Clearly understand the needs of your users and other stakeholders.
To ensure the right goods or services are procured, and a performance-enhancing and enabling contract is awarded to the right supplier(s), it’s vital to talk to your users and other stakeholders to understand their needs. Don’t make assumptions.
Your organisation may already have the answer to your requirement.
Check whether your requirements can be met by reusing or recycling existing goods or services, or by using an existing contract or framework agreement, before proceeding with a new procurement.
Engage with the market.
By working closely with potential suppliers, develop your requirements to ensure that they can be met by the target market. Test your requirements with suppliers to ensure they understand what you need and therefore improve the competition.
Business Wales can help you identify potential suppliers.
This team in the Welsh Government supports public sector buyers and suppliers to come together. Talk to them to understand how they can help you to encourage more constructive engagement, and greater competition and innovation.
Competition and innovation can lead to better outcomes.
Look beyond existing suppliers and actively engage new suppliers for each procurement. Competition encourages innovation and improves the likelihood of achieving well-being impact and social value for money.
5 things to know
As a minimum your brief or specification should include:
Achieving flexible, efficient procurement processes that encourage broad participation and are open and accessible to all.
Remember to adapt activities to your local context, and always take approaches that are proportionate to the value, risk, complexity and profile of your requirements.
This stage of the procurement journey will typically include:
- Identifying user / business needs;
- Assessing the market;
- Consulting and engaging with the market (and other stakeholders); and
- Defining your sourcing strategy.
At this stage you’ll build on your early considerations from the ‘Plan’ stage, and clearly define how, through your commercial and procurement activities you will:
- Improve social, cultural, environmental and economic well-being impacts;
- Align with departmental, organisational and Welsh Government strategies, priorities and policies; and
- Work with a responsive market of companies and allow businesses in Wales to thrive.
CIPS Procurement and Supply Cycle
The ‘Procurement and Supply Cycle’ developed by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) includes 13 steps to guide you through the procurement process for goods and services.
You will have already started on activities that are consistent with the following steps during the ‘Plan’ stage, and will now build on these more substantially:
- Define business needs and develop specification;
- Market analysis and make or buy decision; and
- Develop the strategy and plan.
The following steps from the CIPS ‘Procurement and Supply Cycle’ relate most closely to the ‘Define’ stage of the procurement journey.
- Pre-procurement market testing;
- Develop documentation and detailed specification; and
- Supplier selection to participate in tender.
Achieving net zero through public procurement involves a strategic approach throughout the commercial lifecycle
- Build on research and analysis carried out during the ‘Plan’ stage of the procurement journey. Identify users’ needs and how these align with net zero objectives, and assess the market to understand the availability and sustainability of the required goods or services.
- This stage also includes active engagement with the market and other stakeholders, crucial for understanding their capabilities in meeting net zero goals and for fostering collaborative relationships.
- Defining a sourcing strategy is a key part of this stage, which should be built upon the early considerations from the planning phase.
Define your sourcing strategy to:
- Improve social, cultural, environmental, and economic well-being impacts;
- Align with departmental, organisational, and Welsh Government strategies, priorities, and policies; and
- Ultimately, support the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Wales Procurement Policy Statement principles.
Your sourcing strategy should also focus on working with a responsive market, particularly encouraging and supporting businesses in Wales, to ensure a holistic approach towards sustainability and economic growth. This comprehensive approach integrates net zero objectives seamlessly into the procurement process.