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Invitation to Bid/Invitation for Bid (ITB/IFB) Guide

What Is An Invitation to Bid?

The procurement industry is flooded with acronyms that can quickly become confusing to distinguish – RFQ, RFP, RFx, and even, the ITB! While we provide an all inclusive RFP Industry Glossary, there is one that stands out against the rest – the Invitation to Bid (ITB or sometimes called the IFB – Invitation for Bid). As stated in the name, it is an invitation to bid for an upcoming project to receive a contract. That is, if you win the contract!

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How did I receive the ITB?

Good news! Your business has what a purchasing company wants. And, your business likely has great reviews and good standings in the marketplace. Did you request for an invitation to bid? Procurement teams from both the public and private sectors issue ITBs whenever they are in need of specific products or services. Just like the RFP, public agencies will post the ITB publicly, but will also invite specific vendors (or bidding companies) to bid for their contract. Private companies, on the other hand, have the option to reach out directly to vendors or post their ITB publicly for any company to bid on. This is just one of many ways public and private companies differ because of high-level laws imposed by the government onto public companies.

What should I do next?

What do I need to know before responding to ITBs?

IFB bids are, more often than not, issued for commodities – which means there are typically many suppliers, with little product differentiation. (Think paper products or office supplies.) Because the buyer has many suppliers or bidding companies to choose from, invitations to bid are mainly price-focused.

Furthermore, be mindful to:

  • Avoid quoting your very cheapest product. Buyers still want you to provide a quality product and expert-level service.
  • Have an understanding of the supplier and their procurement process. It is up to you to know exactly what is expected from you.
  • Treat ITBs with the same level of importance as you would any other contract. Start the response process early and ensure all deliverables are submitted by listed deadlines.

Help me build a response!

ITB Response Strategy Tips

As a vendor, you need to be strategic, price-sensitive and focused when building your bid. Contract terms can last up to multiple years without the option for renegotiation until the terms have expired. So, it helps to have some back-pocket tips to keep in mind when building your response:

  • Know your competitors. Complete a competitive analysis and understand who your top competitors are. Know their pricing, their strengths and weaknesses, and who their clients are. Then, evaluate where your company falls within these categories. If you know your competitors are requesting for an invitation to bid, you will need to be more strategic when competitively pricing your bid.
  • Evaluate the current economic environment. Especially for multi-year contracts, make sure you consider future price changes or possible economic events. Take into account fluctuations in commodity pricing or supplier hikes. Price smart, so you are not left with any negative margins later!
  • Keep your product/services current. Internally, your fixed and variable costs are also likely to fluctuate year over year. Your multi-year contract price should account for employee wages, utilities, depreciation, and other business expenses that go into your product/service price.
  • Need more tips on how to respond to an ITB? Check out What is an Invitation to Bid?

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How Do I Hire An ITB Writer

If your business provides a good or service that can be standardized and applicable to an ITB format, it could be very lucrative to incorporate these opportunities into your revenue growth strategy. Firms in construction, manufacturing and many other fields are well-placed for a robust ITB strategy by taking our bid experts’ advice.

The Bid Lab helps companies, like yours, perfect their ITB response to feel confident in their product and/or service offering. It does not matter if you are completely new to the process, or would like to stay current on best practices, our proven solutions are here to drive your business to success! So, reach out to us today and schedule a free consultation – it’s time to join your fellow bidding companies in winning lucrative contracts!

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Why Us

Positivity. Anyone can do the job. Only we do the job with the right attitude, even when deadlines are tight.

Flexibility. Every firm has its own way of doing things. Our RFP writers will work around your people, processes, and schedules.

Reliability. Our team has never missed a deadline, and we don’t plan on starting anytime soon.

Quality. Our 4-eye review process ensures that even the smallest of errors are caught before work is submitted.

Transparency. Have any questions during the process? Call us and we will share the status of your bid at any time.

Our Clients Love Our RFP Responses

We are absolutely committed to our clients, and strive to serve as an extension of their teams. We are more than consultants, we are partners. But, don’t just take our word for it. See what our clients have to say below!

”This was my first RFP and The Bid Lab went above and beyond for me. We got compliments from other departments on how well we did. Everyone walked out of this with a positive experience.”
-Becky Oswald

”When we won the first bid we ever did with them, I knew we made the right choice using The Bid Lab, and redoubled our investment to continuously bid on future proposals. Working with The Bid Lab is the gift that keeps on giving. And we continue to expand our business!”
-Cal Hutson
Quality Transcription Specialists

“The return exceeded the investment for sure and it is already paying dividends. We are enormously impressed with how you were able to customize your service to our needs.”
– Kevin Hayde

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