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How to Get Clarity in Your Procurement Specifications

How to Get Clarity in Your Procurement Specifications
By Stephen C Carter

A procurement specification is an essential document when going to market with a new tender. It is a statement of what you, the buyer, wants from the purchase in terms of the attributes the product or service must have. Equally, it is an essential document for the supplier as they use the specification to ensure that they have understood your requirements, can deliver to the standards you have set and can also price their bid so that they make a fair profit.

If your specification is to achieve all of this, it is vital that the specification is clear and unambiguous. Here is an example of what I mean.

Suppose your specification contains the statement “We need to improve the quality of our services”. You might think this is a reasonable and clear statement. Here are seven questions that show that it is not. Read the Complete Article

8 Traps to Avoid When Making Procurement Decisions

8 Traps to Avoid When Making Procurement Decisions
By Stephen C Carter

Bad decisions can often be traced back to the way decisions were made. The alternative were not clearly defined; the right information was not collected; the costs and benefits were not accurately weighed.

But sometimes the fault lies not in the decision making process but in the mind of the decision maker. In fact, the way our brains work can sabotage the choices we make.

An article by American academics (“Hammond, Ralph & Raiffa: The Hidden Traps in Decision Making,” Harvard Business Review, January 2006) identifies eight psychological traps that are particularly likely to affect the way in which we make decisions. Here they are:-

  1. The anchoring trap leads us to give undue weight to the first information we receive.
  2. The status quo trap biases us towards maintaining the current situation even in the face of evidence of better solutions.

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