A further competition, previously knows as a mini-competition, is a procurement process in which awarded suppliers on a framework produce a tender that outlines how they can meet the customers needs.
So, you’ve decided that using a framework is the best way for you to renew or set up a new contract for a product, service or works.
Now you have a few tendering options open to you. One of them includes to run a further competition.
If you're having trouble following the procurement jargon, you can see our guide to understanding procurement phrases here.
But how does a further competition work?
Stage 1 – Get prepared
Do your research on the market of the goods and services you’re looking to source and determine exactly what requirements need to be met.
- Build up a detailed description of everything you’re looking for
- Decide how long you want your contract with the supplier to last, is it a one-off purchases or a long-term arrangement?
- Make sure that all your stakeholders are on board – do your finance team or legal team need to be involved? If they do, it’s better to involve them as early as possible.
TIP: As a public procurement organisation, YPO can help you understand your options and then run a further competition to provide you with the best tender.
Stage 2 – Get your documents ready
As a starting point, speak with us, because we run further competitions on behalf of many of our customers, we often have template documents that you can use and should find useful. Get in touch with our Procurement Services Team to access these.
You’ll need to work out how you’re going to evaluate all the submissions from the suppliers. This is called the Award Criteria.
Typically the award criteria will involve coming up with questions that will allow the suppliers to demonstrate how they’ll meet your needs.
For example, questions could be tailored around quality aspects of the organisation or products or how the supplier will deliver the service to you.
To evaluate the questions, you’ll need to decide on both a score and a weighting. How you’re going to score them and adding a weighting will help you identify the most important points to you.
TIP: Make sure your documents or questions aren’t too long - this isn't a lengthy tendering exercise!
Stage 3 – Issue your documents
Next send your documents to the suppliers on the framework that meet your requirements, there’s a number of ways you can issue these:
- On the YPO portal
- On your own procurement portal
- Via email
We aim to make the further competition process as simple and easy as possible for our customers, and although we understand many buyers desire to run the competition themselves via their own portals or emails, many also prefer to use our website.
For both our Apprenticeship and LGRP frameworks, you can now run a further competition on our website. For LGRP click here and Apprenticeships click here.
TIP: Make sure you give the suppliers enough time to respond to your further competition. The more time the better, as you’ll get better responses. You can also give the suppliers an opportunity to ask questions to optimize tender responses, but make sure to give them a deadline to get their questions to you!
Stage 4 - Evaluation
When evaluating your responses, don’t deviate from the award criteria that you previously set, as you could face legal challenges.
It's also recommended to have at least two people evaluate the answers then agree on a final score for each submission.
Do make detailed notes during your evaluation and reasons for the final score so you can give feedback to the suppliers.
TIP: Don’t open the submissions before the closing date – it needs to stay fair and equal. Using your own portal or the YPO portal will help with this, as it can lock them away until the deadline has passed.
Stage 5 – Contract award
You’ll now be able to identify a winner from the scores you’ve given at the evaluation stage, and it’s now time to notify all the suppliers of the result.
The best way to do this is by letter. This might include details of the winner, feedback and the scores (If you have chosen for us to run the competition on your behalf, YPO will notify the suppliers).
It’s recommended you allow a 10 day standstill period before entering into a contract with the winning supplier.
TIP: If a supplier asks for more feedback, you can do this and it's usually beneficial especially to small and medium enterprises but do ensure any feedback is directly related to their submission, and not any commercial details of the winner.
And that’s it! – Once the standstill period has passed you can begin your contract with your supplier.
But please remember, at YPO we’re here to help. If you’re still unclear on a how a further competition works, or anything else in the procurement processes, speak to us!