Best value procurement
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In a best value system, the value of procured goods or services can be simply described as a comparison of costs and benefits. A contractor or vendor is thus selected through a process of researching the vendors or contractors before a detailed project plan is made. Although BVP is a new procurement method, it does build on procuring and tendering according to the MEAT principle (Most Economically Advantageous Tender). The principle enables the contracting authority to take account of criteria that reflect qualitative, technical and sustainable aspects of the tender submission as well as price when reaching an award decision. The BVP approach is based on the conviction that minimizing risks or eliminating risks when allocated information is effectively used for a proper choice. This means the more information that is available and the better it is utilized, the better the future can be predicted and the fewer decisions or risks have to be made. BVP is not merely a procurement method but an approach based upon natural law8. Rather than changing and manipulating people, one can understand the nature of transactions which then can be anticipated on using expertise to a maximum, with minimum risks and maximum value as a result. Typically values are assigned to factors such as price, past performance, schedule, and vision. These values are tabulated for each potential vendor or contractor and one will come out on top.
Benefits of BVP
This system is claimed to be beneficial because it needs less decision making, prepares for the future, and minimizes risk. Even if risks occur, they can be effectively controlled or managed. One of the most important aspects of best value procurement is looking at past performance. It has a vision and method for procuring and tendering in which the main focus is not price, but the performance of market parties . If a client is looking to build a five million dollar building, it is important to see if potential vendors have compent and if it is allowed for US federal government projects under the Federal Acquisition Regulation and 10 USC § 2304.
Uses of BVP Around the World
The BVP is developed in the United States of America. This system has been practiced in many of its projects and implemented by some governments, such as that of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, BVP is known as "Performance Procurement" (prestatie inkoop) where it is based on best price-value.
Phases of BVP
The Best Value Procurement process is made up of four phases: preparation, selection, clarification, and execution.
Choosing factors for BVP
The process of choosing the factors to guide procurement toward best value has three stages: identifying the possibilities, choosing relevant factors, and assigning values, or "weights".
Identifying the possibilities is completed by the public procurement professionals in cross-functional teams, as well as company stakeholders with biggest agency. There is a risk of the potential lack of information, or expertise, on the side of the purchasing organization about the implementation of best value practices in specific cases. In such cases, public procurement professionals involved in the process reach out to other organizations, inquire about the best procurement practices, etc.
Choosing relevant factors - during this stage, public procurement professionals assess multiple factors, such as the right quality, quantity, time, place, source, price, and risk. Other factors which can be taken into account are reliably, impact on the environment, and social benefit. It is the responsibility of the procurement professionals to choose the most relevant factors for consideration.
Assigning values - based on the various conditions under which the procurement procedure is taking place, different factors are considered more or less valuable.
Alternatives to BVP
The most popular alternative to BVP is Lowest-Bid Procurement. Since the early 1800's, governments around the world have been using the simplistic lowest-bid process of public auctions. This was considered to be allowing them to derive the highest value from their purchases. In the modern times, however, the drawbacks of such process are recognized. Lowest-bid procurement does not consider the quality and the reliability of the services provided by the lowest bidder. This has the potential to result in bigger losses for the consumers of the purchase, and in some industries even lead to deaths of people due to the low quality of the good (e.g. public transportation).
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