Solicitation of Bids and Proposals
The next step in the sourcing process is the solicitation phase. Solicitation, in simple terms, is the process of requesting bids or proposals from potential suppliers. Once the supplier research and market analysis is complete, and we have identified several suppliers that are well positioned in their markets and appear to have the qualifications we need, the sourcing team can develop a solicitation plan. The plan should establish the method to be used for the solicitation and, when applicable, the type of contract to be used.
In this chapter, we will examine the solicitation plan and the methods of solicitation.
To a large degree, the solicitation plan is driven by the nature of what is being acquired and the makeup of the supply base in the particular market in which we are sourcing. In the process of developing the plan, we must evaluate the nature of the acquisition as a way of narrowing the sourcing possibilities. Keep in mind that there are sourcing and procurement actions that fall outside the requirement for solicitation, such as purchasing card transactions and spot or micro-purchases that may simply be “shopped” by the procurement group.
Product or Service Characteristics
In an earlier chapter, we noted that the goods and services we typically source will have one of three possible general characteristics, determined by the statement of work or specification, and the nature of the market we discover ...