The procurement process is generally well thought out, and depending on the sector, can be a crucial aspect to project delivery. Procurement is essentially about the planning, identification, selection and management of suppliers. For many procurement process to be successful, written procedures are used to describe the various steps in any procurement process. However the specifics of these procedures need to be tailored for the type of project. Often time the procedures are directives from the organisation but some of the procedures that are often needed can be listed by the following:
- Procedure 1 (Material Requisition Procedure): – Most projects use a material requisition to communicate the requirements for goods and services to the procurement group. The material requisition information is prepared by the project responsible for identifying the requirements for the goods or services
- Procedure 2 (Qualified Bidder Procedure): – Developing a list of qualified bidders is a proactive procurement management step. The project may take steps to ensure that when services or goods are required, there is an established and reputable list of bidders that request for proposal can be issued to. When doing something like this is important that the project develops a reliable means or system. Otherwise elements of bias and inaccuracy may creep in to the qualification step. The second thing to be considered is that the system should be continually audited and analysed to ensure accuracy.
- Procedure 3 (Request for Proposal (RFP) Procedure): – this procedure describes the format and content of the RFP’s that are prepared and issued. Certain project procurement’s will not require RFP’s (i.e. standard materials). The procedure for producing RFP’s should be stable and lend them towards standardisation (i.e. standard templates, methods of acquiring information, etc.).
- Procedure 4 (Pre-Bid Meeting Procedure): – Pre-bid meetings are held with suppliers or contractors to assure that all of the bidders understand the RFP. It is important that these meetings are conducted in a structured manner since they are the source of information that bidders rely on in preparing a bid proposal. Procedures for pre-bid meeting may include task such as setting of an agenda, meeting minutes, attendance sheets, etc.
- Procedure 5 (Bid-Opening Procedure): – Due to the sensitivity of the receipt of commercial bids, many companies and project have dedicated procedures around the receipt of bids. Received bids often require to be stamped and verified by either the owner or distributed through the RFP.
- Procedure 6 (Bid-Evaluation Procedure): – Bid evaluation is the cornerstone of procurement and very often the procedure does not relate to the evaluation of the bid, but rather where the responsibility lies. Technical evaluations are performed by engineering, commercial evaluation is performed by the project or stakeholders. In each case the evaluation is against specific objectives and criteria.
- Procedure 7 (Contract Formation Procedure): – After the bid evaluation is complete and a decision is made concerning the qualified bidder, a contract is issued for signature and agreement. The contract is a document that may be detailed and complex and may reference the RFP, while on the other hand the contract may be a simple purchase order. The project is responsible for preparing contracts and requires assistance from other (i.e. procurement, legal, finance, etc.). The format of the contract is often based around the type of contract been issued (i.e. fixed, unit, target or reimbursable).
- Procedure 8 (Contract Management Procedure): – Numerous procedures can be developed to cover the management of work performed by a supplier or a contractor after a contract has been awarded. Common procedures that are used include:
- Management of relations between owner and contractor or supplier.
- Documentation of contract work activities.
- Managing contract quality and work performance. This may include things like cost control, commitment tracking and schedule performance.
A contract change procedure is an important element here, to ensure that contract change with any scope uncertainty, lack of performance or time slippages.
- Procedure 9 (Contract Closeout Procedure): – Certain projects have a procedure that provides guidelines for closing out contracts. This procedure contains information concerning the manner that completed work from a contractor is accepted by an owner, review of required contract work and documentation.
These are a sample of the procedures that are used in procurement. It is important to understand that these constitute elements of the process. There may be specific procedures to specific projects, which are not covered above.