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Procurement Best Practice – Course Details

2 days

What is this course about?
Procurement is often left solely in the hands of procurement specialists but having a better understanding of what goes into procurement and how to achieve the best results is a major skill for most senior managers to acquire and it will allow them to direct and manage procurement much more successfully.

We have found that many companies that we have worked for and with are so focused on sales and marketing that procurement is seen as less important, but when putting together a major bid it is usually vital to procure some services, hardware, intellectual property or software, and sometimes all four, as components of the proposal. Procurement specialists have a vital role to play but their priorities need to be aligned to the business and the best way of achieving that is to understand procurement from the inside and to see how to adjust their priorities to the current needs. In some procurement exercises, for example, cost may be the driving force and procurement professionals deal with that effectively but when other factors come into play, such as quality or responsiveness or timeliness, these need to be overtly introduced and not assumed.

Because we have worked on both sides of the procurement process, we bring a deeper understanding of the issues and also an awareness of how the procurement process will affect the future relationship with the supplier.

Specialist procurement companies exhibit a range of capabilities, some of which we have found positive but some of which can be quite destructive of the eventual relationship with the chosen supplier. One that we have dealt with – incidentally one of the largest and most successful in the UK – has a policy of including every possible contingency in its requests for information (RFI) and requests for pricing (RFP) and invitation to tender (ITT) with the result that the subsequent analysis of the responses is much more complex than it needs to be. It also puts potential suppliers to a great deal of trouble and, in our experience, generates much more heat than light. Our view is that directness and simplicity are what is required.

This course can be taken as an introduction to the next course which is writing requests for information and requests for pricing.

Key topics covered

  1. Analysis of the procurement process, with especial regard to the outcomes that are required
  2. Identifying the way that assumptions underpin any procurement process and how to make them overt
  3. Creating priorities and communicating those priorities to potential suppliers as well as the internal team
  4. Providing a way of evaluating procurement after the process has finished.

Who would benefit?

  • Senior management
  • Programme managers and project managers
  • Board members

The objectives of this course include:

  • Creating a practical awareness of the procurement process and issues
  • Developing a more structured approach among non-specialist managers to all the issues around procurement
  • Providing insights into best practice
  • Understanding and controlling costs in the procurement process and developing an approach to understanding the return on the investment in the process
  • Identifying next steps – which may include the next course on developing RFIs, RFPs and ITTs.


  • Greater confidence and understanding of the procurement process
  • Greater confidence in dealing with and managing the procurement specialists where they are involved
  • Better understanding of what win-win actually means in practice
  • In depth understanding of the costs involved and the return on investment – with a particular understanding of the benefits and dysbenefits of re-procuring periodically
  • Much more tightly controlled procurement process
  • A better, stronger and more productive relationship between the contracting parties
  • Reduced costs in the procurement process.

Key topics covered

1. Analysis of the whole process from initial opportunity through to fulfilment

  • The steps in procurement
  • Setting overt objectives for the procurement process
  • Key issues
  • How to identify potential conflicts of interest
  • How to avoid conflicts of interest
  • Formal and less formal processes
  • Creating the right procurement environment

2. How to ensure that all assumptions are identified and shared – and thoroughly tested

  • The role of assumptions
  • How to ensure that all assumptions are identified and made overt
  • Processes for dealing with assumptions prior to procurement
  • How to remain reasonably flexible when dealing with assumptions
  • Pitfalls

3. Relationship(s) with suppliers and potential suppliers

  • The range of possible supplier relationships from arms length supplier to joint venture or partner
  • Assessing the most appropriate relationship in each case
  • How to share in value created by the procurement process
  • How to control special interests
  • The role of objectivity
  • The tests of objectivity

4. How to judge success in a procurement process

  • Analysis of the various potential outcomes
  • The role of objectives and assumptions in creating the best solution
  • How to assess the results

5. How to evaluate procurement performance

  • Understanding the costs involved, direct and indirect – especially how bidding costs are recovered by the chosen supplier
  • When to go out to tender again as opposed to rolling over the current contract
  • Key performance indicators
  • Understanding the limits of procurement specialists
  • Understanding business results
  • Understanding the return on the investment for the procurement process
  • Key learning so that procurement gives greater value for money and a better return on the investment in the process.

In-company training

Are you interested in running this course for your team or organisation?

This programme can be delivered on a date of your choice and at a location of your choice, in other words exactly where and when you need it!

From the outset we will provide you with expert advice and you will be assigned your own personal training adviser who will stay with you throughout the process. Every team is different so we will provide you with a tailored training programme, designed around your team’s needs and focused on your desired outcomes.

All courses are followed up by a full training evaluation report and certificates of learning for each delegate. For groups of up to 12 delegates per course, our in-company training is a very cost-effective way to develop your people and improve team performance.

Get in touch today for a full quotation to suit your budget.

To discuss your requirements in more detail with one of our friendly advisers please call on 0845 130 5714 or email one of the team at

Alternatively you can complete the short contact form below.

Getting in Touch

If you would like to discuss your procurement training requirements with someone on the phone, please call us on 0845 130 5714 and you will be put straight through to one of our friendly advisers who will be pleased to assist you further.

Alternatively if you would prefer you can email us at or fill out our simple online contact form below and one of the team will get straight back to you.

If the exact solution does not already exist in our portfolio we will design something specifically for you.