Probity manages a lot of procurement on behalf of clients. We usually refer to these assignments as search and selection. Procurement is an interesting and changing area of business, with large organisations putting together procurement teams and the term ’Chief Procurement Officer’ has come into existence.
Procurement is ultimately about getting best value for money. In the public sector there is an additional dimension to the procurement activity, that is ensuring transparency and that all suppliers get an equal opportunity to participate and bid. Government agencies are required (or encouraged for some) to comply with the ’Rules of Sourcing’. Private sector clients are predominantly focused on getting value for money and are usually less concerned about creating a level playing field for suppliers, other than to encourage commercial tension.
On occasion clients will use a tender process to find out ’what they don’t know’ i.e. what solutions exist in the market, or how particular problems are being solved – innovation.
Probity has undertaken over 100 search and selection exercises in the past ten years, not all of them involve complex Request for Proposals or lengthy tenders. Sometimes we are requested to help with negotiation, sometimes we will assist by identifying the relevant players in the market so that a client can approach them directly rather than spending time using a tender process.
So we thought it would be worthwhile putting together five handy hints for procurement.