I posed a question to one of my linkedin procurer groups, asking how much notice, if any, they took of an Executive Summary in a submission. The following response is an excellent insight:
"To gain an overall impression of the vendor and their response it can be useful. However for me it will not assist them in the actual tender evaluation outcome as I will always publish the specific evaluation criteria (all questions upon which I require them to respond to) with the respective weightings and it is their actual answers to these questions which will be assessed by the panel and scored accordingly.
For effectiveness and efficiency reasons, I am wanting the respondants to see my specific question, consider their response to that question and then respond directly to it, (preferably laid out in their proposal as Question followed by Response) thus enabling the panel to focus on that response when determining an appropriate score and not having to have searched indiscriminately through, what might be, large volumes of general information.
So back to your original question, it is not an evaluated component of my tenders and as such should not contain any key information regarding our requirement that is not already included in the responses to specific evaluated questions".
In a nutshell: It's an introduction to your organisation and can help position you in the assessor's mind but make sure you answer the questions!! Also note that not all procurers will be that helpful in being specific about their evaluation criteria.