An In-house programme for all commercial and contract teams on how to create a effective, efficient and successful tender.
In business as in life, courtship is all important. Your Invitation to tender (ITT) is the crucial opportunity to attract the very best suppliers to your business and to establish the ground rules for a successful and value for money procurement. Tendering is a costly business. To avoid common pitfalls it’s important you have a comprehensive understanding of all stages of the process and make relevant decisions about how you will undertake the process at the outset: from choosing the most appropriate process to deciding how to manage yourself internally and managing and evaluating the necessary documents.
This In-house programme will ensure your commercial and contracts team will:
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Developing a procurement strategy
A good tender process starts with a clear strategy. A range of approaches and models are introduced to ensure you get off on the right foot:
Creating the specification
Turning a need into a specification can be fraught with difficulties for the unwary. We need to develop an appropriate specification that will meet our needs now, and for the duration of the contract. We look at what typically happens when the wrong specification type is used and how to avoid pitfalls.
The legal framework
Staying on the right side of the law is always a good idea – and certainly when going out to tender. Tendering is a minefield for potential litigation, and suppliers are increasingly prepared to go out to bat if they feel they have been wronged. You enter the legal terrain pre-contract award and you need to know your obligations.
Going out to the market
This stage requires excellent judgement and project management skills. It’s about getting all the information you need, without being swamped: Choosing the right number and type of suppliers, asking the right questions and setting adequate timeframes for suppliers to provide the information you need – without being turned off by onerous requirements. We look at the options:
There is a wide range of platforms and technologies promising to make tendering easier: from issuing potential suppliers documents, handling supplier proposals through to full e-auctions. We look at the pros and cons of e-tendering and provide some tips to help you use the technology wisely.
You can find yourself drowning in irrelevant information and, at worst, have no way to meet your legal obligation to consider all bids. This is an extensive stage that covers handling incoming bids though to developing a scoring mechanism and approach for the evaluation of multiple bids.
We now have a league table of suppliers from the very best to those less well equipped. The task is now to work with the top of the league to get the very best offers on the table prior to awarding a contract. We need to test their strengths and reduce any apparent risks.
It’s seductive to think you are on the home run having decided to award the contract to your preferred bidder. But this is where the real negotiations start: the battles of terms and conditions and transition arrangements are still to be won.
Rod Lewis is a consultant specialising in contract management training. His experience includes responsibility for delivering training programmes and consultancy assignments in the areas of supplier management, contract management and purchasing and negotiation for a range of clients, for both in-company and public training programmes.
Rod’s career highlights include Chief Buyer for Austin Rover where he was responsible for leading a team in the procurement and negotiation of civil engineering contracts, major plant and equipment purchases and small works agreements; European Group Commodity Manager at Black and Decker, responsible for the procurement and negotiation of international contracts for supply of materials to Black and Decker’s factories in Europe and the Americas; and Operations Director for Caradon Everest (home improvements) responsible for the procurement and negotiation of major contracts with functional responsibility for all materials purchased.
Rod works with organisations globally as a consultant on all aspects of the contract process from negotiation to delivery.