Is it possible to guarantee quality based on documentation received in response to an invitation for bids?
While preparing to brief an evaluation panel, the chair reserved for me was a bit wobbly so I decided not to sit on it. Comments were made about the quality of the chair because it had been purchased a year ago, and there had been problems with the furniture from a particular supplier.
One of my colleagues raised an interesting question: Is it possible to guarantee quality goods during the bid evaluation process based only on documentation received from bidders?
The truth is, quality cannot be determined solely based on documents received in response to an invitation for bids. And the buyer has the right to verify information submitted by bidders at any staged in the bid evaluation process.
The evaluation and selection process is designed to review bids using stipulated evaluation criteria to determine to what extent bids received meet the technical requirements stipulated in the bidding documents.
The evaluation panel concludes the evaluation process with a recommendation. If the recommendation is to award a contract and it is approved, a contract is signed with the recommended firm.
Goods may be inspected prior to shipment and also during the receiving process. These inspections are for the purpose of confirming quality and detecting any defects or damage to the goods. If any defects or damage is detected, a remedy can be sought based on the terms and conditions of the contract.
Also, after goods have been inspected and received, any defects covered under the warranty agreed in the contract would necessarily be the responsibility of the supplier with which the contract was signed, and in some cases the manufacturer if clearly stipulated in the contract.
Warranties and guaranties are mechanisms available in procurement to assure quality or to seek remedy. They are established for a period of time after receiving the goods, and have stipulated conditions under which either can be put to use if the product is found defective for reasons stipulated in contract.
So, although it’s not possible to determine quality solely based on the content of bids received in response to invitation for bids, appropriate mechanisms must be put in place to insure that the quality is verified prior to contract award, during the receiving process and after contract award.
How about you? What are your thoughts on this? Leave a comment.