are like a season: there are high seasons, when there are many of them, and this leaves imprints on the usual work schedule and workload of project teams in the team. So if you decide to dive into the ocean of purchases and try your luck in this field, prepare in advance: both mentally and physically. A large number of calculations and CP must be done by someone. Deadlines are almost always limited, and you can’t be late – they will say goodbye to you.

Checklist for preparing for tenders

  1. Do yesterday what you can do yesterday! Prepare a set of documents and templates for them.

  2. Go through accreditation and buy a subscription at selected tender sites.

  3. Issue an EDS.

  4. Concentrate on the types of purchases that are close and affordable to you. A subscription will save you time looking for the option you want.

  5. Form a team of professionals who can quickly prepare calculations and quotations.

Remember – it is you who can become the winner in the most unexpected tender for you. Believe in yourself and get ready in advance, good luck in a difficult battle!

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