The majority of tenders sent out by fleets are simply a ‘paper exercise’ that waste time and money for both fleets and their suppliers, a leading industry executive has claimed.
In addition, many tenders are over-complicated and create a mountain of text that hinders the whole process rather than helps it, according to Geoffrey Bray, chairman of Fleet Support Group.
The damning assessment comes as a new guide to tendering is launched by Fleet News in a bid to help companies to adopt best practice when finding new suppliers.
The guide covers every aspect of the tender process, from preparation, to writing, considering submissions and choosing suppliers.
“It seems that procurement people over-complicate the issues, introduce hidden agendas and create a mountain of text which then has to be digested by people with little or no knowledge of the subject,” said Mr Bray, who leads the largest independent fleet management company in the UK.
“I remember a tender presentation to a ‘selection committee’ with 15 people where the only common qualification was possibly a driving licence.
“In the majority of tenders, the company knows who it wants to deal with and that provider will win the tender regardless of other responses, thereby wasting everyone’s time.”
In some cases, tender documents have more than 150 questions and at the other end of the scale, companies just ask for simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers or ask impossible questions, such as the price of a bulb or tyre, without specifying any make or model of vehicle.
And despite a growth in tendering, customers are still choosing based on the lowest prices rather than the best service, Mr Bray argued.
“In too many cases, we’ve seen tenders completed, contracts put in place and the procurement team depart only to leave behind a service that does not suit the company’s operating requirement, just because the price was ‘competitive’,” he added.