What are vendor selections and why are they important?
All organizations, public and private, large and small, will at some point need goods, works, or services from others. Whether it is buying new office equipment, an information technology system, or professional consulting services, a process to select a vendor will be required.
Although the process lifecycle varies from organization to organization, they generally include multiple phases. For example:
- Phase 1 – Market Research
- Phase 2 – Solicitation Planning
- Phase 3 – Vendor Selection
- Phase 4 – Contract Award
Vendor selections are important because, when done well, they can provide several advantages, such as: accelerating progress; reducing costs, and improving quality. It also important that the vendor selection process be fair, unbiased, and standardized. A well-designed and executed process will not only build trust with your existing and prospective vendors, but it will also greatly reduce protests associated with contract awards, which has become more prevalent in recent years within the public sector.
How does Definitive help facilitate this process?
Vendor selections are, by their very nature, a team sport. As such, the process must promote teamwork.
Definitive’s role is centered in phases 2 and 3. In phase 2 (Solicitation Planning), Definitive will first assist in the determination of the procurement type (best value or lowest price). If the procurement is to be a best-value source selection (BVSS), Definitive will facilitate the establishment and weighting of the selection criteria and build the evaluation model, which includes factors, sub-factors, and rating scales. In federal government procurements, this results in what is referred to as “Section M: Evaluation Factors for Award.”
After the Request for Proposals (RFP) has been released and proposals received, Definitive’s role is to facilitate phase 3 (Vendor Selection), which includes the review and assessment of the proposals; the consensus-based vendor selection decision, and the development of the justification documentation.
Definitive also assists the customer by managing the business process, developing job aids and reports, and providing and maintaining the support tools, such as Definitive Pro™ and Microsoft SharePoint.
Example Decision Model
Definitive Pro™ enables the vendor selection team to collaborate anytime, anywhere, using any device. By making it easier to participate, we: bring together representatives from procurement, finance, business, technology and security; promote teamwork; and improve cross-functional insight.
Definitive Pro™ uses the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to accurately establish the relative importance of the selection criteria, and efficiently score all vendor proposals. The consistent and transparent scoring process yields greater consensus and buy-in than other approaches.
Definitive Pro™ employs the Gurobi optimizer®, a state-of-the-art mathematical programming solver for optimizing the allocation of resources. The Gurobi optimizer quickly identifies the set of vendors and offers that maximize value, while satisfying all dependencies and constraints.
Faster and better decisions — Justifiable decision rationale — Historical record of decisions
Definitive Pro™ also powers group decision support for:
- Budget Formulation
- Business Opportunity Selections
- Business Partner Selections
- IT Demand Management
- Merger & Acquisition Selections
- Organizational Cost Savings
- Personnel Selections
- Product and Feature Selections
- Requirements Prioritization
- Risk Assessments
- Strategic Investment Selections
- Strategy Development
- Surveys and Audience Response