Tenders are generally open for 21 days – but do not assume

Tenders are generally open for   21 days - but do not assume

Suppliers or service providers generally have 21 days to respond to a tender. This is the result of recent analysis from our database of tenders over the past 30 months.  We have analysed the number of days between the publication date and the date when tender responses are due. This analysis was done from all the tender notifications distributed to all subscribers to MarketSqr’s Tender Notification Service.

Two thirds of tenders are open for between 11 and 30 days with 54% open for 14 to 28 days.  The diagram below demonstrates that.


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Out of more than 66 000 tenders the median (most common value) was 21 days meaning that this is the open duration most commonly found but this only represent 6.5% of all tenders published.  It does seem representative though since the average open duration was also 21.4 days.  Other popular durations are 28 days and 14 days.


Long Lead Times

There is a long tail of longer open durations stretching up to one year.  While less than 1% of tenders are open for longer than 60 days these seem to represent longer lead time Requests for Information or advanced notification of very large tenders to be published.  

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Short Lead Times  


Of concern was the 15% of tenders open for less than 10 days.  This would give suppliers very little time to collect documents and respond with meaningful bids.  While there are those tenders that are only open for a few days the general trend tends to be that these consist of 

  • Erratum’s published on existing tender notifications with new closing dates, briefing information or changes to scope/terms.
  • Requests for Quotation where a less formal process is followed and values are generally much lower.  The responses in these cases are also mostly price based.
  • Late publication of notifications:  Often procurement teams underestimate the lead time to get tenders published in a tender bulletin, newspaper or website and by the time the notices are finally published there are only a few days left for tenderers to respond.  These tenders are often postponed or cancelled and re-issued upon complaint by potential suppliers/service providers.

About the Research
Tender notifications published by MarketSqr over 30 months were analysed.  These tenders were issued in Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.)  All tenders are found in the public domain from tender bulletins, web sites and newspapers.  The bulk of the tenders are from the public sector in these countries but it also includes private sector tenders published in open media.
About MarketSqr Tender Notification Service

Subscribers get daily e-mail notifications for tenders in their line of business. MarketSqr consolidates tender notification information from tender portals, tender bulletins, newspapers and web sites every day. This information is then filtered and a summary is e-mailed to subscribers every morning. If subscribers follow a tender they are interested the important dates relating to the tender will be added to the subscriber’s Tender Calendar. Tenders can be accessed via the website or any mobile device.

Visit: MarketSqr Tender Notification Service

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