The procurement stage is where the initial relationship with many vendors begins and, depending on what’s being procured, can be a complex process. It’s where you define requirements, identify qualified vendors and solicit bids and proposals. When done right, though, a great procurement process enables you to select and work with a qualified pool of vendors who consistently provide the best overall solution for your organization.
A great procurement process starts with a clear and complete set of requirements. This is your best opportunity to be clear with prospective vendors about your needs, and improve the likelihood that you’ll receive quotes and proposals that are both complete and consistent. After all, how can you facilitate a successful procurement if you aren’t quite sure what it is you actually need to buy?
Vendor Centric can help by managing a practical requirements gathering process that will serve as the foundation for your request for proposal (RFP) or request for quote (RFQ). We’ll establish outcomes for your procurement initiative, and facilitate the collection of insights from stakeholders. We’ll then develop a well constructed RFP/RFQ that incorporates a complete and accurate set of requirements, along with other competitive solicitation best practices.
IDENTIFYING QUALIFIED VENDORS
Depending on what you buy, and the type of procurement policies and regulations you need to follow, qualifying vendors can be an easy or a time-consuming process. Either way, you need pre-qualify vendors to ensure they are viable. This may include website research, exclusion screenings and business classification checks (i.e. small business, minority owned, woman owned or veteran owned).
Vendor Centric has worked with hundreds of vendors across dozens of categories. We can speed up your vendor identification process by performing market research for you, and developing a list of vendors who have been initially vetted and qualified to provide the products and services you’re looking to procure.
Use Our Free Tool to Assess Vendor Risks
Every new vendor relationship comes with a certain amount of risk. It’s important to take time during the procurement process to identify and understand those risks.
Download this free tool to review areas of potential exposure with your vendors, and determine whether those risks can be properly mitigated and managed before it’s too late.
MANAGING THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING PROCESS
A well managed solicitation process enables you to receive complete and accurate bids from qualified vendors, and select the one vendor that will provide the best overall value to your organization. The right communication with prospective vendors is really important to ensure they have the information they need to provide complete and accurate bids. It’s also critical that you follow a process-driven approach to collect, normalize and evaluate bids so you can consistently select the best overall solution and vendor.
Our team can take the hassle out of your solicitation process by managing it for you. We’ll distribute your RFP/RFQs, handle vendor questions, collect bids and normalize the data. We’ll ensure you have complete and accurate information so you can evaluate options and make decisions.
Alternatively, if you want to manage the process on your own, we can help you there too. Our cloud-based procurement software streamlines the process and maintains an audit trail of procurement activities so you have visibility into the process, and can properly document what you did.
CONDUCTING RISK ASSESSMENTS AND DUE DILIGENCE
Every new vendor relationship brings with it a level of risk. It’s critical to understand and assess those risks before you enter into a contract Best practice is to conduct a formal vendor risk assessment process and, based on the assessment, perform an appropriate level of additional due diligence to uncover any unknown problems and ensure that identified risks can be mitigated and managed. This ensures you go into the vendor relationship with eyes-wide-open, or avoid an unusually risky relationship before it’s too late.
Vendor Centric can provide an independent, process-driven approach to your vendor risk assessment and due diligence process. We’ve worked with hundreds of vendors, so we know what to look for and the right questions to ask. We’ll create risk profiles for each new vendor relationship, and we’ll execute due diligence activities to assess controls, financial health and other important areas to ensure you can be confident in working with a new vendor.