No matter whether you’re running a small-scale tender process or a multi-million pound framework, nothing can be gained from resting on your laurels.
Striving for continuous improvement is a key thread running throughout today’s UK organisations, and the tender process should be no different. Each exercise should be seen as an opportunity to improve future performance, whether the aim is to make the process run smoother, drive tenders from a wider pool of contractors and suppliers, encourage more parties to join your framework or increase competiveness.
When the frenetic period around the tender process has drawn to a close – and before you race onto your next - take the time to look back and assess what went well, gain feedback from your processes’ stakeholders and actively look for areas of improvement.
We believe there are three key areas that should always be under review and evolving accordingly:
1. Competitiveness - are your procurement exercises as accessible as possible, not only encouraging, but enabling businesses of all sizes to participate and be competitive?
2. Relevance - have you asked your bidders to feedback on the how they found the process? Is the process as relevant to the market as possible? Have you tailored your questions to ensure that each one is essential and really adds to the information gathered throughout the tender process?
3. Efficiency - are your processes as streamlined and efficient as possible to ensure those tendering are not overwhelmed by the volume of work required to participate?
If you take a step back and consider how successful the exercise has been, you can ensure your processes are ever-evolving, whether it’s a minor tweak in the questions you ask or a more significant shift in reaction to market demand. It’s also important to remember that contractors and suppliers of all shapes and sizes have their own merits, and by considering these in advance can add real value to the outcome of the tender process.
To gain the best value, you must be realistic with the market about the opportunity available to attract the right kind of bidders; give each interested party the opportunity to participate based on their own expertise; and structure the process, where possible, to ensure every company tendering has the chance to be competitive.
By providing tender processes that are reactive to the needs and capabilities of all of your stakeholders, you have the chance to become synonymous with facilitating competitiveness and ongoing value, both in securing the right prices, and by selecting those with the right skills, experience and offer representing best value for the customer.
☛ Clare Tetlow is senior procurement manager at Re:allies