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How to evaluate business travel tender responses taken from our FREE Download:The SME'S Guide to Procuring Travel Management Services

How to evaluate business travel tender responses taken from our Free Download:The SME'S Guide to Procuring Travel Management ServicesIt’s only fair to tell your invited Travel Management Companies how you’ll assess their responses before they start. Typically most businesses will weight their evaluation criteria between quality and price; the weighting depends on which is more important to them. This is known as Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT). Price is the transaction fees the TMC will charge. Quality relates to the TMC’s written response to your questions.

Be careful when considering weighting a tender evaluation heavily on price, because a low transaction fee could indicate the TMC won’t dedicate as much time and effort to reducing your overall costs. Our experience shows us that quality should come first, and many SMEs opt to go with 70% quality and 30% price, this way they get a competitive price (but not always the cheapest) and high quality. On the other hand, if money's no object, you could choose to go with the highest quality score as the winning bidder.

Evaluating Price

Typically, the price is scored relative to the average price submitted (weighted averages). For example:

Lowest price = the highest score

Highest price = the lowest score

Other bids that fall in between are scored in relation to how close or far they are from the lowest price

Evaluating Quality

To evaluate quality, evaluation criteria will usually be split into categories, such as:

  • Technical
  • Service Delivery
  • Quality
  • Environment
  • Social Value

Assign your questions into one of these categories and then give each category a percentage weighting based on the importance of the requirement to your business. So if the quality score is 70%, technical may make up 20%, Service Delivery 15%, Quality 15%, Environment 10% and Social Value 10%. You can score each section as a whole or split the section up into the individual questions, so if there are four questions in technical, they may each account for 5% of the score.

To determine what score to give to each response, you can use guidelines such as these:




Excellent Response

Exceeds the required standard

Response answers the question with precise details and relevant examples. Includes improvement through innovation / added value.


Good Response

Meets the required standard

Comprehensive response with precise details and relevant examples.


Satisfactory Response

Meets the required standard in most areas but fails in some aspects.

Acceptable level of detail.


Limited Response

Fails the required standard in most areas but meets some.


Unsatisfactory Response

Significantly fails to meet the standard. Inadequate detail and not relevant to the question.


Including these details within your ITT helps potential suppliers understand what is important to you and will increase the likelihood of you receiving high-quality responses. It also means you can evaluate all suppliers fairly and give them valuable feedback on their response so they can improve in the future.

For more information, Download our Free SME guide to Procuring Travel Management Services HERE

The SME's Guide to Procuring Travel Management Services

About Kevin Harrison

Kevin is our managing director and business travel veteran! Kevin has worked within the industry for over 30 years and spent 20 of those at one of the UK’s largest travel management companies. Kevin leads a dedicated and passionate team who strive to make a difference to our customers’ businesses by improving their approach to corporate travel.
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