• Lewis Barnard 28/03/2019 05:00PM

    In Negotiation

    How many suppliers do you typically invite to tender?

    I'm interested to understand how many suppliers people invite to their tenders?

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  • Answers (7)

  • Sagar Mital

    14/05/2019 09:46AM

    Hi Lewis,

    It depends on category, type of dynamics involved (Monopolistic market, technology product etc.). Minimum 2 suppliers should be there so that you can have quotes for comparison. Ideally 3-4 suppliers for negotiation and win-win situation. In exceptional cases, 7-10 suppliers are also invited.

    In a recent RFP for trucking in Europe, I have invited 20 suppliers as few suppliers are providing services in 2-3 european countries, few other suppliers providing services in 1 country etc.

    So in a nutshell it is totally dependent on case to case basis.

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    Lewis Barnard Thanks Sagar. I agree that it depends on a case to case basis, but also know how much additional time and effort it can take if more suppliers are invited when traditional tender methods, e.g. email and microsoft office, are used.

    14/05/2019 09:50AM

    Sagar Mital Totally agree, that's why most of the MNC's are already using e-procurement tools for all RFP/RFQ's.

    14/05/2019 09:59AM

    Lewis Barnard Exactly. Do you have experience with such tools?

    14/05/2019 03:53PM

    Sagar Mital Yes, I am using these tools, they are quite user friendly.

    16/05/2019 11:30AM


    26/05/2019 06:16AM

    Number of suppliers to tender depends on how many of them are approved for the tender or for the products. Tenders such as those published in the OJEU do not have an upper limit of number of suppliers who can submit bids. In our organization, we invite all suppliers who are approved or demonstrated capability for the product / service. However, more resources will need to be allocated towards tender finalization and reporting the results of the tender. For an organization that manages using third party tools, it should not be a problem at all. The tender results are compiled and reported soon after the tender opening process.

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  • Ian Duke

    18/04/2019 07:50PM

    Probably not want you want to hear Lewis, but the number will depend on the commodity or category being put to the market and its complexity/risk. As a general rule of thumb and no other reason other than it is manageable, I try and work with 4. There is no right or wrong.

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  • Rodrigo Fernández Castiñeiras

    18/04/2019 01:58PM

    As many as possible. Iin my experience is has been around 5 or 6. Above that number the tendering process becomes overwhelming in terms of proposal analysis, meetings, supplier presentations and communications during the tendering process. Additionally in some cost categories, there are not so many players that meet your requirements. If on top of that you add compliance topics the supply might be even lower, specillay in developing countries/economies.

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  • Brad Blonkvist

    05/04/2019 01:27PM

    3-7. Need at least 3 to see what the market is offering and make some conclusions on that. 2 is not enough. More than 7 and it starts to become highly repetitive and an "overburden" on the evaluation team. You can certainly start off with more suppliers as you investigate the market but when you get down to reviewing all the materials, 3-7 is generally ideal.

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  • James Ball

    04/04/2019 09:37AM

    Essentially as many as a) meet your need to create competition and/or understand the market and b) that you are prepared to manage and review the outcomes. Typically I tend to stick to 3/4/5, after some initial market benchmarking, as this is then a limited field of informed options I believe can add value and/or some leftfield options to hopefully identify innovation. It means the process is manageable (especially if you have multiple tenders in flow) and is fair to the suppliers.

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  • Lee Parry

    29/03/2019 04:35PM

    As many as possible, assuming they can meet the requirements.

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