In October 2022 I joined the Complete Tenders team as a Bid Coordinator having sold an installation business I co-owned.
One of the terms you will always see is a request for an SQ to be completed. Fortunately, I was familiar with the word SQ when starting with Complete Tenders as I had completed these many times myself in my previous role. I always request to do these for Complete Tenders as I love an SQ but not everyone does.
The tender process can be a daunting world full of acronyms and jargon which makes it difficult and confusing to understand before you have even started so let me tell you a bit more.
What is an SQ?
An SQ is short for Supplier Questionnaire and it can either be combined with the Invitation to Tender (ITT) in a single process with one submission date or can be in two separate stages where you need to pass the SQ stage to get through to the ITT stage.
This is the first opportunity for the buyer to see that you meet the baseline criteria when submitting a bid. Every SQ will vary depending on what the buyer is requesting. Generally, it will ask you to confirm your company information, confirmation of compliance and an opportunity to declare any criminal convictions. When the tender is split into two stages, the first stage of a tender bid may go on to ask method statement questions too.
Is an SQ important?
Yes! As the first opportunity for you to represent your company to the buyer, it is essential that this is completed correctly. It serves as an initial assessment tool for the buyer to gauge your suitability for the contract and helps filter out suppliers who do not meet the necessary qualifications. This helps streamline the evaluation process and ensures that only qualified and capable suppliers progress to the next stage of the tender.
You could fail if you don’t answer these questions correctly stopping you in your tracks before you even get the opportunity to get into the details of your bid. I have heard of this many times when engaging with companies who have previously submitted their own SQs before seeking support from us.
Responding to the SQ
Completing the SQ though is not enough, you must ensure that it is error-free and there are no inconsistencies in your responses. Such problems can also result in disqualification from the tender process.
If you are looking to write your own SW, It is vital to thoroughly review and verify all information provided in the questionnaire, ensuring that it is accurate, up-to-date, and aligned with the buyer's requirements. Completing an SQ requires time and effort to gather the necessary information so ensure you allocate sufficient time to complete the questionnaire to the best of your showing your business in the best possible light.
If you need help with your tender response, whether that’s the Supplier Questionnaire or the complete Invitation to Tender, get in touch. Our team of experienced tender writers are on hand to support you in preparing a winning bid!