You don’t get what you buy – You get what you specify.
Suppliers sell their products and services. Some products could be considered commodity products where several suppliers sell the “same” product and the decision becomes a matter of price and delivery. However, in the fields of warehouse equipment there is considerable variation in the types and uses of warehousing and the products stored in them.
Given such a diverse market there is a considerable range of suppliers and products and the choices are not so clear cut. The equipment also must be integrated into your operation. For example, mechanical handling equipment has to work with the storage equipment and warehouse layout you have, the operational processes you use, your operators and the IT systems.
Frequently you will end up with having to decide such questions as “is this function and capability that this supplier offers worth the additional money they want”, or what are the benefits of x.
It is worth analysing your actual requirements, understanding the opportunities and constraints of your systems and operation and putting together a requirements specification.
LPC can help you identify what your requirements are, and avoid paying more than you need for equipment, systems and services or paying for bells and whistles that add nothing to your operation.
It is not expected that you have the same level of detailed knowledge of the equipment as the supplier, but you should know what your expectations are for the performance of what you are buying. With are broad market knowledge and technical understanding of materials handling equipment, LPC can provide the performance specifications requirements for your operation.
ITT / RFQ process
Invitation to Tender, Request for Quotation, there are many ways of phrasing and acronyms used in the procurement process. They are all about taking control of the process and establishing that you are buying the racking, an automated system etc. rather than the suppliers are selling. In the ITT / RFQ you are setting out what you want and the terms and timescales under which you want to procure. You should also set out what you expect to see in the response and how you wish to receive it. A key part of the ITT / RFQ that you issue is the specification of the equipment or system you wish to procure.
In any tender assessment process, there are a number of criteria that would need to be fulfilled for a successful procurement and implementation. These criteria can be used in the selection process to provide a quantitative scoring approach to support your qualitative assessment. The criteria need to be determined and be ranked in importance prior to scoring the potential suppliers offer and ability to meet your requirements.
LPC has significant expertise in the developing scoring matrices to support their client’s decision making and determining the best option.
Read Our Blog
The Importance Of User Requirement Specifications For A Successful Project
In this week’s article, in the series from members of the Automated Material Handling Systems Association (AMHSA), David Hayward-Browne, Director of Logistics Planning Consultants International (LPC), considers one of the key requirements when procuring an automated system: the use of Requirement Specifications within the project process and their benefits.