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Marketing the Supply Request

Posted 6/13/2023

We live in a competitive world, and as procurement professionals we want the best suppliers to compete for the business we offer.

Better competition often leads to better value. Attracting competition is more than just posting an opportunity on a bidding website. We also need to ensure that a perception of preference or lack of transparency is avoided.

Suppliers may not be aware of your opportunity posting for a variety of reasons. They may not be signed up on the posting site, incorrect commodity code(s) could be associated or not utilized by the supplier, time required to manually check sites may be prohibitive. The best suppliers may be busy and decide not to respond.

There are several things we can do to encourage competition for our opportunities, but first consider how to do this.

Best practice for fairness and transparency is to post the request on public accessible bid site(s) before advising potential suppliers.

Reference the bid site(s) and provide a link in your direct advice notice.

Consider starting with a RFI to determine interest.

The more complex and valuable the request, the longer the posting period.

Strategic purchases require more effort, time is well spent seeking out potential suppliers.

Professional associations and other interest groups could advise their members if asked.

Suppliers that often or always get your contracts can become complacent. Let them know you are actively seeking competitive offers.

Know also that procurement is competing with other like organizations to find and contract with the best suppliers. Consider what you can do to attract the best value proposals available.

Check your reputation in the marketplace. Organizations known to practice fairness and transparency will get more offers from better suppliers.