Rigour and auditability in tender evaluation

Client: A very large organisation employing over 200,000 people

Problem: Harmonising HR process across a large organisation with several distinct divisons/operating units, each with its own current human resources (HR) procedures and systems. The client was planning to implement a group-wide/common self-service personnel system covering pay, pensions and staff administration. It was clear that a considerable degree of customisation of HR system products would be required to meet the challenging HR requirements including harmonisation of processes across the constituent staff groups.

Approach: Multi-criteria decision analysis was used to design a tender/supplier evaluation process that was rigorous, transparent and auditable. Decision analysis was used to frame the Request for Information (RFI) that was published to potential suppliers. At the same time, the tender evaluation scheme was constructed to incorporate principles from decision analysis. Decision workshops involving stakeholders were conducted in order to establish the relative importance of the different facets of the RFI. Clear evaluation guidelines were developed for the tender evaluation team.

Benefits: The tender evaluation process was auditable and traceable with a rigorous mathematical basis. The client was able to identify a clear preference for one supplier and to establish the margin over other potential suppliers. The decision analysis process also enabled a potential legal challenge to be averted, because an unsuccessful bidder could be shown exactly how their tender had fallen short and could be demonstrated to have failed on several important requirements. Hence, a serious potential delay to the programme was forestalled.

Contact: David Wrigley