"Will Parsons and Mark Allen provided really useful input to our Best Value Review of Procurement and helped us achieve a much better result with more substantial savings identified through improved procurement practices"
Best Value Officer
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
Improve your procurement web pages
Public Sector procurement web pages tend to be one of these two extremes:
- Cluttered up with rules and guides
- Minimalist with nothing of relevance
There are some in between, but they are rare. Read the following and compare it to your web pages.
Who are the procurement web pages for?
- Potential suppliers
- Current supplies
So why are most web pages written in a self serving style with a tick-the-box' mentality? There's a 'lets' pile it all in and we're covered from all angles' approach. Maybe it's so procurement teams can claim to comply with 'best practice' and the 'National Procurement Strategy'.
What purpose do web pages serve?
- Advertise current and future business opportunities
- How to quote/tender for these opportunities
Web pages are not for confusing potential and current suppliers. However, they do showcase your reputation and image; make sure suppliers don't have a cluttered and unwelcoming experience. The following extract is a good example.
"New suppliers please note: Calls to the Strategic Procurement office regarding the supply of goods or services by new suppliers are not encouraged. Please use the e-mail system - callers will be directed to do so in any event."
Does this translate into a warm welcome? What impression do you have of this Council?
How many potential suppliers do you think read your equality and diversity policy before there is a suitable business opportunity? Just provide links to key policies and your procurement strategy not a running commentary; most suppliers don't want to read them until they need to. What they really want is:
- List of business opportunities, current and future
- List of current contracts
- How they need to quote, express an interest and tender
Anything you include on your web pages must be:
- Up to date
- Relevant to potential and current suppliers
- Plain English
Apart from clutter or a lack of information the biggest difficulty is out of date content. It makes visitors to the web pages feel neglected and suggests the purchaser isn't bothered.