Plan to engage suppliers

Find out how to prepare for supplier engagement.

What is supplier engagement?

Supplier engagement can help achieve procurement objectives. It involves a set of communication channels to inform suppliers at each stage of the procurement process.

Everyone is responsible for supplier engagement. To start planning for supplier engagement, think about:

  • path to market
  • procurement process information to be communicated
  • market consultation or a debrief
  • complaints management
  • communication channels available

Planning to engage suppliers early gives the Agency an opportunity to achieve the best outcome.

For goods and services, review the Agency’s Supplier engagement plan. This will guide how supplier engagement is conducted.

The draft procurement plan should detail how suppliers will be engaged.

How to plan to engage suppliers

Step 1: Consider the need

Consider the need that has been outlined in define the need.

Step 2: Consider the risk management planning

Consider the initial risk management planning.

A well-designed supplier engagement plan can help to mitigate some of the risks identified in Analyse risks.

Example: To ensure effective communication, an industry briefing will ensure suppliers receive the same information throughout the tender process.

Step 3: Consider how to engage suppliers

When planning to engage suppliers, consider the Agency’s existing processes and systems.

Review each stage of the procurement, consider how communication will be managed at each stage. This may include:

  • prior to approaching the market
  • while the offer is open
  • during evaluation
  • when the offer is closed
  • contract award
  • debrief participants

Make sure all proposed engagement throughout the procurement process is documented to ensure the highest level of trust and accountability.

For goods and services, review the Agency’s supplier engagement plan for direction. The level of detail required will depend on the nature and scope of the procurement.

Step 4: Involve specialists

Consult with the Project Sponsor, users, subject matter specialists and other staff with experience with the need. They can offer help and guidance.

Step 5: Consider Agency skills

Consider the skills and expertise required to assist with supplier engagement.

Start planning for:

  • who should be involved
  • how much time is needed

Early planning for supplier engagement allows:

Step 6: Record in draft procurement plan

Record information about evaluation planning in the draft procurement plan.

Start a supplier engagement plan.

For goods and services procurement, refer to Prepare a supplier engagement plan – goods and service guide and related templates.


Manage probity and conflicts of interest

Manage probity – consider issues raised at Probity issues by stage and task.

Conflicts of interest can arise during this task. Identify, declare and manage these.

Address Agency rules

Consult with the Agency’s procurement team for advice on meeting:

Follow Agency specific rules on when to seek an approval and who can give the approval.

Follow Agency specific rules for recording decisions and storing records.