To make this virtuous cycle work effectively, it’s essential to ensure continuity of communications throughout the procurement process and to use common tools that allow you to work with interested parties as and when you need them to be involved.
Growing numbers of procurement teams are making this happen by using collaborative procurement solutions like Kahootz. By giving stakeholders access to a single, definitive source of information online, you can bring any combination of buy-side and supply-side stakeholders at any stage of the procurement process. Doing this helps you work towards better service innovation and specification, which refines and improves procurement in a virtuous circle.
To understand how this happens, let’s take a look at how you can use Kahootz to bring value to each stage of the cycle.
1. Pre-market engagement
Your focus here is on stakeholder engagement, market research and discovery. Traditional methods of engagement can be expensive, time consuming and have major drawbacks – especially if you need to engage with many people in different locations. Kahootz overcomes these by allowing you to collaborate with unlimited numbers of people in any place – as long as they have access to an internet enabled device.
By using Kahootz secure workspaces, you can also support many different team collaboration and communication processes at this stage, including:
• Procurement planning
• GAP Analysis
• Managing work with project advisors
• Financial planning
• Developing business needs and business case
• Communicating with potential users and suppliers
• Options appraisals
• Category management
In these ways you can involve more interested parties at the pre-engagement stage, improve the quality of your requirements via wider consultation, standardise your early market engagement and – crucially – foster stronger links with suppliers via collaboration and better communications. This in turn strengthens your processes when you reach the procurement phase of the cycle.
During the main procurement process, your key priority is to improve and audit communication with bidders. While many organisations use e-Auction or e-Procurement portals at this stage, they typically provide only limited supplier communication facilities. Only rarely do they provide essential back-office support for evaluation and contract team communications.
This is where Kahootz brings great value to procurement, especially in support of competitive dialogue procedures and joint commissioning. By using collaborative workspaces, all partners can be involved in the procurement process and have oversight throughout it. And because all communications between suppliers and buyers are logged, Kahootz provides you with a full audit trail that ensures accountability throughout the process.
Kahootz can therefore provide significant support in the following processes during this stage of procurement:
• OJEU stages
• Invitation to bid, receipt of bids, bid evaluation
• Post-tender clarification
• Contract finalisation / negotiation.
In all of these processes, you are able to provide a consistent structure to supplier dialogue and allow suppliers to access documentation simultaneously. In addition, you can securely archive all communications with bidders and create a legally compliant audit trail with version control.
In this way, Kahootz allows you to build stronger, more transparent relationships with suppliers and partners that are characterised by clear communication. This is a major benefit when you move into the final, delivery stage of the procurement process.
3. Delivery (contract and supplier management)
When you have chosen your suppliers and sub-contractors, your next challenge is the most important of them all – working in partnership and managing them to make sure they deliver.
Kahootz allows you to do this effectively by giving you the tools to assemble a multi-disciplinary team that can design, build and operate your service, led by a skilled manager with full authority and decision-making responsibility.
The main benefit of this is that you can go far beyond managing the buyer / seller relationship – which you have already strengthened via good communications in the second phase of the cycle. Now you can work closely with suppliers, in an agile way, to innovate and enhance products and services, as well as supporting processes that include:
• Contract management
• Operations support
• Rolling out new services
• Contractor and sub-contractor communications
• Service evaluation
• Supplier handover communications.
Furthermore, you can use separate workspaces to create an ‘air gap’ that ensures confidentiality between internal working and communications with external consultants and suppliers.
As you can see, using Kahootz at the heart of all your procurement processes creates a virtuous circle that strengthens relationships and improves stakeholder engagement around future collaborative procurement projects. You can get partners and suppliers involved early and strengthen your relationships with them. You can explore new possibilities pre-procurement and try out new things. Finally, improved team communications provide opportunities for contributing fresh thinking and innovative ideas.
To learn more about putting collaboration at the heart of procurement, download our free guide Collaborative Procurement and the Art of the Possible – you’ll find plenty of real world examples of public sector organisations using Kahootz to create a virtuous circle of procurement.