As promised in our 2018 Year in Review, we will delve into some of the new and innovative procurement strategies that are being implemented by your colleagues across the country. This is by no means an exhaustive list. We know that many of you are exploring new approaches to enhance the value received from your procurements, and we invite you to contact us with your own examples so that we can share the information with other procurement professionals across the country. Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn valuable lessons and new approaches that have been tested in the market?

The first of this three-part series explored Social Procurement as the exciting new frontier for Canada. In this second article, we examine Procurement Collaboration Strategies, including ways to engage the market during the early planning stage of your projects. Our next article will explore some best practices and real examples of successful Vendor Management Systems.

Early Market Engagement and Collaboration

While not a new concept, we have seen a number of innovative new strategies emerge for discussions with industry in the early planning stages of procurement – while there is still time to change direction or refine your preliminary thinking. The reason we go to market is generally because they are the experts, so doesn’t it make sense to involve them in planning your procurements and resulting projects? Of course the key is to ensure there is no commitment to proceed, and that the market will support such endeavors. From use of the Competitive Dialogue process by UHN for pre-RFX one-on-one solutions discussions with leading industry players, to the Town of Smithers engaging the local Construction Association to help with a Constructability Review to ensure their preliminary construction plans, budget, timelines and other key components were reasonable, 2018 saw some exciting developments. All this reinforces that long gone are the days of ‘us vs them’. If you are looking for some innovative strategies that you can begin to implement at your own organization, join our eseminar scheduled for April 3, 2019 that explores this topic in much more detail.

Let’s use 2019 to build stronger supplier relationships, maximize the positive impact our procurement initiatives can have, and embark on a new era of maximizing value while shoring up fairness and transparency of process.

Readers are cautioned not to rely upon this article as legal advice nor as an exhaustive discussion of the topic or case.  For any particular legal problem, seek advice directly from your lawyer or in-house counsel.  All dates, contact information and website addresses were current at the time of original publication.