Shopping starts with the shopping list

Before you start a Request for Proposal (RFP) it is essential that you know what you want to procure.
During my career in procurement I experienced that Procurement is involved at the signing of the
agreement, or worse at the issue of the purchase order. This experience led to my one liner
"Shopping starts at the shopping list, NOT at the cash register". It is still valid after over 20 years.
Shopping starts with the shopping list
Experience taught me that a good preparation of requirements and evaluation criteria is essential,
and also improve the total elapse time of the selection process.
During the definition phase it is easier to influence the cost, then afterwards when the project is started.
Shopping starts with the shopping list
Definition of requirements seems a difficult exercise for lots of technicians.
For ease of use it is recommended to define as much as possible closed (Yes/No) questions.
E.g. When you like an orange car, do not ask the sales: "Which colours are you selling?"
but "Do you sell orange cars?"
Shopping starts with the shopping list
When you are not sure HOW to reach your challenge, but knowing WHAT, you should define that.
NOT "I want to go to London by car" but "How can I get in London?"
Shopping starts with the shopping list
Last but not least it is important to challenge the requirements on deviation of standards.
The popular example is a technician specifying a pink elephant,
where the procurement guy asks if a grey one will fulfil the requirements to.


When I run training courses I practice the old Chinese wisdom:
"My friend is he who teach me fishing, not the one who gives me fish"
Trainings will be given in Dutch language only, including documentation in Dutch.


Klick envelope for mailing me.
Shopping starts with the shopping list