7 wishes on my Christmas list for Procurement

As thoughts turn to the Christmas holidays and what Santa might bring the kids, my Christmas letter asks for something a little bigger.

On behalf of the wonderful supplier organisations I have worked with on bids, tenders and proposals during the year, here are 7 things I’d like to see Procurement deliver to all of us this festive season.

“Dear Procurement, all we want for Christmas is….

  1.  Let suppliers talk to you again. A Request for Tender isn't the only way to scope the market and for complex purchases, it really isn't the best option. So let’s have a chat. Things change quickly and you might be surprised about what we can do for you now that you haven't yet heard about. And, while we’re on the subject…
  2. Bring back Expressions of Interest, which seem to be disappearing faster than the Antarctic ice shelf.If you want to assess potential suppliers on paper, why not use an EOI, rather than an RFT? These are short and straightforward, and make us feel like we’re in with chance.
  3. Say what you mean.Tender documents are often hard to interpret, and the evaluation criteria don’t always match the questions. With better instructions, any supplier with a bit of common sense will be able to bid confidently. That’s good for everyone.
  4. Timetable a response period that’s fair and reasonable. We run a pretty tight ship these days; our staff are stretched and it can be difficult to keep up with complex tender requirements and shrinking deadlines. Crunching us for time because you’re late to market only means you get rushed, poor quality submissions. On the other hand…
  5. Don’t issue a timetable only to grant a last-minute extension just before the deadline. This unfairly disadvantages (and discourages) the suppliers that are prepared, and have made it a priority to respond to your request.
  6. Please, answer our questions. We don’t ask many. But often, we don’t get meaningful answers (or any answers). Giving us better information will mean better proposals for you to evaluate. And finally…
  7. Have a heart – please don’t drop a tender on Christmas Eve. We know you like to come back in January to a full inbox, but we would like to see our families too.”

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, and a successful and prosperous 2015!