Tips

​Market Research Tips

Establish the aims of the intended research.

Do you want to know who the potential suppliers may be or if there are any existing goods or services that may satisfy your requirement?  Do you need more information to determine the anticipated costs and timeframes?

Establishing the aims of the intended research is the foundation for conducting effective market research.  Develop a list of questions or set some measures of success that will help you to evaluate the outcomes of your research.

Identify appropriate sources of information

Determining which sources of information are most appropriate depends on the aim of the research.  For example browsing the Yellow Pages may help to identify potential suppliers.  Using a number of sources will also allow for a wider range of results and better understanding of the research aims.

For more information see market research and sources of information.

Collect, interpret and monitor your research

Be aware that research does take time to conduct.  As you interpret the information you collect make sure that it relates to the aims of your research.  Continually monitoring the progress will also help you to identify when those aims have been achieved.

Reach a conclusion

This step represents the reason for the whole research process and should result in answers to your initial research aims.

Document your results

Documenting your results allows for future justification of any decisions that stem from the research.  The information gathered may also assist in future market research conducted by your department.

Specification Tips

Developing a specification is sometimes complex and requires expertise. Here are some tips to assist you:

  • Always keep the objective in mind. What do you want from the good or service?
  • What 'value for money' considerations are important to your agency?
  • Consult with the users of the good or service to determine their needs and find out what is important to them.
  • Research the market to fully understand the type of good or service you are looking to procure.
  • Draw on the experience of others and seek outside assistance. This may be provided by other agencies or an impartial expert such as a consultant.
  • Define requirements simply, in terms of function and performance. A complex specification can often be impractical.
  • Do not go overboard when defining quality requirements. Only specify the requirements that suit your needs.
  • Ask a colleague who is unfamiliar with the requirement to evaluate the specification in terms of readability, simplicity, clarity and logic.

Tips for Evaluating Tenders and Quotes

  • Select the evaluation criteria and methodology carefully. You cannot change either of these once tenders/quotes have been invited (unless an addendum is issued and potential suppliers offered the opportunity to amend their responses).
  • Make sure that you ask suppliers to provide everything that you might need to know to be able to fully evaluate their submission.
  • Do not be tempted to consider a non-compliant submission. Legal action may result if a contract is awarded to a non-compliant tender/quote.
  • Be very careful when seeking clarification about a tender/quote. There is often a fine line between clarifying and modifying or adding to existing information. The provision of new information is equivalent to accepting an amendment to the original submission and may invalidate the evaluation process.
  • When evaluating submissions, remember that suppliers must demonstrate that they meet the evaluation criteria - not just assert it.
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