The following issues are covered in this chapter.
- There is a logical sequence to the procurement of services, which covers policy, prequalification of service providers, tender documentation, the request for proposals, tendering and financial close. If the most suitable service provider is to be selected, a realistic timescale must be allowed for the procurement process.
- Defining the scope of services is a crucial step in successful procurement, by providing the basis for inviting proposals or tenders and, subsequently, in managing the performance of service providers. A poorly defined scope will lead, almost inevitably, to problems in service delivery and a negative impact on end-users.
- Key stakeholders – typically the end-users of services – must be involved in procurement if their needs are to be adequately addressed and communicated. Success depends on commitment to the process from all who could contribute.
- The capability and capacity of service providers needs to be established before any are invited to submit proposals or tenders.
- Prequalification criteria – of which there can be many – should be searching, but fair, and take account of service providers’ competence, skills and experience, which can be used to frame requirements.
- Service specifications and SLAs are tools for managing the quality/performance and value of services. They are the organization’s expression of requirements in a way that will motivate service providers to ...