5 year-end procurement tips

Hopefully you’re getting some much needed time off to recharge after what we can all agree has been a challenging year. To make the most out of your down time, you’ll want to tie up loose ends so you can start fresh in 2021. Check out these 5 tips for wrapping up procurements and preparing for the new year!

1. Check contract end & expiration dates

For existing contracts, check end dates. You’ll want to deal with upcoming contract end dates, fixed pricing dates, expiring insurance certificates, etc. before any holiday closures. Leave some lead time to contact suppliers for new insurance or contract documentation, negotiate contract renewals, and update information.

For bids&tenders clients using the Contract Management feature, automatic notifications of these contract end dates and expiries are sent to suppliers well in advance, with a prompt to upload renewal information. The purchasing team is also notified automatically when new certificates are uploaded and prompted to approve them.

2. Complete any outstanding contracts

No one likes to return from a holiday break to lots of outstanding work. Finish up the contracts and documentation for existing contracts, getting any missing signatures and documentation ready. If you’ve been putting off following up on these things, now is the perfect time to tackle it.

Chasing down signatures can be made easy with a contract management platform that includes a document signing function, like bids&tenders’ Contract Builder with eSignatures. The system can automatically notify and remind signatories of any outstanding contracts and pass contracts through a signature workflow. Talk to one of our account executives to find out more!

3. Plan for the new year

While you may not have the time or budget to post procurement opportunities until January or later, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead. For example, thinking about the next year:

  • List your planned projects, needs and requirements
  • Determine a potential timeline considering budget, organizational capacity, weather, etc.
  • Start cataloguing the dependencies for each project, such as board or council approvals, inter-departmental cooperation, or grant approvals, and build those into your timeline
  • Review outdated procurement policies and by-laws to improve processes

Sometimes planning ahead means looking back. Review procurements from the past year and try to determine where the bottle-necks were. What went well, and what went poorly? Assessing these past procurements can help you manage next year’s projects more efficiently.

If you’re still working with administrative-heavy procurement processes, you can also plan ahead by researching eProcurement platforms. We’ve created a checklist of things to look for in an eProcurement platform to help!

4. Prepare for holiday closures

It is common for organizations to schedule opportunities to close at the end of the month, but imagine missing the New Year’s Eve festivities because you’ve got a bid deadline on December 31!

Avoid scheduling opportunity deadlines on or around the major holiday days. Not only are many businesses closed on those days, your own staff will not want to be answering questions, issuing addenda, or receiving submissions on holiday days. If you’re using an eProcurement platform with support, your vendors may not be able to get real-time support on those days either.

Consider that businesses may be closed not just on actual holidays, but around those days as well. Many organizations are closed between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, for example. Businesses that are open may be operating on a skeleton crew to simply maintain operations, but not looking to respond to new business opportunities in that time. Schedule your opportunity deadline for the following week to ensure your bid has adequate competition from vendors returning after the holiday.

5. People just need a break!

Possibly more this year than ever before, holiday closures will be a welcome break for many businesses. Procurement deadlines over the holidays will not only require vendors to work when they should be at home with family, but could also have your staff answering questions and accepting submissions on their own holidays. Let your staff and vendors take a break – schedule procurements for the New Year and start fresh!

As the holidays approach, now is the time to treat your procurement team to an early gift – an eProcurement system. With online support staff, vendor training and outreach, electronic bidding and a no-contact business model, bids&tenders can help you manage your procurement cycle despite life’s interruptions. Plus, with flexible payment options, you could be up and running with no cost to your organization! Now that’s a real holiday miracle. Get started today by scheduling a demo to find out more.

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Ready to start researching eProcurement?

If you want to start the new year right with an eProcurement platform, this free resource shows you waht to look for and what questions to ask. Download this free checklist, and see how bids&tenders stacks up against the competition.