Careful planning is fundamental for the success of any project.

Let’s say a company decides to embark on a new e-commerce project. The success of this project depends on the quality of planning from the outset. There is a raft of factors to consider. These include budget and staffing considerations, e-commerce software, server, and database requirements.

Procurement is an integral part of most projects and has its own unique set of planning requirements. This is why many companies invest time in setting up a procurement management plan. These plans include decision-making criteria, contracts, approval processes, and costs.

A procurement management plan gives you a better understanding of the project requirements. It also helps prevent unwelcome surprises down the line.

Not sure where to start with setting up your procurement plan? I’ve put together a 7-step process to set you on your way.

1. Define roles and responsibilities clearly

First and foremost, identify who’ll be working on the project. Doing so ensures everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.

One top tip is to use a whiteboard app with Dialpad to help you map out individual roles. It’s often easier to see the big picture and avoid omissions if you can visually represent key factors and requirements.

Image source
Alt text: Example of process maps on a whiteboard app

2. Make a schedule

A procurement management plan should include scheduling details to ensure each process is set up and implemented on time. You can also drill down more deeply and divide the project into specific tasks with start and end dates.

Predicting timescales as accurately and comprehensively as possible will avoid unnecessary delays. It will also help you deal with project roadblocks effectively should they occur.

3. Determine and mitigate the risks involved

Some risks are unavoidable, so it’s always a good idea to include them in your plan to help you define measures to mitigate their effects. Once you’ve done this, you can delegate responsibility to specific team members.

4. Establish costs

When you’ve figured out individual costs, you’ll be ready to solicit bids from suppliers. It’s worth following some business proposal writing tips to ensure you include everything. You can then feed the quotations you get from your prospective suppliers into your plan.

5. Obtain contract approval

Now it’s time to review the bids and analyze service scope and cost. Then, make a list of the project group’s decision-makers and send the bids to them for review. This procedure ensures that everyone who needs to give their approval has the opportunity to provide their input.

6. Develop decision criteria

Establishing clear and quantifiable decision criteria makes choosing the right suppliers easier. You can then make decisions based on different criteria. These include quality, cost, safety, delivery, service, sustainability, social responsibility, convenience and agility.

Once you’ve established the most important criteria, you can set up a supplier evaluation matrix. This helps you compare the suppliers and their offerings.

7. Review and follow approval procedures

This final step involves reviewing all the steps to catch any gaps or anomalies. This is also the time to check whether the approval process has been followed and everything has been signed off.

These final checks also ensure project milestones are realistic and clearly mapped out. You can verify that contingency has been built into the plan and all parties understand the project timeline.

Managing project procurement plans effectively

So, you should now have a clear and comprehensive procurement plan. This will support and complement other project plans within your organization.

And when the project is off the ground, you can also turn to various tools and techniques. Tools like procurement management software and advanced analytics help you stay on track with your plan.

Bio: Grace Lau – Director of Growth Content, Dialpad.

Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud contact center for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Grace has written for domains such as Codemotion and PointerPro. Here is her LinkedIn.

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