Public Procurement: This is how I win the deal

Many perceive public procurement as complex and bureaucratic. The problems lead to unauthorized direct procurement and missed business for the suppliers. Knut Fahlén, Ek Dr and management consultant at Ekan, has many good examples of measures for both companies and clients. "How I win the deal" is the theme at one of the seminars on the West Swedish Chamber of Commerce's procurement day on November 28.

The law is perceived as complicated

One problem is that the law is perceived as complicated, which makes it more difficult than necessary for both parties. On Western Sweden's procurement day, Ekan, the Procurement Company, as well as lawyers from Vinge and MAQS will point out the most common pitfalls and provide simple, practical tips for the benefit of both parties. Although the procurement day is primarily aimed at the business community, procured units can learn and become better by listening to participants' questions.

A clear example of pitfalls is how different evaluation models affect the outcome. Companies are often too poor at looking through what is "assigned importance" and leaving overs, or they are too tactical and leaving so-called zero bids that the customer has difficulty handling. Both of these "failures" ultimately affect us citizens and taxpayers, who expect missions to be carried out as cost-effectively as possible and with a high quality of service.

Time press is another pitfall on the client side. You underestimate the time it takes to do a procurement, and stress leads to carelessness or things being forgotten. Preconceived opinions about the supplier or insufficient market analysis are another matter. A third thing is locking, both internally when the requirements are to be formulated, and in the agreement where the supplier may want to change something afterwards. Knut's best tip is to do good preliminary work in the so-called "latent sales phase" so you avoid problems in bidding, and the likelihood of both parties becoming winners increases.

Price / quality problem

A recurring problem is too low quoted prices. Buyers want to shop as cheaply as possible. But if it is too cheap, it usually does not hold the quality or service you might expect. The relationship between quality and price is always there. Price dumping can usually occur because the evaluation models allow it. Although contractors are often looking for the needs picture in the business, too many people sit in their chambers and have little contact with reality and the market - especially when the procurement becomes complex or concerns services that are difficult to concrete. This can lead to procurement being redone and an unnecessary waste of resources from both the client and the supplier, and in the end a waste of public funds. In the worst case, it can lead to unnecessary third-party suffering, such as when procuring a cervical cancer vaccine..

In order for both parties to become winners, communication is often required at an early stage with several stakeholders and the experts in the area - both as a client and a supplier. In the worst case, if the procurement is not successful, the contracts can be annulled. As a supplier, you run the risk of not getting paid and as a customer not having access to the procured products or services. Hopefully, new rules (SOU 2011: 73) within the LoU to lead to better procurement and that more companies enter and compete in the public market.

About the program

Western Sweden's Procurement Day 2011 is a full-day seminar organized by the West Swedish Chamber of Commerce for its members on November 28 at the Wallenberg Conference Center, Medicinaregatan 20A in Gothenburg. The purpose of the day is to create new business and collaborations through inspiring meetings. Participants will learn, among other things, how to go about public procurement. Knut Fahlén leads a pass called "How I win the deal", together with lawyers from MAQS and Vinge, as well as procurers from Upphandlingsbolaget in the City of Gothenburg.

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