Public sector buyers choose value over cost

31 July 2008
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01 August 2008 | Helen Gilbert

The days of public sector procurement decisions being based purely on price look to be over, new research has revealed.

Of over 300 delegates surveyed at OGC.buyingsolutions' Procurement Solutions Expo, more than eight out of 10 claimed buying decisions driven purely by price did not deliver value for money. The figures, compiled by international recruitment consultancy Badenoch & Clark, suggest attitudes are changing with a widespread acceptance that "cheap" does not necessarily mean "good value". Nicola Linkleter, a Badenoch & Clark spokeswoman, said price would always be high on the priority list for anyone in procurement, but should "never be the only factor to look at". "What these figures show is that the public sector is now seeing that as a reality," she said. "The challenge is turning this consensus into concrete and widespread behaviours." Linkleter described "time" as one of the biggest hurdles facing purchasers - where they are often too short of time to really learn about potential suppliers. She added: "Simply comparing prices is a much quicker approach. However, it can often mean time lost down the road when those suppliers provide an inferior service or fail to add the kind of value a more expensive provider may bring."


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