5 tips for being more strategic in your procurements

Becoming more strategic in how you approach procurement ultimately saves time and money for both buyers and suppliers. Truly strategic procurement also means delivering value and growth for your company more efficiently and effectively.

Here are 5 tips for being more strategic in your procurements:

1. Take Control of Your Timelines

A common issue for procurement professionals is getting tied up by lengthy and inefficient processes. With traditional procurements, you need to account for paper-based submissions to be written and submitted (by hand or emailed), time to print and distribute to your staff and the time it takes for them to review. With eProcurement, you can stop bottlenecks and shorten wait times in your review process with digital evaluation forms, approval workflows and task reminders. Features like these simplify the process for internal evaluators and can reduce timelines by up to 35%.

2. Embrace the Ability to Make Changes

While procurements are typically very restrictive in their ask for specific goods and services, leaving some room for flexibility in your tenders is a smart idea that can save you time down the road if you need to make changes. While traditional procurements are usually set in stone once the request is posted, with digital procurement, you can update requirements or make addenda as needed. This saves you from having to take down your original request just to post it all over again because of something as minor as updated terms or language.

eProcurement platforms can also make issuing addenda easier. Changes can be distributed to all registered bid takers, and the system can ensure those suppliers are notified and acknowledge the addenda before allowing a submission. This saves procurement staff time spent notifying plan takers by phone or email, or reviewing non-compliant bids that failed to recognize the addenda.   

3. Be Specific About Scoring

While public sector procurements typically place a higher weighting on pricing, it’s important to add other scoring categories. You don’t want to end up with a vendor that held the lowest score, but not the best quality product. And you definitely don’t want to place change orders to projects once they’re started, as these can become expensive additions. With an eProcurement platform, you can build out your scoring criteria so your reviewers, and potential suppliers, all know exactly what you’re looking for.

Organizations can build criteria into their evaluation templates that align with their values, and weight those criteria accordingly. For example, an organization looking to support local, small, or diverse businesses can make that clear in their bid templates and evaluations to ensure its goals are met.

Take your vetting process a step further by gathering additional information about suppliers even if they get a passing score. A good procurement platform will let you view a vendor's performance ratings, site meetings, and emails uploaded by other buyers. You can even document your vendor's performance to help future bid evaluations. It pays to be diligent about who you work with.

4. Get More Bids

The idea with procurement is to get the best possible vendor that can fulfill your requirements at the lowest cost to your company. So, it’s critical to attract a variety of competitive bids for every project. By receiving more submissions from vendors, you’re likely to increase the changes of high-quality bids, which also boosts your chances of getting a better price. With an online procurement system like bids&tenders, the platform’s entire network of suppliers will be automatically notified when a relevant bid is posted in their field. This instantly creates mass awareness for every tender and request you post, eliciting more bids than traditional procurement methods.

Suppliers may also be more willing to submit bids online because they will not have the added costs of designing, printing, shipping or transporting paper bid submissions to a specific location at a specific time. Online submission capabilities make it easier for suppliers to bid, and more bids means a more competitive supplier market for your valuable business.

5. Simplify Your Submissions Process

Let’s be honest. Procurements are time consuming and costly for suppliers to apply for. The easier you make it to send submissions, the likelier it will be to receive more of them. Using easy to navigate submission fields, digital procurement solutions can provide automated checks that notify vendors if their bid isn’t compliant. And they often provide the ability to ask questions directly through the platform for convenience. This makes suppliers lives a lot easier, which can increase their willingness to work with you.

Make It Happen

On top of evaluating supplier contracts in a timely fashion to confirm performance and compliance from vendors, members of your procurement team need to go above and beyond to find ways to grow their working relationships. Just by asking for feedback from vendors on ways they might improve, or how they can make it easier for vendors to get their jobs done can do wonders for future projects.

Whether you’re a seasoned procurement professional or an entry-level employee just starting out in the industry, you can be more strategic in your purchasing approach by using a digital procurement system. As a leading eProcurement provider, bids&tenders has helped clients achieve 10-20% cost savings, 35% shorter procurement cycles, and 3x as many bids by switching to our platform.

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