During the project management process, various considerations have an important effect on the overall success of the project. As such while the project advances through the various stages all the stakeholders must be included on board at one time or the other. This calls for an all encompassing project strategy that should be able to achieve the desired results.
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One of the critical areas during any project development process which typically includes the system analysis and design stage involves procurement and vendor selection (Whitten & Bentley, 2005). At some stage during the project life cycle, vendors must be brought on board to supply the immediate project requirements which may be services or products that form part of the project.
A desirable procurement strategy can therefore comprise a vendor selection plan. This plan will explain all the requirements to be met by specified vendors in order to qualify as suitable candidates for consideration as the project progresses. The customer and vendor relationship is defined through a contract.
The contract defines the responsibilities assigned for each of the parties and the terms governing those responsibilities. An amicable relationship between the customer who in this case is the organization and the vendor is critical to ensuring the success of the procurement process.
Both parties must recognize that each has invested a very significant level of resources by the time they come to the point of ordering for equipment or services needed for the project. The vendor must be able to provide demonstrable ability and if necessary provide credible referees.
The organization or customer must have a clear objective of what they want to achieve and ensure that they effectively communicate with the vendors:
- To ensure that they will tender at the right time
- To confirm that the proposed timetable is reasonable
- To confirm that the technical requirements are achievable
- To obtain alternative viewpoints and success criteria.
Vendor visits would be the most appropriate for the organization during the vendor selection process. The vendors can visit the organization and demonstrate their expertise and exhibit their merchandise.
Alternatively, the vendors can invite a team from the organization consisting of technical and non technical members for a demonstration at the vendor site. This kind of arrangement however depends on the type of product being vended and the terms of the procurement contract (Anson, 2010).
The vendor visits approach has a number of advantages typical being the achievement of an objective assessment by the organization or customer as far as vendor capabilities is concerned. Such visits especially at the vendor’s site can reveal any inabilities.
Probably the only disadvantage related to the vendor visits approach may be the lack of time and resources to mobilize and implement the visit. Depending on what is being a procured, on-site demonstration especially at the customer or organization may be costly and sometimes technical.
A number of assessment methods can be used to identify a pool of vendors to ensure that the organization is properly established as concerns their procurement strategy. The methods available are both qualitative and quantitative capable of obtaining most reliable results.
The internet has revolutionized the way we carry out many processes including vendor selection. Vendors have gained meaningful use from the internet by establishing their presence through websites as a means of marketing and reference. Can we consider if it is viable to combine the vendor visits approach with online research?
Anson, M. (2010). Systems analysis and design. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Whitten, J., & Bentley, L. (2005). Systems analysis and design methods (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.