Competitive bidding is a process of issuing a public bid with the intent that companies will put together their best proposal and compete for a specific project. By law, this process is required for every government agency that issues a bid. Competitive bidding creates a transparent environment that is open and fair. This essentially means that any company, regardless of their company size, annual revenue or other similar factors, will be welcomed to the bidding process and will be given a fair chance as the rest of the competition.
Competitive bidding is something that is not only beneficial to the companies competing for the project, but also for the government agencies issuing the project. By making it a competitive environment, agencies are able to keep costs low and garner the most qualified companies to do the work. Often times, government agencies will set up the bidding process as a reverse auction, in which the roles of the buyer and seller are reversed. A reverse auction means that the bidding will start at an exact figure and will drop based on the submissions that are received. This process will continue until the open bidding period expires. The company with the best offer and/or price wins the contract to perform the work and/or supply the products.
The closing date for a bid is a specific date (and usually a specific time) when the bid is closed to the public for bid submissions. At this point, only the submitted proposals will be considered eligible. A closing date is an important part of a bid process because it establishes a level playing field for contractors to write and submit their best proposal for the project at hand. It is also an important thing to establish from the get-go because most (if not all) contracts have a specific start date and a time frame for the completion of the project. This ensures that the work will be completed in a timely manner.
As many contractors are aware, the closing date for each bid will vary greatly from project to project. Bids can be open for submission anywhere between one and two days to months. If a contract has a short turn-around date, chances are the agency is in urgent need of the products or services. Often times these contracts will be labeled "Emergency Contracts" or the agency will indicate that it has a short turn-around. Typically, though, contracts will be open for at least a week. FindRFP has a 24 hour turn-around time, which essentially means that any bids that are issued today will be sent to you via email tomorrow morning. The 24 hour turn-around time ensures that FindRFP will get you the most complete, accurate and timely RFP's possible.
Also included within bids are due dates for other various things, such as bidder questions, statements of interest, and bidder's conferences. Please pay close attention to the closing dates to ensure your well crafted proposals do not get dismissed.