Site Visits – What Are They and How Can I Benefit?

30th January 2019

What is a Site Visit?

Last updated: Jun 7, 2022 @ 3:56 pm

Site visits are a component of the tendering process. They involve visiting the site where you are hoping to deploy your services, for the purposes of gaining in-depth information.

Are site visits common?

Within certain sectors, yes. Site Visits are not a universal aspect of tendering. You may find on one tender that it is compulsory to attend a site visit, for another that it is optional and for another, it is not offered as a possibility. This is yet another reason for reading the tender documents thoroughly. Not all tender documents are laid out in the same way. The information pertaining to potential site visits could be buried in an unlikely section of your documents.

Why do we need site visits?

Depending on the sector that you are tendering within, site visits may or may not be integral. If you work in Construction, Energy, Facilities Management or similar, then site visits are incredibly important for the following reasons:

Information gains

  • Site visits pose a valuable source of information that you may not get from the tender documents.
  • They present an opportunity to get detailed information from people who are knowledgeable about the site.

Accurate pricing

  • If you are required to submit a pricing document, site visits give you the chance to gain meaningful information that you would never be able to glean from just the tender documents or internet searches. This will allow you to produce a realistic pricing strategy, preventing you from erroneously pricing too high or too low.

Better quality responses

  • Site visits are invaluable for gathering details that will strengthen your quality responses, especially those that focus on Health & Safety, Contract Implementation and Risk Assessment & Mitigation.
  • You can clarify any doubts that you may have about the information provided in the tender documents. This will again help you in your journey towards the completion of a detailed, competitive tender submission.

Site visit outcomes

There are several things that can happen as a result of a successful Site Visit.

  • You could simply come away with more information to include in your tender submission, which is always a fantastic result.
  • You may find that the tender deadline is extended if enough doubts, queries or clarifications are raised during the visit that causes the Buyer to consider releasing updated tender information.

How do I make the most out of my site visit?

Fortune favours the prepared. Before you go on your site visit, make sure you have covered the following points:

  • Know as much about the Buyer as you can before you go. This will mean that you don’t waste valuable time asking questions that you could already know the answers to.
  • Make a list of all the information you need to learn and take it with you. You might be confident that you have enough information about H&S requirements, but that you need a lot more information to help with pricing.
  • Be confident and ask questions, even if you think the answer is probably obvious. Showing engagement throughout the site visit will stand you in good stead if you end up making it through to a Presentation Stage.
  • Look for visual clues. You will be able to tell a lot about the Buyer and their work culture, especially regarding everyday H&S matters. This information could help you write a tender that emphasises areas you realised are more important to the buyer than others.

In conclusion

If you are hoping to supply a service that is deployed on a buyer’s site, then site visits are an unmissable opportunity to gain detailed, relevant information that could give your tender the defining edge. Don’t see them as an exercise in futility, but an opportunity to gain the upper hand over your fellow tenderers. If you ask smart questions, pay attention to the environment and embed as much of the information gained into your submission as possible, you will find that the quality of your tender submissions can grow exponentially. Partaking in a site visit can help you write a winning bid when tendering for contracts.

For more information or help with tender writing, please contact our Bid Writers and bid management consultants.

To find tender opportunities in your industry see our sector-specific tendering portals HERE.

Are you looking to learn more about tendering and procurement? See Tender VLE for our free, online, masterclasses.

Find more helpful tips and advice in our blogs. We cover topics including:

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