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How to Receive Sufficient Number of Quotations/Tenders from Suppliers


When establishing a framework, CPC carefully evaluate the number of suppliers that are given a place on each framework. This is a balance between the size of the supply market, choice for our members and enough suppliers to ensure a sufficient response to each request for quotation.

However, there are also steps you can take to make you a more attractive customer. This will increase the quality and number of responses you receive from suppliers when you submit requests for quotations/tenders:

  1. Plan ahead – giving suppliers sufficient time to respond is more likely to attract good quality quotations and tenders from suppliers. Insufficient deadlines can result in poor quality quotes and/or suppliers not submitting a bid at all which compromises your competitive tender exercise and may not comply with your financial regulations. The timescales to allow for supplier responses do vary depending on the complexity of the requirement. Best practice procurement suggests a minimum of two weeks from issuing the RFQ/ITT to receipt of supplier bids. A longer timescale will be needed for more complex requirements, such as those that involve a supplier site visit prior to bid submission. We would recommend five weeks is the minimum time that should be given to suppliers to respond to an RFQ/ITT for these types of procurement, longer if possible.
  2. Consider the demand – consider the likely demand for the product or service within the sector. Allow extra time for bid deadlines if purchasing during a busy period e.g. for a 1st August delivery deadline, over Christmas or bank holidays etc. Suppliers may not hold stock if the volume required is high and may need time to seek and confirm delivery dates.
  3. Detailed specification – consider carefully the information you provide in your specification. Is it detailed enough for suppliers to provide a comprehensive response? Giving suppliers insufficient information to enable them respond to your RFQ/ITT could make your request unattractive to a supplier who may then decline to bid. Use RFQ/ITT templates where available within the CPC user guide or ask your Regional Procurement Advisor for an example template.
  4. Length of contract – offering commitment to suppliers rather than spot purchasing could make you a more attractive customer to suppliers and therefore increase both the number and competitiveness of quotes received.

In addition, the CPC are investigating the possibility of amending the CPC Members In-Tend tool to require suppliers to provide reasons if they choose not to respond to mini competition opportunity. We are also committed to monitoring supplier responses and going forward, will be requiring our suppliers to provide information to us on the number of RFQ/ITTs they have received and the number of bids they have submitted.

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