This simple to run procurement exercise is in-place to help you select the most suitable supplier to meet your requirements creating fair ‘competition’ between them, to make sure you get the best value for money.
There are some important things to think about when it comes to the evaluation part of the process, as it will determine which supplier has scored the highest and is therefore successful. Here are some steps you can take so your evaluation is fair and compliant.
Deciding what to evaluate
Before you advertise your further competition, you’ll need to decide what to evaluate and how you’re going to do it – all this information should be put in your documents.
1. Create the award criteria - you’ll need to work out how you’re going to evaluate all the submissions from the suppliers. This is called the award criteria and is usually split into quality and cost. For quality, this will involve coming up with questions that will allow the suppliers to demonstrate how they’ll meet your needs. E.g. questions could be tailored around quality aspects of the organisation, products, or how the supplier will deliver the service to you
2. Decide on the scoring system - To evaluate the questions, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to score them and include this scoring methodology in your documents. E.g. 0 – 5, 0 being unacceptable and 5 being excellent. Add a weighting to each question to help you identify the most important points to you
You’ll also need to include how you’re going to evaluate cost.
Planning for your evaluation
1. Give yourself enough time - Allow enough time for the evaluation in your timescales. Prepare your evaluation documents before the competition deadline so they’re ready for you to start evaluating
2. Pick your team of evaluators - Decide who’s going to evaluate and make sure they have time booked out to do it. Have an evaluation panel of at least two people for the quality questions, but don’t include too many – make sure you include people who understand the products or services. Ensure someone different does the price evaluation. It shouldn’t be someone who’s evaluating the quality questions
Doing the evaluation itself
Once the further competition deadline has passed, you can evaluate the supplier submissions.
1. Not open any bids before the deadline
2. Complete a declaration of interest form and keep them on record
3. Evaluate the submissions individually. Assess the award criteria by evaluating each supplier response using the scoring methodology you said you were going to use
When evaluating supplier responses:
- Don’t make assumptions or ‘read into’ information provided by the supplier
- Provide a score based on the written responses only, not on what you already know about the supplier
- Apply scores consistently and don’t compare bids against each other
- Make comments to back up why you’ve given it the score you have
If you require clarification on a response, ask the supplier. This should be done through an etendering portal if you are using one. Don’t ask any new questions, you must only score what you said you were going to
Once the panel has completed their evaluations individually, hold a moderation meeting. Arrange a date and time for the panel to meet to discuss the scores. Identify where there are any differences of opinion, discuss the scores given and reasons why, before a final score is agreed – make notes to back this up as well
Once the evaluation has been completed and you know who the successful supplier or suppliers are, you can obtain any internal approval that’s required and then notify all suppliers of the outcome through the etendering portal you’re using. We advise including a “standstill period”, then you can award your contract after this. You should keep a record of all your evaluation documents.
If you have any questions on evaluating tenders or need help with evaluation templates, get in touch with the education procurement team on: [email protected]