This week, we are going to explore how suppliers and procurement professionals can work together. We will also identify a few things suppliers may inadvertently do within the procurement process that might impede their chances of being selected. If you have ever submitted a proposal to an agency, you may get discouraged or frustrated by the process. However, it is often the suppliers themselves that slow the process down.
To find out what mistakes to avoid when submitting a proposal to an agency, we met with some of our eProcurement customers and asked them to share some advice for potential suppliers. These tips may help suppliers see things from the perspective of the agency and help streamline the procurement process.
Most of the advice we received centered around the issue of compliance and accuracy. “Just please follow the instructions,” one procurement officer said, “if it says to submit questions through BidSync (or another bid hosting provider), don’t email them to some other point of contact.”
Another important thing to remember is to avoid creating your own forms rather than using the one provided or submitting a paper bid instead of an electronic bid. The reasons why this behavior is discouraged is because when you go rogue, your bid is likely to contain errors or omissions that will automatically eliminate you from the opportunity. As one senior buyer shared, “These things hurt the supplier at award time.”
Another piece of advice we received was to be patient. If you have not heard back regarding your proposal, don’t pick up the phone and start calling different departments looking to do an end run around the procurement department. This will not get you a response any faster and is a good way to get yourself taken out of consideration. You need to let the agency do their job and follow their process.
Lastly, it is a great idea to meet with the buying agency if permitted. However, do not arrive at their offices without making an appointment first. While making an appointment can sometimes be difficult, it’s a better option than just dropping in and interrupting the extremely busy day of a buyer. Take advantage of tools like Spend Analytics to find contact information and schedule an appointment.
While it may seem at times like the procurement process is a lot of bureaucratic nonsense, remember that the processes are in place for a reason and respect the needs of procurement to work within their set parameters. Follow these pieces of advice and you will not only help your chances of winning contracts but have a great working relationship with the agency.