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Unlocking potential: the power of evaluation in construction procurement

30 January 2023
4 minutes read

The level of feedback provided by commissioning authorities in response to bids and tenders can be hugely varied, from in-depth debriefs down to just a few general bullet points. However, Jonathan Parker, procurement expert and our Head of Construction, believes that the power of evaluation should not be overlooked. Here, he discusses how the evaluation process is central to continuous improvement and industry betterment within construction.

Framework providers are bound to comply with the regulations they procure under, providing a mandatory minimum standard of any process. For example, all organisations procuring under the Public Contracts Regulations (PCR) will reveal the details of the winning bidder and scores to ensure compliance, but as with anything this is open to interpretation and means responses vary across the industry.

However, comprehensive feedback is the only route to really achieving the continuous improvement the construction industry strives for.

While the industry continues to work towards the gold standard, there is no true ‘one size fits all’ approach to procurement – nor should there be. Although, each framework and mini competition will follow the same principles and similar delivery when it comes to the stages that bidders will go through.

Clear and detailed feedback is particularly important when considering that any client can alter how a scheme may be evaluated – for example choosing to weight tenders towards a certain element like social value. Framework providers are able to create bespoke deliverables for any such tender accordingly, meaning they are also able to provide the detailed feedback on submissions to both successful and unsuccessful bidders.


Compliance is paramount, but continuous improvement must be enabled

For any client, using a framework provider is a huge benefit when it comes to making the process as smooth as possible, while ensuring compliance. But there are further benefits, such as having the experts to design and draft all procurements centrally to guarantee best practice and compliance.

Being able to receive evaluation support on the procurement process is very important for clients as it gives them an extra layer of governance – and reduces the risk of challenge to zero. Pagabo strives to make everything as transparent as possible, implementing a number of measures such as moderation meetings and tender summary recommendation reports.

As previously mentioned, there is a mandate to provide a minimum level of feedback following an evaluation that aids suppliers in understanding the outcome, but each organisation will have their own approach to this. Any process sets the standard for feedback during the life of a framework agreement for successful suppliers.

A good evaluation is as much about the design and execution as it as about the outcome. Everything must be correctly and compliantly documented and must be able to stand up to both internal and external inspection.

Through effective, transparent and detailed evaluation and feedback, suppliers are able to take learnings forward from unsuccessful bids. Equally, unsuccessful bidders are encouraged to bid for other offerings from the provider with the newfound understanding of how to improve future submissions.


A two-way relationship for industry betterment

Giving evaluation support on the procurement process is clearly imperative to bidders being able to improve their competitive performance in future through understanding the requirements. However, if we are to continue to develop the gold standard in procurement, this means the feedback and knowledge sharing must flow in both directions.

The evaluation and feedback process is not there just to help bidders improve their competitive performance. Any good framework provider knows it is also there to give them and clients the benefit of evolving their offering, ensuring it maintains the highest standards and best value for money outcomes.

We are continually improving our own processes at Pagabo, taking lessons forward from each and every delivery to make things better the next time. One such area we are constantly examining and working on is our documentation, making sure that frequently asked questions are captured for clarity and to aid future bidding while reducing complexity.

The size of the procurement and framework teams we hold at Pagabo provides us with a huge advantage in that we can implement change and improvements within our documentation incredibly swiftly. This means that lessons can be taken forward into future operations as quickly as possible, without being caught up in administration.

Crucially, evaluation and feedback in procurement is in place to ensure compliance as a minimum – but when approached with a transparent, open-minded attitude, it holds the power to unlock further continuous improvement for the industry.

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