The principal objective of this stage is to identify and engage suppliers who will provide the best value for money outcome, in a framework of probity and fair dealing. A key deliverable for this stage is to determine the appropriate sourcing method, with consideration given to alternatives other than just tendering.
S1 Approach the Market
A key step within the procurement process is engaging with the market place. We approach
suppliers through market engagement activities such as Request for Proposals (RFPs), Expressions of Interest (EOIs), and Direct Negotiations.
In order to gain a successful outcome from these market engagement activities we need to:
• Define clear assessment criteria and processes, in accordance with the procurement strategy.
• Provide suppliers with all the information they need to submit the best fit-for-purpose bid
within a framework of probity and fair dealing.
The key steps to approach the market are:
• Set up an assessment panel consisting of the right business users and technical experts.
• Define an assessment plan that reflects the key priorities of the procurement strategy, especially regarding the evaluation criteria.
• Make sure the RFx (a common term for invitation to bid) documentation is clear, concise and comprehensive and that the existing relevant documents and templates are used.
• Give enough visibility to the RFx, include all key information needed by the suppliers and provide the same level of information to all the suppliers.
• Appropriately manage the responses in an open and fair process, for example, supplier briefing, response to enquiries, issuing of addenda, management of late tenders.
• Appoint a probity advisor if needed.
Resources for S1:
• Invitation to Bid Templates
• Statement of Requirements Templates
• Evaluation Plan Template
• Confidentiality Agreement Template
• Declaration of Conflict of Interests Template
• Negotiation Plan Guide
• Industry/Supplier Information Plan
Our goal is to ensure we select the best supplier for our requirements within a framework of
probity and fair dealing.
The key steps to select the best supplier(s) are:
• Ensure fairness and transparency of the selection process, including the management of interactions with suppliers.
• Ensure code of conduct/confidentiality agreements are signed by the selection committee prior to going through the evaluation process.
• Prior to opening tender responses ensure you have developed a structured and systematic evaluation process that is representative of the complexity of the procurement.
Resources for S2:
• Evaluation Spreadsheet
• Evaluation Report Guide
S3 Negotiate and Award
Our goal is to get the best final arrangement with the preferred supplier whilst ensuring requirements around probity and fair dealing.
Key to a successful negotiation is being well prepared, understand what our objectives are and determine what a successful outcome looks like. A good negotiation should leave both parties satisfied and ready to develop a successful relationship.
The key steps of negotiation and contract award are:
• Negotiate in compliance with the process set out in the invitation documents and with full transparency and accountability.
• Carefully prepare and plan the negotiation and proceed to execute those plans.
• Finalise the arrangement with the successful candidate/s.
• Debrief the unsuccessful candidates.
• Appropriately disclose and record the arrangement.
Direct negotiations may be used in exceptional circumstances (for example, absence of competition). A suitable assessment, based on a comprehensive knowledge gained through specific market research, will need to be made to justify direct negotiation. An exemption for exceptional circumstances is then to be approved by the appropriate delegate before direct negotiation takes place.
Resources for S3:
• Procurement Direct Negotiation Guidelines
• Guidelines for Managing Risks in Direct Negotiations
• Negotiation Plan Guide
• Negotiation Output Guide
• Recommendation to Award
• Letters to suppliers – successful/unsuccessful sample
You must design resources based on your business. If you need examples, please send email to me: