Simplifying Procurement Selection with the Best Value Approach

Simplifying Procurement Selection with the Best Value Approach

Procurement processes can be daunting, especially when it comes to selecting the best vendor or supplier for a project. With so many factors to consider, from cost to quality to reliability, decision-making can quickly become overwhelming. There can be endless amount of criteria that a selection member needs to rate a proposal. These criteria don’t always correlate with the performance and expertise of a vendor. However, there’s a method that can streamline this process and make it more manageable: the Best Value Approach. In this blog, we’ll explore how the Best Value approach can simplify selection criteria for procurement and make the entire process more efficient and effective.

The Best Value approach is a procurement strategy that focuses on selecting vendors based on the overall value they provide, rather than just looking at the lowest cost. This method takes into account not only the price of the goods or services but also factors such as quality, reliability, experience, and expertise. By considering these additional factors, organizations can make more informed decisions that ultimately lead to better outcomes for their projects. It allows selection members to accurately rate proposals and eliminates the need for vendors to protest because there is a clear reason why a vendor wins.

Simplifying Selection Criteria

One of the key benefits of the Best Value approach is that it simplifies the selection criteria for procurement. Instead of having to juggle multiple factors and weigh them against each other, organizations can focus on identifying the most important criteria and using those to evaluate potential vendors. We have seen RFPs that have over 50 different criteria and weighting which make it confusing for even the selection committee members to see why a vendor was chosen. Simplicity is always better than confusion and the BVA uses only 4 selection criteria (Cost, Expertise, Value Added, and Interview) to determine the best suited vendor. These criteria have been tested and researched for over 20 years to be the most influential criteria that will determine the success of a project. These three main points will help you as you are figuring out your own criteria.

1. Quality Over Cost

While cost is certainly an important factor in any procurement decision, it’s not the only one that matters. The Best Value approach encourages organizations to prioritize quality over cost, recognizing that investing in higher quality goods or services upfront can lead to greater long-term savings and better overall outcomes. Vendors are also required to submit their breakout of costs which helps the committee to understand what they are spending their money on. This cost should not include contingencies. This allows us to compare the costs of each vendor equally. The most important thing to realize is that we are looking for the best value for the lowest cost!

2.Focus on Expertise and Experience

Another important aspect of the Best Value Approach is its emphasis on vendor expertise and experience. By selecting vendors who have a proven track record of success in similar projects, organizations can reduce the risk of delays, errors, and other issues that can arise when working with inexperienced suppliers. This ensures that if a vendor gets chosen for the project, then they have the proof to show that they are qualified to do the project. Without qualifications, a vendor shouldn’t be selected for a job.

3.Consider Total Cost of Ownership

In addition to evaluating the upfront cost of goods or services, the Best Value approach also takes into account the total cost of ownership. This includes factors such as maintenance, support, and lifecycle costs, which can have a significant impact on the overall value of a procurement decision. These items should be included in the value-added section of the proposal because clients will be able to decide whether they are necessary. This allows vendors to show their expertise and what can be added to the project without being penalized in their base proposal. This is extremely important when reviewing proposals to see which one could provide services that another vendor wouldn’t be able to provide.

Case Study: Implementing the Best Value Approach

To illustrate the effectiveness of the Best Value Approach, let’s consider a hypothetical case study. Imagine a company looking to procure a new software solution for their operations. Instead of simply selecting the vendor with the lowest upfront cost, they decide to use the Best Value Approach. This approach lets vendors propose different methods and software solutions to accomplish the objectives of the project.

After conducting thorough research and evaluation, they identify three potential vendors who meet their criteria. Vendor A offers the lowest upfront cost but has no performance metrics in the industry. Vendor B has slightly higher upfront costs but has a strong track record of performance metrics and comes highly recommended by other clients. Vendor C offers the highest upfront cost and a strong track record but provides additional features and support that the other vendors don’t offer.

Using the Best Value approach, the company ultimately selects Vendor B, recognizing that the higher upfront cost is justified by the vendor’s expertise, experience, and proven track record of success. The client also doesn’t need any of the additional features provided by Vendor C so the best value vendor was selected. This vendor doesn’t get the contract yet. They still have to go through a technical review and provided a plan from beginning to end before getting the contract. If they can’t do it, then it will go to Vendor C.


In conclusion, the Best Value approach offers a simplified and effective method for selecting vendors in the procurement process. By prioritizing factors such as quality, expertise, and total cost of ownership, organizations can make more informed decisions that lead to better outcomes for their projects. Whether you’re procuring goods or services for a small project or a large-scale initiative, the Best Value approach can help streamline the selection process and ensure that you get the best value for your investment.

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