There are over 5.5 million businesses in the UK! If you are a business owner, you are in good company.
When you’re running a business, there are a lot of decisions to make. Finding the right supplier for your goods is one of them.
However, deciding which supplier is best for your business is not always easy. This is why early market engagement is so critical, as it can help you avoid many pitfalls that can occur in the procurement process.
Here are some tips on how to carry out early market engagement.
What Is Early Market Engagement (EME)?
It is essential to look at precisely what early market engagement is before you attempt to use it for your business. Early Market engagement is also known as soft market testing.
During early market engagement, you will start contacting suppliers you think might be a good fit for your business.
This approach is advantageous when engaging in a complex procurement process. Having a system where you can see what various suppliers offer can make the procurement process a lot easier.
A Look at the Beginning Stages
As a buyer, you must decide how to run the EME process. Some projects will be more complicated than others.
If you think the procurement of some items may be legally challenging, you should seek legal advice before you begin the EME process.
Bear in mind that the level of detail you can give a supplier about what your company requires will be important as this will help ensure your procurement is successful.
Decide how you’re going to present information about your organization to suppliers. You will need to tell him about your organization’s background and the project you want to undertake with them.
Decide on your goals for any contract that you are going to enter into with suppliers. You also need to indicate the timeframe you are looking at for the fulfilment of the contract.
Learning to Ask the Right Question
One of the most important benefits of the EME process is that you can prepare and ask your most pertinent questions before committing to a supplier. Asking relevant questions means you will get a firmer understanding of the market you are entering and what it has to offer.
Early market engagement can help you to fully understand the procurement requirements and how well the supplier can provide for your needs. EME will force you to discuss your problems clearly with a potential supplier and then come up with the right solutions for that problem.
Another thing that early market engagement can do is help you understand how long a contract you are considering will last, how much it will cost you, and how long the process will take.
Keep It Legal
You should always be open and transparent with each supplier. You will be talking to a lot of suppliers, so you need to make sure that you are respecting the intellectual property rights of each of them.
This will ensure that you make the process as fair as possible to all the suppliers you engage with. Discriminatory practices are frowned upon during the EME process. This is why you must have an open and fair dialogue with all the suppliers you engage with during the process.
You must also adhere to strict codes of conduct. After all, confidential information about a supplier’s business process may be shared with you.
Identifying the Right Supplier
You may be wondering how many suppliers you should engage with during the EME process. There is not a set number of suppliers that you should consider.
You should speak to as many suppliers as you deem fit. You want to ensure that you are gathering data from a reasonable cross-section of your sector.
You also need to ensure that you have a set process in place for how you will engage with suppliers. This process should be used with all suppliers.
This way, you can decide which supplier is right for you based on specific criteria.
You can communicate with your suppliers in various ways. Diversity in communication is one of the best early market engagement strategies as it helps to make it easy to communicate quickly and easily.
You can use email questionnaires, surveys, physical or online meetings, and conference calls to communicate with suppliers.
Procurement After EME
Once you have completed the EME process, you need to ensure that the information you obtain is not used in any way that could bring legal ramifications.
For example, you cannot use the information you have obtained to discriminate against a supplier in any way. If you report on the process to a supervisor and make requirements, you must ensure they are as objective as possible.
You also need to make sure that you are not breaching the commercial confidentiality agreement in any way.
The Necessity of Early Market Engagement
Early Market engagement is a necessity for many businesses. If your business falls under the category where this process is needed, you must take the proper steps to make the process as easy and transparent as possible.
EME will give you the necessary knowledge to make decisions about procuring products for your business. It will also assist you with defining your budget.
The process can be smooth if you know precisely how to go about it. If you want help growing your business, do not hesitate to contact us.