Posted on Leave a comment

How to effectively compare companies, products, services or even people.

Let’s consider the picture above for a brief moment. We know that each vehicle here is going to be a different make, model, specification and colour, but from our initial view point all we can see is a very similar array of vehicles. Asked to chose the best one for any particular purpose (other than maybe size), we are going to have to use guess work and it will be a lot more luck than judgement if we get it right.

The snow which so confuses the issue here is like a marketing campaign or a very good sales person; unless you get beneath the outer layer, you can only judge on what you see. We tend to view this as an issue in the world of procurement from a sense of buying poor goods or services from a very good sales force, but over the years we have found that increasingly it can translate as missing a superb offering because of an inexperienced way of selling.

Running full blown RFI’s will always get to the core of an offering and on a large spend or critical piece of outsourcing this has to be the way forward unless you have an intimate market knowledge. If you don’t and it’s a crowded market, the question is how do you devise your short-list first? For every tender you issue, someone is going to have to score it, and if you really want to be focussing your energies on evaluating the cream rather than working through the, well, not so creamy.

To that end, we at BDUK have always employed a short-listing comparison tool to whittle down the market to a more suitable and manageable number of companies to then approach.

Not only does this make our life’s simpler, but we have learnt the hard way that to run a short-list tender with the short-list leaves us wide open when a friend of the board has a company doing exactly what we are buying and we not only did not include them, but have nothing in the way of justification as to why.

Self preservation. It should be our company motto.

Posted on Leave a comment

Running a Website Tender – RFI, RFP, ITT

Have you run a website tender before? If not, here are some pointers to help. (NB – this is only for sub-OJEU level tenders – less than ~£140k [see OJEC]).

For sub £15k projects, you should find the supplier you like, and award the contract directly. For those between £15k and £100k, you should include 3-6 suppliers in a tender process.

Use reliable templates for your tender documents

We have a set of tried and tested website design tender templates here, which will help you through the process.

What is your website project? Define it!

Be sure your project is well defined – the features you want, target platforms (mobile, web,..), a design brief, start date, delivery date, guide budget, and include any support you are likely to need during the process.

Find some suitable suppliers…

Put together a list of 3rd party suppliers who are suitable. If you do not know any, you can find help from e.g. Business Link.

If you have too many, you can narrow the list down by using an RFI to screen for suitable suppliers – this is a document with a set of questions which probe whether suppliers could deliver your project to your satisfaction.

Send out a Website RFP (request for proposal)

Using an RFP template, send out your “Request for Proposal”. You then allow the group of suppliers to work on this proposal for at least a couple of weeks

Select your supplier, fairly

You will need to conduct a fair evaluation of each proposal, with scores, to assist you in making a fair and documented decision. Use a pre-agreed set of criteria (which should be lined up with the requirements you put in your RFP) to mark each supplier’s proposal. You should do this with at least 1 other person, so that you have another point of view, and so that you can mitigate any ommissions you may have made.

Website design tender template pack - RFI, RFP, ITT
The Website Design Tender template pack

Website Tender Templates

You can find a set of website design tender templates here – this includes RFI, RFP and Evaluation templates. If you need help with these, please contact us.

Posted on Leave a comment

How to run a Website Design Tender

Step-by-step Website Design Tender template: provides a formal invitation to tender & supplier selection approach, covering ITT, RFI, RFP.

Need to find a supplier to design and build your website?  How do you ensure that you get enough information up front to make the best choice?

Website design tender template pack - RFI, RFP, ITT

We’ve recently created a website design tender template pack to take the complication out of the process with a simple explanation for all of the acronyms.


What is an ITT (invitation to tender)? What is an RFI (request for information)? What is an RFP (request for proposal)?  The request for information and request for proposal templates set out all of the questions you need to ask a website agency or freelancer which you can tailor to suit your requirements.

When you’ve finally got a selection of interested parties, all ready to show off their prices and skills, how do you decide?  This is when an evaluation criteria template will come in handy – these are professional prompts to guide you to the best and fairest choice.

Download the Website Design Tender Template pack here.