4. Choose an appropriate procedure

Requirements and criteria clear? In that case, it’s time to choose an appropriate procedure for your circular procurement process. Choose the procedure based on:

  • The value of the assignment
  • The number of providers in the market
  • The extent to which you want to encourage collaboration between parties

Public organisations must adhere to the procurement procedures laid down by law; private organisations have more freedom and flexibility. As a private party, you can also apply principles from these procedures. When doing so, ensure that you state explicitly that you are not subject to a tendering obligation. For example, use the word ‘request’.

4.1 Tendering procedures

A summary of six commonly used tendering procedures:

  • Multiple negotiated procedure
    A single-stage procedure. Suitable for small projects, for three to five parties. You can carry out internal pre-selection to choose these parties, such as based on their experience with circular activities.
  • Public procedure
    A single-stage procedure: an award phase. Suitable for tenders with either a small number of potential bidders or a short available lead time.
  • Non-public procedure
    A two-stage procedure: a selection and an award stage. Suitable for tenders with many potential bidders. Before the award phase, you choose a number of parties in the selection phase, such as based of their circular vision and experience with circularity (references).
  • Competitive dialogue
    A non-public procedure with a dialogue between the selection and award phase.
    This dialogue between the client and the bidders provides an opportunity to go into more depth in the assignment, ambitions and requirements.
  • Competition procedure with negotiation
    A non-public procedure, where there is a negotiation with the winning bidder after awarding the contract in order to arrive at a better offer.
  • Innovation partnership
    A procedure that focuses on a complex issue and where there are only one or a few parties with the expertise to respond. This procedure is suitable if you want to have new products developed. For this, there is the (paid) development phase.
    As the client, you can then purchase the product under the conditions you set at the start of the innovation partnership.
    Have several parties successfully completed the innovation partnership? Then they can all register.

Tip: in larger procurement processes, you should offer market parties compensation for their efforts, if necessary. This will avoid excessively high transaction costs due to the procedure being too intensive.

4.2 Encourage collaboration through dialogue

Encouraging collaboration is important for realising circular ambitions, both between the client and contractor, and between chain partners. Use mutual dialogue to encourage that collaboration.

  • Dialogue between the client and potential contractors can help clarify your deeper need to the market. It also gives you, as the commissioning party, insight into the capabilities of market players.
  • Dialogue between chain partners can encourage them to work together on a solution that best realises the ambitions.

Better understanding can often emerge in discussions than through written text. Determine the intensity of the interaction based on the scope of your question: is the interaction proportional to the question you are asking?

If dialogue rounds are unsuitable
Always try to arrange interaction between the client and market parties, even in smaller procurement processes. Are dialogue rounds too intensive? Or perhaps they’re unsuitable for the procedure (in the case of an open procedure)? In that case, choose another way of interacting, such as:

  • market consultation beforehand
  • An information meeting at the start of the procurement process
  • An oral information meeting
    In that meeting, you can orally respond to and explain all (public) questions.

The resulting mutual understanding will help the remainder of the procedure run more smoothly.

4.3 Award based on vision

An ever increasing number clients are involving the contractor earlier in the procurement process to help ensure that their circular ambitions are accomplished.

By working in this way, you award the contractor the contract based on its vision of circular ambitions. It is not based on an elaborate product offer or design. You then develop the contract further with the chosen party, within the boundary conditions that you have set in the tender (scope, planning and budget).

As you develop the solution together, it will match your actual needs as closely as possible. Co-creation also offers the opportunity to determine exactly how circular ambitions will be accomplished.

Please note that these are examples of a special form of cooperation. Awarding based on vision does not count as a separate procurement procedure. Another point to note on this method of awarding is that some requests may be in violation of procurement law principles.

Points for action

  • Choose a procedure that matches the value of the contract.
  • Ensure there is room for dialogue with market parties in the process.
  • Award based on vision rather than product offer, if necessary. This allows you to develop the best solution in liaison with the contractor.

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