Your Four Best Tools for World-Class Procurement

Procurement is tough, right? It's hard to reach the peak of procurement excellence with huge pressure on public organisations to get value for money, short timeframes, complex and risky projects, and pressure to find sustainable solutions – finding the right supplier can be difficult.

We have good news! Here are four simple ways you can make evaluating tenders faster, easier and more effective.

  1. Eliminate unsuitable suppliers at the start, with pre-conditions, supplier panels or a pass/fail prequalification system.

Consider the characteristics of unsuitable suppliers, then turn those into fact-based requirements for all those who respond to your tender. Make it a checklist so that suppliers clearly show their evidence and you can easily check it.

Once the unsuitable suppliers see that checklist, they probably won’t bother bidding – so you can concentrate on those who actually can do the job.

  1. Focus on the differentiators – only! Once unsuitable suppliers are out of the picture, you can focus only on the factors that will differentiate the suppliers. Aside from their price, those are usually about two things – how well they will mitigate project-specific risks; and what opportunities they will bring to add value to your project, your asset, or the community and environment that it serves.

This means you can only ask about those project-specific factors. Target your questions on those risk factors, and allocate solid weightings to them so neither you nor your suppliers waste time on information that’s irrelevant or has little impact on your decision.

Under no circumstances should you recycle questions or templates from old RFT documents – that’s a waste of everyone’s time and money.

  1. Decide on a fact-based scoring system before you review the responses. Your scoring system should define clearly the aspects of the response that will satisfy your requirements, as well as what will be a ‘fail’.

If these definitions are based on facts and figures (e.g. ‘has completed three large structures projects >$5 million in the past five years’) then evaluation will be fast, accurate and bullet-proof against legal challenges. Your evaluation team will score consistently and you will have easy justification for your decision.

  1. Use a questionnaire format to collect responses. Provided they are well designed, questionnaire formats are easier for suppliers to respond to – and they cut your evaluation time and effort to a fraction of the levels needed when you have to hunt for the answers in a different format for every bidder.

Comparison of the responses is faster, easier, more accurate and more easily justified so that your scoring is clearly fair and transparent.

Armed with these practices, your procurement teams will achieve far more efficient and effective tender processing, saving your organisation a huge portion of your evaluation time and budget. What’s even more powerful is that you’ll achieve better value for money on the projects and assets you purchase.

For more information including Clever Buying training, resources and templates, explore our website www.cleverbuying.com.