Engage with the market
Engage with the market

Engage with the market

Engaging with the supplier market

Engaging with the supplier market is important for all procurement processes. However, it becomes especially relevant in the context of SPP. Engagement practices can be simple, such as communicating the intention of launching a tender through an advert, or more complex, such as organizing supplier workshops and events.

In this section, we provide information regarding the importance of engaging with the market, and guidance on the different ways market engagement can be carried out at the different stages of the Open SPP process.

Why engage with the market?

Market engagement practices in the context of Open SPP implementation are normally carried out for the purpose of:

  • Assessing market capability
  • When deciding which procurement categories to prioritize, or considering what sustainability criteria should be introduced in public procurement contracts, it is essential to assess market capability. A successful assessment of market capability will ensure that Open SPP constitutes an opportunity to build on the sustainability work being carried out by local suppliers, while using it as a tool to promote innovation and progressively build market capability.

  • Maximizing suppliers bidding for contract opportunities
  • Market engagement activities will serve to promote tender opportunities, which can result in an increase of the number of bidders in public procurement tenders. Being able to choose from different suppliers, including those who might have not considered public procurement before, increases the chances of finding the best solution to the identified needs.

  • Promoting trust and transparency
  • Engaging with the market offers an opportunity for authorities to transparently share their procurement plans with suppliers, their sustainability objectives, and the motivations behind these objectives, promoting trust amongst stakeholders.

  • Gathering feedback on your approach from the market
  • Sometimes, decisions regarding the structure of certain procurement processes, or the inclusion of specific sustainability criteria, may make it difficult for certain suppliers to participate, or contradict existing market practices. Gathering feedback from suppliers can help to correct this, ensuring that procurement processes are planned in a way to maximize the chances of selecting the best available solution.

A great example of how market engagement practices can help you to shape the procurement approach and deliver greater value is Mexico’s City Ecobici bike sharing system. For more information on how open market engagement approaches can help drive SPP see this report published by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

How can you most effectively engage with the market?

Market engagement practices can vary depending on the different stages of the Open SPP process.

Engaging during the preparation for your SPP Action Plan
Engaging during procurement planning phase
Engaging during procurement
Case Study

After ten years of operation, Mexico City sought to expand their environmentally friendly and affordable bike share service to more neighborhoods, upgrade the design and technology, and all at a reasonable cost. The city needed to promote competition in a concentrated marketplace, learn more about the latest bike share technology and innovations, and provide better and expanded service at the same or lower budget.

Mexico City used open contracting to design a transparent procurement process to procure a modern, expanded, and user-friendly bike share network. The city published a Request for Information (RFI) for the first time, seeking resident input on the bike share design, held multiple conversations with vendors, and published their findings on a user-friendly website. This approach enabled the team and the vendor community to make data-driven decisions, promote trust, and deliver on their goal.

The city’s new contract expands the service from 6,500 to 9,300 bikes and from 480 to 687 bike stations, and upgrades the city’s bike share technology and design to be more user-friendly, all at approximately half the operating costs of the old service. Other departments have begun replicating Ecobici’s open contracting strategies for important strategic public projects, and the city also enhanced its electronic procurement system to help others use Ecobici’s approach for engaging vendors, citizens and civil society organizations early in high-priority procurement processes. Read more about this case study here.