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RFP designs with emphasis on calibre of supplier

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Before buying, organisations consider technical and cost implications of the purchase — and suppliers’capabilities are checked first.

The fact that suppliers’ capabilities are considered ahead of technical and cost aspects means that the status of the supplier is more important than technical or cost issues.

Just like in humans, character is more important than quality since it is easy to improve on quality than to change character.

In some instances, suppliers are “pre-qualified” before they are invited to participate in tenders.

When evaluating the status of the supplier, various facets are reviewed that include the legal and statutory standing, technical capacity in terms of availability, relevant technology, financial capability and any other industrial requirements necessary.

This assessment provides a clear picture of organisational capabilities.

Each organisation has some specific competencies in an industry and area of expertise.

It is assumed that specialisation means that one is conversant with the bolts and nuts of their products or services.

Apart from the fact that organisations present themselves better in their various areas of expertise, there are industrial requirements that might take precedence.

Some industries have specific requirements for ownership, process management, organisational structure and resource acquisition for sustainability.

Some industries require some level of licensing for one to practice. This includes the organisation and or the personnel.

Construction industry requires some level of industry recognition. If one has to dream of engaging in public sector construction in Zimbabwe, the contractor must be registered by the Ministry of Public Works.

Private sector constructors need to be registered by CIFOZ of ZA BG .

In the motor industry, one has to be a dealer or a franchise holder and member of the Motor Trade Association in Zimbabwe.

All this is done to ensure that suppliers are of a certain character that can be verified.

Some professions in Zimbabwe require that individuals are registered and licensed, and the buyers are also pursuing a similar route.

Internationally, it is only legally practicing professionals who are allowed to carry out specific tasks.

Engineers, doctors, nurses, architects, accountants, auditors and quantity surveyors must have minimum characteristics to deliver certain level or type of professional service.

Buyers must ensure they request appropriate registration of the suppliers and their staff in requests for proposals (RFPs).

Legal and statutory status of suppliers relates in addition to the issues discussed above, compliance with various statutory requirements.

Locally, company registration is authenticated by certificate of incorporation, memos and articles of association, CR14 form that provides details of directors, and CR6 form that provides registered address for the business.

Suppliers are required to comply with Zimra requirements that include value added tax (VAT) registration and general tax compliance that is proved by the Tax Clearance certificate.

VAT registration implies that an organisation is allowed at law to collect VAT. If one is not VAT—registered, that supplier cannot charge VAT in its transactions.

On the other hand, tax clearance certificate shows that a supplier is submitting its corporate tax on time.

In Zimbabwe, companies that do not provide a tax clearance certificate must expect a deduction of 10% on each and every one of their invoice by their customers.

There are other legal registrations that do not have a compromise such as National Social Security Authority registration and the various trade registrations such as those of contractors or security organisations. Submission of valid registrations has no options.

Apart from trade registrations, some products such as medicines must comply with MCAZ locally and the World Health Oraganisation internationally.

This is meant to protect consumers against products that do not comply with minimum set standards.

It is, therefore, important that RFP documents have the minimum requirements that allow courting a supplier who meets organisational and industry requirements.

.Nyasha Chizu is a Fellow of CIPS and CIPS Zimbabwe branch chairman writing in his personal capacity. Email: chizunyasha@yahoo.com

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