Quotation vs Tender

Published : 8/08/2022

Very often the tendering jargon Quotation and Tender are mixed up by almost everyone trying to understand the basics of Tendering. Let’s begin with understanding their definitions and then moving to their difference.

Definition of Quotation
The quotation may be understood as a formal document of promise, given by the prospective supplier, to supply the stated goods or services needed by the buyer at a given decided price under specific conditions. It mainly includes terms of sale, payment and warranty (which includes the price decided to charge for the product or service) date, time and place of delivery, and validity period of quotation.

Additionally, a quotation aids the buyer to know the cost of goods or services in advance, before making a purchase. In order to obtain the quotations (i.e. price for the required material), generally, tenders are floated by the government enterprises.

Definition of Tender
A tender is simply a response to an invitation to provide a product or service at a quoted price and assuring quality standards delivery.

An invitation to tender is floated by the government undertaking, financial institution or a big corporation for a variety of projects when they want to purchase goods or services on a large scale. When corporates cannot fulfil the requirements on their own they resort to hiring services from other organizations, making the project a Joint Venture or making them a Consortium partner. Hence, for this reason, third-party suppliers are invited to bid and submit tenders along with the parent supplier.

The tendering process commences with the buy preparing a detailed tender document which is then sent to prospective suppliers, to solicit information, and finally then to select a supplier on the basis of price, delivery terms and availability. The sellers who are interested in the request for proposal can respond to the request, within the deadline specified, by submitting their best offer in sealed covers, with the appropriate authority.

Essentially, a tender is like a competition for a contract, where various prospective suppliers are requested to submit tenders, containing the price and quality of the material required. The invitation is published in a vernacular newspaper of the concerned state or country, as it is a mandatory requirement, to maintain transparency in their operations. To avoid the hassle of going through various media to source the right tender, TenderTiger gives you access to 2000+ million tenders worldwide, ranging from various sectors.

Quotation vs Tender: A differentiation table for more concept clarity:

The key differences between quotation and tender are discussed in the points given below:

1. The quotation is a fixed price offer, which once accepted by the customer, cannot be modified or changed. On the other extreme, the tender is a response to the invitation to tender, which is used to find out the best value for money, from the prospective suppliers.

2. Both quotations and tenders are offers. A quotation is a response to a Request for Quotation (RFQ), whereas tender is used in response to a Request for Tender (RFT).

3. The only major element of the quotation is the price which explains the cost of the contract, submitted by the supplier. Against, the tender has two main elements, price and quality standards wherein price determines the best price offered by the supplier, which is compared with the other suppliers and quality determines the supplier's potential to deliver the goods specified.

4. The scope of tender is wider in comparison to tender , as the quotation is a part of the tender, which contains prices for material to be supplied.

Some people also get confused between Request for Information (RFI), and Request for Proposal (RFP) which are often used tender terms you must get clarity on. Here is another article to help you clear the Difference between RFI, RFP, RFT and RFQ in the tender process. Government agencies or the procurer of various goods or services opt for the tenders or quotations, that meet their specific needs, in the best manner mainly aimed at providing optimal value for money spent. In order to maintain transparency, fairness and openness in the operations of the government, tenders are floated by public bodies and corporations.