Conducting procurement

April 16, 2010
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Introduction

Conducting procurement includes the processes of getting proposals, completing the seller selection and then awarding the contract to the selected vendor. Evaluating proposals obtained by previously defined selection process and selecting one or more sellers is what this is all about. The sellers thus selected are the organizations that are qualified to conduct the procurement action and provide dependable outcomes.

On larger procurement operations the process may be repeated. Typically one could make a short list of qualified vendors first and then take them through a detailed evaluation to arrive at a winner. The short listed vendors are asked to provide more detailed proposals to base the selection on. A scoring system is often used to decide on a final vendor or go through a set of negotiations with a small set of finalist vendors. The process closes by signing off the contract with the final choice.

The Conducting procurement process

The inputs that you need to use include process management plan, that is the master plan. Procurement documents prepared earlier need to be used. Source selection criteria will decide how to go about selection of a final eligible source. Qualified selection list is the short list of the vendors who qualify on technical, financial and other criteria to be able to supply the procurement items. Seller proposals and project documents together lets you decide how well a vendor meets the requirements of the procurement action. Make or buy decisions will let you select the items that have to be procured for the sake of the success of your project. In a similar vein, if parts of the project are to be parceled out to an external team then the teaming agreement will define how the relationship is supposed to work. The process assets moderate and place things in context.

The procurement process must output a list of selected sellers, procurement contract award, resources calendar along with any change requests required as well as project management plan and project documents updates.

The tools & techniques that must be used to arrive at those outputs from the inputs available include bidder conferences, proposal evaluation techniques, independent estimations, expert judgment, advertisements and Internet searches. Procurement negotiations are also essential tools required in the process. Bidder conferences help clarify details of the requirement through answers by the buyer to questions of a prospective bidder. To maintain fairness in the process all questions and answers must be broadcasted to all the potential bidders. Evaluation criteria must be pre-determined and applied strictly so that a dependable bidder may be found. Independent estimates from within the organization or outside third parties are used as a benchmark in the evaluation process. Advertising, Internet search, etc. is used to find potential suppliers. Procurement negotiations with the finalist bidders help an organization make procurements at the most optimum price. Expert Judgment is always useful as with every other activity of the projects.

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