According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in the financial year 2020-2021, there were 84054 contracts published on the Australian government procurement contracts site, with a combined value of $ 69.8 billion. The ratio of the procurement contract value was $ 44,102 million for services and $ 25,692 million for goods in 2020-2021. This data shows us the sheer competition in Australia’s tender market. The same data states that the Australian companies that won the tender contracts had one common characteristic, that is, well-audited processes. This is where the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) helps Australian companies gain a competitive edge.
Unfortunately, contractors face recurrent issues in procurement. Every purchase is infused with countless risks. There are issues related to the reliability of the supplier, quality of the goods/services, cost and delivery. Moreover, one of the significant issues in procurement is that the goods may not be an exact fit to the customer’s expectations.
Preponderances of ISO certification for tender contracts in Australia
The ISO standards provide a framework for organisations to make their operations more structured and systematic. Additionally, ISO recommends that companies conduct regular assessments to ensure that their quality policies are effective. Hence, the contractors are reassured about the applicant’s consistent quality of goods, services or systems. The other benefits of ISO certification for tender contracts in Australia are better credibility and transparency. The tendering process in Australia begins with finding tender opportunities, submitting a tender request, and publishing on AusTender after a successful application. Having an ISO certification is almost always a prerequisite when tendering for private and government organisation contracts. Companies need to show their ISO certification when submitting a tender request. In recent years, there is a greater emergence of tenders requiring ISO 45001 and ISO 9001 certifications.
Obstacles related to tendering in Australia
A tender can be defined as the communication through which an organisation releases its requirements for goods or services in a project. A simpler definition is that a tender is a process through which applicants can place a bid for a construction project, supply of goods or even provision of services. The goal of tendering is mostly to understand the supplier market’s characteristics.
Benefits of ISO certification for tender contracts
When contractors are selecting an applicant for their tender, they wish to select someone whose processes are structured and systematic. The advantage of an organised process map is that it prevents wastage of resources and promises timely delivery. ISO provides a framework of guidance that enhances the efficiency of processes. Coming across a bid from an ISO-certified company implies that the processes are at par with national, international and industry standards.
Similarly, quality is a repeating concern for contractors as many variables can positively or negatively impact the quality of products or services. Here, ISO 9001 helps companies maintain consistency in their quality; That’s because ISO 9001 requirements is very important. Using the four key areas of product realisation, resource management, management responsibility and improvement, ISO 9001 can deliver unique performance metrics that help in quality control. Quality control is also maintained through the six mandatory quality procedures.
How can i get tender contracts with ISO certifications for a company
Companies are asked to control the documents, examine the records, conduct internal audits, apply corrective actions, experiment with preventive actions and address non-conforming products. Another advantage of these mandatory steps is that the feedback of the customers can be incorporated into the processes. This allows companies to create products that fit appropriately with the customer’s demands. Hence, when a company is ISO 9001 certified, a contractor is well assured about its ability to deliver high-quality goods or services that fit the customer’s needs.
Moreover, the lean processes suggested in ISO recommendations reduce cost, minimise waste, and ensure better scheduling. As a result, contractors know that an applicant with ISO certification will be able to deliver services or products promptly at reduced costs.
Submitting ISO certification for tender contracts in Australia
In Australia, many suppliers asked for ISO certification in their Pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ), especially for construction contracts. The purpose of utilising a PQQ is that it helps suppliers shortlist the tenders that need to be invited by asking potential tenders to highlight their experience, financial standing and capacity. Having an ISO certification helps to clear the entry barrier. Moreover, organisations can utilise the recommendations stipulated in the ISO as a framework to answer the questions in the PQQ. For example, many PQQ ask companies to outline their health and safety policies. Being ISO 45001 certified would allow companies to talk about their preventive risk and hazard assessment processes. Similarly, PQQ may ask organisations to outline their quality assurance policies, and an ISO 9001-certified company can discuss its quality management system. In the same vein, if the PQQ asks companies to talk about their environmental management policies, an ISO 14001- the certified company would be able to demonstrate its superior environmental performance by highlighting its efficient usage of resources and a drastic reduction in wastage.
This is why, many companies, especially construction companies, acquire ISO certification in different aspects of their processes to demonstrate their encompassing nature.
Benefits of ISO certification for construction companies
When talking about industries that benefit from multiple ISO certifications, especially when attempting to win tenders, construction companies top the charts. This is because the construction company is filled with many variables. The ISO standards help to codify technical requirements and international best practices. As a result, climate, demographic, and social changes are accounted for, ensuring that the buildings or other structures are safe and functional.
From a contractor’s perspective, an ISO-certified company implies that it utilises the best practice test methods, harmonised technology and efficient processes that are constantly reviewed and improved. Moreover, contractors are assured that ISO-certified companies have a technical basis for regulation and construction by international regulations. ISO has over 1100 certifications related to buildings and construction, with many more being developed. The certification covers many topics such as structures, masonry, building materials, information management, energy performance, lifts and escalators, fire safety and firefighting, heating, cooling and lighting, concrete, timber and design life.
In closing, ISO certification is helpful for construction companies to win tenders as it ensures that there is improved safety, sustainability and durability in construction.