Invitation to tender Vs. Call for tender

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Marcewa, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. Marcewa Senior Member

    Brussels
    France / French
    Hi,

    What is the difference between "Invitation to tender" and "Call for tender" ?

    Thanks a lot.

    Marc.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2011
  2. vanes Member

    Dijon
    English
    Hi
    I understand the two sentences to mean roughly the same thing. Invitation to tender seems like a tentative attempt to attract bidders, whilst call for tender seems more insistent and might refer to a letter sent directly to potential bidders.
     
  3. Marcewa Senior Member

    Brussels
    France / French
    Thank you Vanes! It helps!
     
  4. clairet

    clairet Senior Member

    London & Bordeaux
    England & English (UK version)
    I agree they are pretty much the same thing - but their actual use may vary. I have seen the "call" and the "invitation" used in exactly the opposite way to what you have seen (i.e. call is general, invitation is to selected responders to the call).
     
  5. gibs Member

    french
    and is there a difference between "call for tender", "call for proposals" and "tenders"?

    thanks a lot for your lights!
     
  6. clairet

    clairet Senior Member

    London & Bordeaux
    England & English (UK version)
    As the previous discussion notes, use of these terms can be rather loose. I can only tell you what I would have understood in my old job as someone responsible for responding to these things (of course, you've usually got much more to go on than the simple terms - there should always be some documentation saying how your response is going to be treated, which should make things clear). However, in my experience, a "call for proposals" is probably only a loose way of describing a call for tenders; it's just possible it's a preliminary stage, without costings, seeking ideas for a project. A call for tenders is a call for costed proposals in response to a precise specification (though your own additional, costed ideas are usually welcomed). A tender is what I've just described.
     
  7. gibs Member

    french
    it helps, thank you!
     
  8. Notafrog Member

    España (Catalunya)
    English UK
    I've translated a lot of these. A Call for Tenders (<< --->>) is an announcement published in the press or any other medium to determine potential bidders. An Invitation to Tender (<< --->>) is a direct invitation to a company to submit a full tender in compliance with specifications, usually following a reply to a Call for Tenders.
    This of course roughly confirms what everyone else has said.

    Moderator note: Second language removed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2011
  9. ladybugEnglishFan Senior Member

    Polish
    Do "make a call for tenders for the product", "put out a tender" and "invite to make a tender" mean all that a purchaser wants to find a salesperson who would supply him?
    One more thing- Can I just say " The purchaser made a tender" to simplify the sentence but only if it's correct?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  10. clairet

    clairet Senior Member

    London & Bordeaux
    England & English (UK version)
    Asking for tenders with any of the phrases you mention means that the asker is seeking bids from suppliers to provide something that the asker has specified. It is a supplier, not a purchaser, who makes a tender.
     
  11. Lester New Member

    USA Latino English/Spanish
    I agree with all the explanations given below for calls for or invitations to tender. I'll just add another form, namely Request for Proposals (RFP) which I have found on a number of occasions and which roughly corresponds to Appel d'offres. Check Google for examples.
     
  12. acme_54

    acme_54 Senior Member

    Valencia, Spain
    English UK
    I’d say they are synonymous to all intents and purposes. In fact, I’ve just used “call to tender” in a translation...
     
  13. Notafrog Member

    España (Catalunya)
    English UK
    The thing is not all tenders are equal.

    If, say, a town council wants to buy tar to resurface its roads, that's not very complicated and they could put an advertisement in the local newspaper inviting companies to submit a tender for the supply of 150 tonnes of tar per year. The tender specification (place, rough schedule, etc.) would feature in the advertisement. In this case "call to/for tender" and "invitation to tender" are one in the same.

    If however a government wants to build a hydroelectric power station with dams and tunnels, that's a different kettle of fish. They're not going to invite companies to submit tenders willy nilly without first sending them an extensive tender specification that would take the whole newspaper up. They will call for interested companies to express their interest and provide certain references, capacities, etc. They will then invite companies whose answers they like to submit a tender, which could even be a preliminary tender as part of a shortlisting process.
     
  14. acme_54

    acme_54 Senior Member

    Valencia, Spain
    English UK
    @Notafrog: I fully agree with your explanation. Indeed, not all tenders are the same, and your example perfectly illustrates when one term or the other would be more suitable. :)
     

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