Technology & Tools
Building Supplier Involvement in Public Procurement – a New Spend Matters Briefing Paper

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new Spend Matters briefing paper, titled Building Supplier Involvement in Public Procurement . It is sponsored by Vortal, the leading public sector focused eProcurement solution provider. But like everything we publish, it is written from an independent and unbiased perspective – and you can download it here, free on registration.

As we know, eProcurement in the public sector across Europe is becoming more prevalent, and this will continue. The latest regulations mandate the use of eProcurement; all contracting authorities must use electronic processes by 2018. You can still read our previous paper, Implementing the eProcurement Mandate – Technology Choices and Key Decision Factors for further details on some of the key issues to be considered in choosing eProcurement systems. Follow the link to download the paper.

But many buyers do not consider the supplier viewpoint when they choose or operate eProcurement systems. Their focus is almost totally internal – as long the systems and processes work reasonably well for the buying organisation itself, they are content.

In this new briefing paper, we turn things around and look at aspects of public sector procurement, particularly systems and processes, from the point of view of the market and potential or actual suppliers to the contracting authority. This is something that many procurement people and organisations don’t do often enough; as we say, authorities tend to look at issues very much from their own perspective. Yet it is critically important that organisations do as much as they can to attract dynamic, effective suppliers, and develop competitive markets to supply the goods and services they need.

This is demonstrated by the problems that arise when we have to buy from monopolistic markets; any procurement practitioner who has had to do that knows how unpleasant an experience it can be! So to encourage competition, to encourage the best suppliers, and build a strong supply base, we need to look at our processes and technology and see if they are likely to be seen positively – or negatively – by suppliers.

We will be featuring several extracts from the paper here in coming weeks; here is the first.

When eProcurement in the public sector is considered, however, it is usually from the buyer perspective. Authorities look at the system’s capability, features and performance very much from the buy-side point of view. However, if eProcurement implementation and ongoing operation is to be successful, it is also essential to look at the suppliers’ perspective. That is because for contracting authorities to succeed in terms of what they obtain from the market, they need capable suppliers, competing strongly for contracts. The technology and processes used in public procurement therefore have a large part to play in assuring that such a supplier environment is created and maintained.

Procurement professionals in our experience do not look at matters from the supplier’s perspective often enough. If they were to do that, they might be shocked at how difficult, unfriendly and inefficient the various processes and technology often used can appear from the suppliers’ viewpoint. So in this paper, we will consider why buyers should look at matters from this different perspective, and some of the steps they can take to improve the situation for suppliers. Ultimately that will lead to better supplier performance and benefits for their own organisations.

Follow the link to download the whole paper Building Supplier Involvement in Public Procurement now.