Fair cooperation with suppliers
Fair treatment of suppliers is present in the daily work of the procurement unit. The need for fairness is further emphasised during tendering processes.
“Our guidelines are very clear. We do not actually face any ambiguous situations, because the rules of the game are clear for all parties. New or prospective suppliers may have questions about the subject, but we are always happy to help them move forward,” says Mervi Olkinuora, Head of Unit, Administrative Service Procurement.
As a general rule, Hansel employees do not attend events held by suppliers during a tendering process, unless it is of a general nature, for instance. All questions by suppliers on a call for bids, and the answers to them, are published in the Hanki Service for all those taking part in the tendering. Contractual relationships with suppliers are managed normally, even if a tendering process is in progress.
SMEs as contract suppliers*
*In 2012, the classification criteria for associations and for municipality and city-owned companies were revised; these are now included in "Other". Classification has similarly been revised for some companies that are part of international groups, if these companies were previously classified as SMEs due to the small scale of operations in Finland.
Technical dialogue eliminates obstacles to participation
To ensure that framework agreements match customer needs and keep up with the often rapid development of special fields, category managers must be up to date on the offering in the marketplace.
“Our experts train themselves and visit topical industry events and seminars, for example. Also, suppliers often inform us of their new products and services,” Mervi Olkinuora says.
Framework agreements and acquisitions are preceded by a technical dialogue attended by representatives from suppliers and often Hansel’s customers as well. This dialogue helps match the offering of the framework agreement with customers’ needs, and Hansel uses it to eliminate any obstacles to participation in a tendering process. The objective is to establish genuine competition and to ensure that as many suppliers as possible can submit a tender.