noun: procurement; plural noun: procurements
- the action of obtaining or procuring something.
- “financial assistance for the procurement of legal advice”
- the action or occupation of acquiring military equipment and supplies.
- “defense procurement”
The above graphic came from the google dictionary search and shows how many times the word procurement has been used since 1800.
Here at netlogx we have at least two views of the procurement process:
- responding to opportunities for netlogx to provide services to organizations
- supporting organizations in the planning, writing and evaluation of procurements
Operating on both sides of the equation provides great insights here at netlogx. And by leveraging our internal lessons learned process we ensure both our own responses improve over time. In addition, we can more effectively support organizations we work with to develop the right request structure to ensure the winning response meets their needs.
Even before netlogx, yes there was a time before the green logo, I’d participated in writing requests for services and in developing content for inclusion in responses. My memories are of great intentions and ideas leading to an almost inevitable frantic scramble to finalize the needs or compile the responses. Lots of late nights and weekend work, and this was before the internet made remote working collaborative. So, we’d all be in the office together with fast food menus. Or simply put in far more eloquent words, “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there”, L. P. Hartley.
My next lightbulb experience was being a consultant for a netlogx project working an Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) for a major healthcare project. Oddly, we were brought in early to provide an independent assessment of the procurement process. In addition, netlogx was asked to prepare the support for compliance with the evaluation process. We were a silent resource as teams from across the organization read, discussed and scored the responses. We learned a great deal about how to look at our own efforts in drafting responses. Buzzwords, sales language and vague statements of competence are at first highlighted as funny, then moved to irritating and eventually can become distractions to an otherwise responsive submission. However, the key takeaway was how often the actual questions included in the responses were simply not answered.
Finally, as we have worked with multiple organizations helping them identify roadmaps to change and working to craft requests for proposals we’ve established the following steps to success:
- Define the Vision
- Understand the Landscape
- Understand Procurement Rules
- Communicate & Coordinate
- Invest in Requirements
- Develop Evaluation Options
- Commit to the Evaluation Process
Nothing shared here is rocket science but if we run before walking, requestors can often end up with what we ask for not what was needed; or, as responders, we are providing what we want, not what was asked for!
To quote another two Brits, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger:
At netlogx we’re here to help you get what you need, for ongoing success!