The Buyers Pack by centreforebusiness


									                            Need help buying in the right services?
The Centre for eBusiness has thought long and hard about what might help you during the ‘buying’ process. Whether you’re
  looking to invest in a website, an online system for managing your contacts or even on online stock control system, the
                        following resources can help make sure you get the right supplier for the job.

                                    Getting the right supplier – a Checklist
  One way of making sure you ask all the right questions when appointing a supplier, is to make a list. To make this a bit
   easier for you, we’ve pulled together a list of what we think are the most pertinent questions to ask when kicking off a
                                                     project with a supplier.

1. Tell the supplier what your business problem is, and ask them to make recommendations.
   This will ensure that they are thinking about your project specifically and not just what they can sell.

2. Ask them if they’ve carried out projects like this before, and what their track record is.
   You need to make sure they provide you with specific and relevant examples of their work, including dates when it was
   completed. Also, take the time to follow up on their references with someone who has first hand experience.

3. Make sure they understand exactly what you want, so ask them to interpret what you’ve requested.
   You need to find out not just what they can do, but what they can do for you. You might want to show them examples of
   the kind of things you like to help put it into context.

4. Find out how long they expect the work to take, and what your role is in the process.
   There may be things that can only be done with your consent or approval. Make sure you get a time plan from them so
   that you are aware of any dependencies and that you can ensure deadlines are met in a timely manner.

5. Ask them what ‘added value’ they can give you – it might help you decide when you’re comparing proposals.
   Will they give you a discount on their daily rates or offer additional support somehow?
                                   Getting the right supplier – the Do’s and Don’ts
                        Quotes, proposals or tenders should be evaluated using two criteria: cost and quality.
    As a general rule, the weighting given to cost and quality is dependent on the risk and value of the contract to be awarded.

DO                                                                   DON’T
 Eliminate any late submissions not received by the                  Don’t waste a suppliers time by asking questions that
  published deadline.                                                  will not form part of the tender evaluation process.

     Eliminate any submission that has significant omissions,          Don’t try to “read into” what may be meant. If part of a
      which will hinder your ability to conduct a full                   tender is not clear, it is appropriate to seek clarification.
      evaluation. Having to chase additional information,
      which should have been submitted by the deadline, can             Don’t penalise small companies on unfair grounds. For
      be a time consuming exercise.                                      instance small companies have different statutory
                                                                         requirements in terms of health and safety therefore
     Use a structured scoring methodology throughout the                you must understand this when evaluating tender
      process, remembering that at Invitation to Tender (ITT)            submissions.
      stage, you are scoring the proposal, not the company
      making it                                                         Don’t discriminate between suppliers on the grounds of
                                                                         nationality or location. However, note that it is
     Prepare a simple scoring table to evaluate your selected           permissible to specify where the contract must be
      qualitative criteria using your pre-determined                     executed, or require realistic delivery times (for
      weightings for each element. Use this table to score               example, urgent supplies must be delivered within x
      each tender submission.                                            hours of receipt of order).

     Fully document all paperwork produced during the                  Don’t change the award criteria or relative weightings
      evaluation process and keep it in the tender file.                 during the reviewing process – they must remain the
                                                                         same throughout for consistent evaluation.

                                        Buyer/Supplier Code of Conduct
The Centre for eBusiness is always exploring improved ways of working. When researching the in’s and out’s of buying and
supplying well, we came across ‘The Government Procurement Code of Good Practice’, a document written by the OGC.

By creating a Code you are encouraging buyers and suppliers to work together in an open and cooperative way, improving
commitment and communications in a way that can bring mutual reward.

The Code has been written for those in the central civil government supply chain, but the principles can be applied to any
buying/supplying situation. To save you time, we have summarised the key points below, or you can access the Code in full
by clicking here.

1. Fairness                                                     2. Honesty and Openness
The supply chain members will act fairly during the             The members of the supply chain will be open and honest
competitive process and throughout the relationship, and        when conducting business with each other by:
they will do this by:

Jointly       Providing accurate and timely information         Jointly        Working together to manage expectations
              and understanding the need for others in the                     and raising issues of concern at an early
              supply chain to comply with their own                            stage.
              policies and procedures.
                                                                Customers      Sharing plans with potential suppliers as
Customers     Being objective, even handed and making                          early as possible and providing feedback to
              sure of genuine competition by selecting the                     successful and unsuccessful candidates.
              appropriate number of tenderers.
                                                                Suppliers     Being open about their aims and objectives,
Suppliers     Striving to ensure that customers continue                      and make the dependencies on the
              to obtain business benefit in all relationships                 customers clear.
              with suppliers.
3. Efficiency and effectiveness                                                                                  4. Professionalism
The members of a supply chain will contribute to                                                                 The members of the supply chain will work to a higher
improving efficiency and effectiveness of commercial                                                             standard of professionalism by:
activities by:
                                                                                                                 Jointly                  Acting with courtesy and consideration
Jointly                 Striving for the highest standards of                                                                             and by making sure that roles and
                        performance and best practice, and by                                                                             responsibilities are clear and understood.
                        meeting commitments in a timely manner.
                                                                                                                 Customers                Awarding work on the basis of value for
Customers               Implementing best practice and making                                                                             money.
                        sure proposed timescales are realistic.
                                                                                                                 Suppliers                Only bidding for solutions they know
Suppliers               Being proactive in the suggestions for                                                                            they can deliver.

The Centre for eBusiness recommends:

          The Buying Game – online buying scenario game by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply
          Top 5 Online Project Management Tools paper

Please feel free to email the Centre for eBusiness at or call us on 0191 487 2002.

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