Importance of procurement planning

The ultimate goal of procurement planning is coordinated and integrated action to fulfil a need for goods, services or works in a timely manner and at a reasonable cost. Early and accurate planning is essential to avoid last minute, emergency or ill-planned procurement, which is contrary to open, efficient and effective – and consequently transparent – procurement. In addition, most potential savings in the procurement process are achieved by improvements in the planning stages. Even in situations where planning is difficult such as emergencies, proactive measures can be taken to ensure contingency planning and be better prepared to address upcoming procurement requests. For example:

  • Advance identification of suitable suppliers of potential products frequently requested in emergency operations, including confirmation by suppliers on willingness to respond on short notice.
  • Development of standard specifications/TOR/SOW for products/services/works requested in emergency operations.

Procurement Planning is important because:
1. It helps to decide what to buy, when and from what sources.
2. It allows planners to determine if expectations are realistic; particularly the expectations of the requesting entities, which usually expect their requirements met on short notice and over a shorter period than the application of the corresponding procurement method allows.
3. It is an opportunity for all stakeholders involved in the processes to meet in order to discuss particular procurement requirements. These stakeholders could be the requesting entity, end users, procurement department, technical experts, and even vendors to give
relevant inputs on specific requirements.
4. It permits the creation of a procurement strategy for procuring each requirement that will be included in the procurement plan. Such strategy includes a market survey and determining the applicable procurement method given the requirement and the
circumstances.
5. Planners can estimate the time required to complete the procurement process and award contract for each requirement. This is valuable information as it serves to confirm if the requirement can be fulfilled within the period expected, or required, by the requesting entity.
6. The need for technical expertise to develop technical specifications and/or scope of work for certain requirements can be assessed, especially where in-house technical capacity is not available or is non-existent.
7. Planners can assess feasibility of combining or dividing procurement requirements into different contract packages

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