The Purchasing Cycle The Purchasing Cycle

Identify Need Identify Need

It is at this stage that the biggest impact on cost and sustainability can be made. Staff should consider whether the goods/services they are contemplating are genuinely needed. If the goods/services are required consider alternative to outright purchase such as lease, rent, refurbish existing equipment, share with other departments.

Develop Specification Develop Specification

Once the need has been established the specification must be produced. This is key as the specification communicates details of the requirement to suppliers and enables them to form a price. The specification also forms the legal basis of the contract between the supplier and UEA so it is important that all relevant requirements and limitations are set out clearly.

The specification will influence the cost of the goods/services and their impact. It is important that goods/services are not over specified as this will add to the cost.

  • think about how the item will be disposed of at the end of its life. Consider requesting items that can be remanufactured/composted/disassembled into component parts for recycling/re-use etc.
  • use Ecolabels to draft specifications, for details please see the Ecolabels section of the Purchasing webpages.
  • energy efficiency - eg specific 'A' rated appliances or equipment with 'standby' modes.
  • specify use of renewable materials.
  • specify use of resources from sustainably managed supplies eg wood from FSC certified forests.
  • specify electronic invoicing and payment.
  • reduce the number of deliveries; this will reduce emissions and cost.

Identify Suppliers Identify Suppliers

The following number of suppliers should be invited to quote/tender:

Purchase under £5k           

No obligations although prudent to shop around 

£5k to £25k

3 - 5 written quotations should be obtained

£25k to EU limits

5 sealed-bid tenders should be sought

EU Limited

Dependant on the process but usually a minimum of 5 suppliers taken 
through to tender.

Tendering Process Tendering Process

The purchasing team will assist staff with the production of tender documentation and will issue all tenders.

All bidders must be treated fairly and equally, to facilitate this all supplier queries should be directed through the purchasing team.

Tenders are received via the In-tend electronic tendering portal to ensure an audit trail.

Evaluation of Bids Evaluation of Bids

The purchasing team will support staff in the evaluation of bids. Quotations and tenders should be evaluated only on the information supplied not on past knowledge of suppliers.

Award Contract Award Contract

When the evaluation is complete the contract will be awarded to the supplier that has achieved the highest quality/price score.

Manage Contract Manage Contract

Following contract award for ongoing purchases the supplier will be monitored to ensure that performance meets the standards required.