Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) are living shortlists of suppliers that organisations join by completing the selection stage requirements. They help buyers quickly and efficiently procure goods, works and services commonly available on the market from a refreshable pool of suppliers. To celebrate the introduction of a DPS module on the Delta eSourcing system, BiP Solutions journalist Julie Shennan has provided these five top tips for best use of this route to market.
1. Use DPS for specialist contracts
Theoretically Dynamic Purchasing System supplier lists have no limit in size or duration. A supplier can join the DPS at any time but work is not guaranteed until the buyer issues a contract notice for a specific requirement using the DPS.
Each time an authority seeks to procure using the DPS they must invite everyone who has successfully complied with the selection criteria and can fulfil the requirements of the specific tender in question.
This means that DPS are best suited to contracts that have very specific requirements and a small number of potential suppliers – or else there would be an unmanageable amount of tender documentation for buyers to content with.
One example of a ‘specialist contract’ that has been delivered by DPS in the past is the provision of local taxi services for a regional authority.
2. Clarify your DPS tender brief
DPS applicants no longer need to submit indicative tenders (proposing working terms and pricing) with their request to join. Under the old DPS system buyers ran a full tender exercise in the Open Procedure, so they knew exactly what was being offered by each of the suppliers.
With indicative tenders no longer a requirement under the new DPS process – which uses the Restricted Procedure to run the selection stage – buyers must make their tender briefs as clear as possible, to avoid unsuitable suppliers applying.
To do this, buyers should specify the quantities or values of the goods or services the authority anticipates the Dynamic Purchasing System will cover.
3. Split big requirements into lots
When dealing with a large scope of goods or services, authorities are obliged to break them down into smaller lots, making them more accessible to SMEs.
4. Get your timescales correct
The timescale for the initial selection stage is 30 days from the OJEU advertisement.
All suitable applicants, who meet the selection criteria and avoid exclusion, are mandatorily admitted onto the Dynamic Purchasing System.
The usual timescale for return of tenders is 10 days and the authority will select the winning bid or bids; this time limit can be reduced by mutual agreement between the contracting authority and all suppliers in the relevant DPS. There is no obligation to undertake a standstill period.
Once a contract has been awarded the winner(s) will fulfil it until the contract’s completion; however, when it goes to re-tender any new DPS members who meet the selection criteria are mandatorily admitted.
5. Keep track of DPS with good e-procurement
To deal with tighter DPS timescales buyers must use an efficient e-procurement solution. Buyers must find a good, robust electronic system such as Delta’s DPS Manager, on which suppliers can apply at any time. Buyers must also seek a system that can control the selection process, run the tender procedures, host a list of prospective future bidders, and provide an audit log.
A Dynamic Purchasing System can now be open for 10 or 20 years; this highlights the need for an e-procurement solution that can host lengthy audit trails.
These audit trails will keep track of everything that has been done and ensure that the DPS is fair for its duration.
For more information on the Dynamic Purchasing System, please click here.