or LinkedIn here http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
OJEU Procurement is a lengthy process, even if using the Crown Commercial Service. I have spent years both sides of the procurement fence and I know that the process is about fairness and access to all properly qualified suppliers, whatever their size. Sometimes from a supplier viewpoint, it can seem like the process is stacked against the supplier, with people leading procurements having their own favourites. Inexperienced ones or ones that are incapable of matching products to client needs are unlikely to come out as preferred bidder. I learnt that quite soon after getting started with tender completion, about nine years ago.
Recently I have led day long sessions on understanding the whole procurement process for procurers and suppliers. The latter need to put themselves in the client shoes, every time and appear hungry, at every pitch.
In the many procurements I have helped clients with, I could only rarely guess who the preferred bidder would be. It's all in the scoring and particularly for me, I don't actually score at all. If asked to, I will, but only so a reality check could be visibly made. My opinion on the PQQ, ITT, demo or references don't count for anything.
I have my independence, but where consultants have a link to suppliers or groups, there is always doubt how well 'Chinese Walls' and other safeguards really work in practice. In one instance I have seen, a software house was effectively pretty much put at a disadvantage, every time their in-house consultancy got involved. Crazy!
So it always makes me smile when talking to clients, prospects or suppliers, and they say that 'such and such' are biased towards supplier x or y. Supplier x or y are probably winning because they are meeting functional requirements to needs or getting the price competitive. It betrays some ignorance or inexperience in the supplier, they would be better concentrating on improving their offerings.
Consultants in the pockets of suppliers are easily spotted and best avoided. Beware anyone pushing particular suppliers or products, before anyone has talked about needs, outcomes and the core business aims, should be given a wide birth.
Having completed well over a dozen large scale housing implementations in the past 20 years or so, I often get asked to help project manage some, (occasionally all) of the resulting project. In terms of procuring a solution, I like to make sure that the client has all the information in front of them before they make a logical, rather than an emotional choice. Emotions are harder to document into a clear audit trail. If I ever thought the process had resulted in a project that was undeliverable, I would clearly say so. After all, the danger is that I might be asked to implement some rubbish selected for the wrong reasons.
So, far better to prove conclusively that a bidder and their proposal is right for the client for everyone. So just smarten up your products, service, timescales and your five year total cost of ownership, there's (probably) not a vendetta against you.
Related Post: Do you feel in your organisation, that your social housing systems are woefully under-implemented?
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(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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