What the heck is the difference between a tender and a proposal?

The jargon used when responding to clients' requirements can be mind-boggling.

"Proposals", "tenders" and all the other related terminology are often used interchangeably by buyers and vendors alike. And yet, it's important to understand the difference so you're well-equipped to respond to exactly what the buyer wants, even if they can't define it themselves.

Both tenders and proposals are highly tailored to the buyer's needs. Both can be open, where anyone can apply, or by invitation only, where only vendors invited or those sitting on a panel can respond. Both often involve the input of staff sitting across the breadth of the vendor organisation(s).

A tender is a formal offer to supply goods and/or services in return for payment. A request for tender (RFT) is often issued by the government sector or the construction industry. Tender responses for the same goods and services are submitted by multiple vendors and evaluated against the buyer's mandatory selection criteria.

The buyer knows in detail what they want, and their RFT outlines the specifics for performing the work, plus the qualifications and requirements the vendor must meet.

A request for quotation (RFQ) is smaller in size and scope than an RFT and is used by buyers seeking pricing information for a defined piece of work or supply of materials.

The terms and conditions for both RFTs and RFQs are well laid out.

A proposal is less specific than a tender. The buyer hasn't defined the scope of work in detail. They define what they want to achieve in a request for proposal (RFP) but are relying on the expertise, creativity and innovation of the vendor. The vendor proposes a way of achieving the buyer's desired outcome.

A proposal identifies the problem or business opportunity, defines the solution and how it will work (methodology and project plan), pricing, organisation details and credentials.

A buyer issues a request for information (RFI) when they think they know what they want, but need more information from vendors. An RFI will often be followed by an RFP or RFT.

The person writing the proposal or tender response will pull together pre-existing information and also create custom content tailored to the buyer's needs. Whether to call yourself a proposal or tender writer will depend on the type of response documents you generally write. Again, this terminology is often used interchangeably. I'm still unsure what to call myself as I work on all types of responses. Bid writer, proposal writer, tender writer? Comment below if you have a suggestion.

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PBS 40th Anniversary Book

PBS is turning 40!

For the past two years, I've been involved in a project to put together a book to commemorate PBS 106.7FM's 40th anniversary since they commenced licensed broadcasting. The book is due for release in November 2019, and you can pre-order your copy here.

We've applied for grants to fund the book's production, written text, and reached out to the PBS community to gather photos, posters, anecdotes etc. Much of this memorabilia is rare and previously unseen. This book will be a historical document chronicling PBS' significant contribution to the Melbourne music scene, so I'm super proud to be involved in its creation and to have met so many amazing people who have been involved with PBS over the past 40+ years.

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How to Save Money Like a Minimalist Tag

I'm trying to save, to spend less on things I don't need and to live simply. Here are my answers to the How to Save Money Like a Minimalist Tag!

What are the most important frugal things you do every day to save money?

Bring a homemade lunch into work and don't buy a coffee every single morning. Instead, I make coffee at tea in the office and have a cafe coffee once a week as a treat. Every time I'm about to buy something, ask myself if I really need it. If I don't, I don't buy it.

What is your best strategy for saving on utilities?

Utilities are a total rip off in Australia, especially electricity! My usage is low but the bills are still extortionate. The few things I can do to minimise them are:

  • Restrict usage. E.g. in winter I only turn on my heater after 5:30 pm, use candles instead of lights, never use the dryer.
  • Shop around, ask your provider for a better deal. Maybe you can get an early bird payment discount. Leave if they can't help and you find a better deal.

What is your best tip to save on food and household products?

Eat at home instead of eating out - that's where you'll make the biggest saving. Or if you do go out for a treat, don't drink alcohol or have just get one drink. Try to get some supermarket vouchers from rewards programs. Check the price per unit - all supermarkets should display this. Only buy the essentials.

What is your best tip to save on clothes?

I don't really buy clothes as I already have plenty and don't need to have the latest season's. Only buy essential items you need. Try op shops. Consider a capsule wardrobe, although that's not for me as I like lots of different colours.

What is your best strategy to stay out of debt or pay it down?

Don't spend more than you earn. It's quite simple really. Save an emergency fund. Make regular payments on any debt and try to pay more than the minimum.

Share one thing you do to save money that other people don’t know.

Every time I'm rewarded with a voucher (like at work or through a health & wellness program I'm in) I convert it to a supermarket voucher rather than one for a retail store. Then I don't need to pay for groceries.

How important is it for you to save money?

I want to rely only on myself when it comes to money: not family or friends or insurance. I make sure I have at all times a lump sum saved so I can pay for emergencies, travel and enjoy a break from work. If the lump sum gets low I get a job and save until it's replenished.

Found this tag on the Dollar Dude's YouTube channel here.

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The Postcard Project

I just chucked forty-odd years of Christmas and birthday cards in the recycling. Some had lovely messages written on them. Some were written by people who have passed away or drifted out of my life. So many memories. But I haven’t read any of them since they were given to me. And they’re clutter. So they had to go.

My postcards will go the same way too, but I thought I’d digitise them. So I’m working my way through a pile of cards sent to me by family and friends in the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s. After social media I got fewer postcards.

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