Guide for suppliers – Government GeBIZ vs Private Platforms (Part 1)



Being a supplier in Singapore is very challenging but also very rewarding. The climate for business to prosper in Singapore is very favorable, with many opportunities around.  One of the major ways businesses can find clients is via government procurement or private requests for quotations.

Over a two-part series, we will explore the various opportunities available for suppliers in both the public and private sector. We have created a supplier guide that will help with your search for more clients because we feel that finding clients is hard enough if you are a private supplier. Here at ThunderQuote we are trying our best to ensure you get the best supplier guide out there to get more clients!

For the first part, we will be dealing with the opportunity of government procurement.

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1.     Limited Type of Government Procurement

The Singaporean Government has many available tenders for businesses in Singapore. However, Business owners should take note that the bulk of government tenders are for construction services. Therefore, business owners who are in the construction industry are more likely to benefit from government tenders. While there are different services that the government requires like IT/ Printing services, there are not as many of these tenders as construction tenders. This would mean that business owners who set out to do things not related to construction might have a harder time trying to procure funds and tenders. This might be a problem in the long run when you’re finding for more clients.

2.     Government Tender Procedures

Government tender platforms like GeBIZ was created to have 3 key aspects; Open and Fair Competitions, Transparency and Value for Money. These 3 aspects definitely seek to level the playing field and help SMEs increase their business operations and allow them to find more clients. However, on GeBIZ, some of the tenders are still only for limited quotations or selective tenders. This means that the government only invites a limited number of suppliers for certain tenders. Most of these tenders that are by invite only are very profitable with an EPV value above $70000. This deters up and coming businesses from gaining such contract as they do not have a working relationship with the government from the beginning. It means that if you don’t have a certain criteria, you would be shunned away from being able to find more clients. This will then become detrimental to companies that are not as successful or d not meet the government’s credentials. Private suppliers might realise that this will soon turn into an existing problem that needs to be solved as fast as possible.

3.     Tedious Terms and Conditions in Tenders

Being a government platform, the tenders are relatively comprehensive, however, they can create unnecessary complication in procurement processes. Below are some examples.

These terms are common in many government tenders. Some of the terms can create liability for potential suppliers.

An example is the term “Government may reserve the rights to award in parts”. This means that the government can break the tender into parts and award different parts to vendors. So while the vendor is worth $100000, it could be broken down into 4 $25k small projects to 4 different vendors. Vendors will be unable to gain the whole value of a tender. It is common to see such quotations for tenders with high EPV. However, it is also placed in simple tenders which are below $10000 in EPV. These contract terms will delay the process of procurement, and may stifle your business as a supplier.

In the second part of the series, we will cover private tender platforms (ie. private versions of GeBIZ) which are much more convenient for suppliers to use.

ThunderQuote is the “Gebiz for businesses” and most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

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