I was recently reminded of experience a while back where a big corp's internal governance required for potential supplier events upon upcoming issuing of a tender.

You may have been to the type of gathering. Typically at RFP/ITT (sometimes RFI too, but likely not RFQ) stage. All those who may have an interest in bidding rounded up for an introductory, explanatory session. Where purchaser outlines what they're after.

In my cubrep days three decades back, the seasoned pros on my team had learned not to attend such jamborees. They'd discovered that if the invite was the first they'd heard of the procurement, they were unlikely to prevail. There's always a supplier somewhere that's shaped the spec already.

Interestingly, it turned out that most buyers had cooled on the format too. They'd become averse to preparing and hosting such. As all that ended up happening was each vendor would insist on a private meeting after anyway, regardless.

It does make you wonder - even if now at least a portion of these 'pre-market', 'tender' events can be webinars - if anyone serious about true process attends them when they've not helped set some meaty groundrules ahead of time.

I've long held a guiding principle. No influence on the tender, no bid.

Sure, there may well be a certain type of project where a formal procedure is mandated. Perhaps we've all been seduced at one time or another by the 'three quotes', 'price reduction lever', 'open procedure' crowd. And left disappointed.

Where you have indeed primed the need, you must attend. And I've long advised creating the right amount of theatre around your participation. Aimed at cloaking your position, setting traps for competitors and even perhaps enlisting the ethical connivance of assessors where they see value in cards held close to chests.

If you've a relatively new shiny ware, then such stipulations can often be willingly circumvented. Likewise, when the buyer's maybe under a degree of urgency pressure. Maybe even (!) if you attended the wedding of the doc collator.

In any case, whilst there could still be perils, your best bet remains, 'trigger the project, own the bid'. Anything else is to choke your productivity.

Part of your process yet?

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