Pre Award Meeting

Once the evaluation is done, a preferred vendor should have surfaced. Beyond the evaluation, it is up to the user, his company policy, and conscience to make the selection. Once made, a meeting with the vendor is recommended. It may be good practice to keep the second choice vendor in the background at this time. Also, under no circumstances should anyone leak the selection to the vendor. This is the first of a trading session, and until the vendor is sure he has an order, he will stay in a trading posture. If two vendors were tied or too close to call, both vendors may be called in individually.

The vendor should be informed that a decision is imminent and that he should bring technical personnel capable of fielding in-depth questions.

The specification and the proposal should be reviewed in depth. Options and their cost should be covered. Completeness is important because it is now time for the vendor to commit to any remaining items. If there was a single vendor in the lead, then, once the open questions are resolved, it would be safe to place the order. If, at the meeting, all questions were settled in a satisfactory manner, it can be quite good psychologically to place the order on the spot.

On the other hand, if there appears to be a problem, particularly where there may be more issues open than resolved, a second-place vendor may be interrogated. After the two meetings, those involved can make the selection or recommendation, as policy dictates, as to the final candidate.

One item to mention that may seem trivial is that in many cases a somewhat adversary relationship often develops between vendor and user. This is really counterproductive. It may be inherent in the role of the user to be somewhat paranoid. It is worth spending time doing attitude adjustment to continue the project as partners working to get a joint successful project. Actually, the project is really more fun. There is a lot of work, but there is no point in making it other than pleasant by having poor human relations. If people problems seem to appear early on, do something to get them resolved.

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