Inviting companies to tender for projects has become very popular with organisations. Companies will put a lot of work into specifying their needs in a tender pack and will request various details from production companies. Tender requests can include budgets, schedules, method statements and ideas.
In theory this sounds like a great way to choose a production partner as it forces companies to reveal costings at a very early stage and it also can show an organisation how a company works. Making the process quite transparent.
Organisations can also get ideas from tenderers without necessarily paying for them, although this in our opinion is not ethical but unfortunately happens quite often.
In our experience we have also noticed a downside to tender processes. Usually the company requesting the tender have bypassed the crucial, strategy process stage which they would usually have with a production company. This stage would encompass target market research and tailoring a concept to them that is unique. Often working with an outside entity to your business will breed better results as it will give a production company a real chance to get to know the business, they could have perspective that the organisation may have not thought about.
Tender processes often also are scored largely on pricing, and people involved in procuring are usually more price conscious than concept conscious. This is good to an extent but not to the detriment of quality, target audience wants and creativity.
Tender processes also create a little bit of a culture of box ticking from the production company in order to win the work. If questions are asked in tender processes then these questions also needs to be circulated with all competitors. This dissuades people from asking too many questions as many companies tendering want to try and keep their cards close to their chest. The effect this can have on a project is that it is not thoroughly spec'd out or queried. Especially if a video concept has been thought up by teams who are not creatives or storytellers.
In our opinion tender processes have there pro’s and con’s…some people love it and some people hate it. We recommend that if you are looking to do a video project get a few quotes and meet with three different companies. That way you can still gage pricing, ideas and method but at the same time you have the chance to be challenged for the greater good of your video project. There’s a lot to be said for meeting people and getting perspective from outside your organisation.
Feel free to get in touch and let us know if you agree or disagree. Tell us why you love tendering or why you loathe it via twitter @two_fresh