Developing a Starting Point – Part 2 of 2

July 15th, 2014

re you starting your documents over with each project or leveraging templates and processes to streamline the effort?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President and COO at SafeSourcing.

Yesterday we discussed some of the template documents your procurement team and/or 3rd party strategic sourcing partner should be developing in order for your projects and those of other departments can go more smoothly.  Template supplier research, communication and Requests for Information/Proposal were the first items and today we will finish off three other areas that can benefit from having templates established in advance.

Terms & Conditions  – Terms and conditions are the one document that many procurement departments have spent a lot of time on and yet we still see that those documents have not been shared well with the rest of the organization and also that instead of developing 3 or 4 templates to fit projects for very different categories that a “one-size-fits-all” approach has been taken leaving subject matter experts to spend more time removing what doesn’t apply than if they had started from scratch.  Terms & conditions should have background about the company and established rules and guidelines for how a sourcing project is expected to flow from the timeline through payment terms to communication to where the responses should be submitted.  Having a separate document that details the slight differences some categories will need (index price reviews, samples, testing, reporting, etc.) should also be developed to help guide other departments in designing initial documents that protect the company.

Specifications – Specifications are going to different from project to project.  Sometimes they will be on file somewhere, sometimes they will be a cut sheet in a filing cabinet and sometimes they won’t exist internally at all.  It is difficult to come up with a “standard” for product and service specifications and many times your 3rd party strategic sourcing provider will have a good library any way.  What is important at this stage is to create templates that help business owners ask the questions of their suppliers, gather details and detail out what will be needed in order to source the category.  These types of documents can be standardized and like other sets of documents, should be broken out into at least 3 or 4 category types so the information gathered can be focused on that category.

Template Reporting – Standardizing reporting packages can be extremely beneficial to any procurement department because it can shape how a project is shaped before any details are gathered.   Knowing the information needed to make an award decision at the end will dictate how the project is structured to ensure that information is gathered and can be analyzed in true “apples to apples” format.  Many times the contract stage of procurement is very similar and the data needed for contracts and to make award decisions is also very similar.  Developing this in advance is a big key to strong sourcing projects.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your team develop your library of template documents or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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