There are numerous procurement procedures and processes, but there are some procedures that should be common to all procurement departments. These include supplier selection, requesting information, tender submission, tender evaluation, contract award and inspection. .
Organizations generally have a preferred list of approved suppliers that is maintained by the procurement department. These are companies that have been through a selection process and found to best satisfy the needs of a company.
When there is a requirement to purchase items that the current preferred suppliers are unable to source, a company typically will investigate the market. The requirement will be sent to chosen suppliers who will be asked for a bid. For low-value requests, an informal request for information or a request for a quote is sent to identified suppliers. For higher-value items, a full tender process will be followed. This can often take up to six months from identification of the need to the final contract award.
Suppliers are typically asked to return their tenders to a named officer by a specified time and date. Bids may include a description of the service or goods the supplier is offering, the proposed cost for carrying out the needed work or providing the necessary supplies, company financial information and any questions that the buying organization has asked of the potential supplier.
Once the tenders/bids are returned, a buying organization usually has a specified time in which to evaluate the returns, make a contract decision and inform both successful and unsuccessful suppliers. Prior to the sending of tender documents, a buying organization will develop a scoring criteria against which candidates will be marked and graded. Considerations such as price and quality are usual scoring criteria.
Once the tenders have been evaluated and scored, the suppliers will be notified with an approval or a rejection. Successful suppliers are also notified in writing. It is procurement best practice to offer unsuccessful suppliers the chance for a debriefing. This enables them to find out why their bid was not selected and to better understand future tenders.
Once the service/supply has been delivered, the buying organization will check that quality, quantity and specification has been met. At this point, the organization will issue payment. In many cases, it is standard practice to have a post-contract meeting between the buying organization and supplying organization. It provides a chance for each side to offer feedback and develop a post-mortem document for future contracting activities.