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Mastering Procurement
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A consistent procurement process can help you manage supplier relationships. 

In small companies, procurement processes may be simple. You probably buy from the same suppliers routinely. If you have a problem, you know who to call. As you grow, though, you need more structure to keep getting positive results.

Before you request bids, check out the companies you'll invite to bid. Then, create a clear process for how suppliers will submit bids and what you will do as a result. Give your bidders a standard form to use in submitting bids so you can compare them easily. Include questions about the supplier's size, capabilities, years in the business, references and financial resources.

Write out a clear explanation to provide to the bidders, including a description of the supplier scoring method you'll use, based on your requirements for the product or service. Then, write out your requirements clearly and specifically, even if you think bidders already know what you want.

Be sure to:

  • Avoid peppering the bidding questionnaires with ambiguous or irrelevant questions.
  • Spell out your business need and detailed requirements for the product.
  • Provide FAQs and responses, and set a specific time--and specific people--to answer questions from bidders during the process.

Finally, consider making a site visit to the final two or three bidders. This gives you the opportunity to observe quality control processes, evaluate the protection and movement of inventory and find out what the employees are like within your soon-to-be supplier.


The article you read was prepared for general information purposes by McMurry. These articles are for general information purposes only and are not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. PNC urges its customers to do independent research and to consult with financial and legal professionals before making any financial decisions.These articles may provide reference to Internet sites as a convenience to our readers. While PNC endeavors to provide resources that are reputable and safe, we cannot be held responsible for the information, products, or services obtained on such sites and will not be liable for any damages arising from your access to such sites. The content, accuracy, opinions expressed, and links provided by these resources are not investigated, verified, monitored or endorsed by PNC.