Engage with your market for better outcomes

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Successful early Market Engagement is crucial to ensure you get exactly what you expected from bidders. But done badly, you risk suppliers feeling unsatisfied, disengaged and unlikely to deliver what you’re looking for.

In UK MOD, the recent Commercial Cascade from DE&S Director Commercial actioned project teams to work closely when engaging with suppliers, highlighting the importance of alerting the market to potential future requirements as early as possible.

Written specifically with our UK MOD audience in mind, in this blog I’ll take a quick look at how you can ensure you successfully engage the market to deliver best possible project outcomes. And fortunately for you, AWARD® is designed specifically to help you with every one of these.

1. Set objectives

Having Market Engagement objectives in place stimulates and assesses the market. This can help suppliers become better bidders by understanding your requirements, needs and expectations.

Suppliers can substantially enhance your understanding of the marketplace, and allow you to further test and confirm certain aspects of the project team’s approach.  These objectives should drive the market engagement plan, activities and resourcing.

2. Consider high level drivers

Each project has to consider what the high level drivers are for the potential procurement, as well as the market engagement themes. (These could include Procurement Approach, Solution Performance, Information Sharing, Deliverability, Commercial Approach and Value Management threads.) Every aspect of this is vitally important as it will underpin any decisions and choices that are made, informing the procurement strategy, scenario testing (Value for Money), negotiation and eventually contract management.

3. Be robust – scrutiny is watching

Scrutiny/CASDD will focus on the way in which Market Engagement operates, examining the evidence that underpins a particular business case or other approval, and looking at processes and the quality of the end results.  There are core evidence requirements during Stages 1 and 2 in a typical procurement: (Concept & Assessment Phases – CADMID* / Strategic Outline Case ‘SOC’ – MAID**)

  • An assessment of the market available to supply the requirement
  • Analysis of the position of the supplier(s)
  • Details of an industrial issue, sustainability of the industry sector or critical sub-contractors
  • Evidence that the customer is content that the requirement to be shared with industry meets its needs
  • Statements indicating which requirements are not yet confirmed/finalised
  • Draft requirements which could impact on cost/price and allocation of risk

This means every decision you make needs to be robust and transparent so you can act in the confidence that it won’t be successfully challenged. By routinely having an accurate understanding of your marketplace through early engagement, you’ll be able to make better decisions throughout your project.

4. Manage your market data

Securely managing your data gives you peace of mind and helps you to readily manage multiple communications with bidders, as well as controlling what access levels your project team members have. This means you can easily locate information from bidders, search for specific information and issue updates and announcements efficiently.

5. Make use of AWARD®

And finally, to implement and support all 4 of the above tips, utilise the DSP AWARD® Solution, for which the UK MOD has an enterprise-wide licence.

Via DSP AWARD®, we can help teams plan for early market engagement as well as design and conduct effective engagements. We’ll ensure you reach more suppliers more efficiently, ask better questions to get better answers, and translate analysis into better strategic programme and project choices.

This is all supported and evidenced by the AWARD® Market Engagement module which showcases your adherence to the principles of fairness, equal treatment and transparency.

If you would like to know more about our AWARD® Market Engagement module, or our expert procurement advice and support, please contact Ian Wiseman, MOD Business Development Manager

For further reading, take a look at our Market Engagement datasheet here.