procurement of goods

Writing a Brief for the Procurement of Goods or Services

Whether you aim to start your own business or are looking for ways to up your game in terms of paperwork, the procurement of goods and services document is something that’ll inevitably come your way.

procurement of goods
From Pixabay via Pexels

Whether you aim to start your own business or are looking for ways to up your game in terms of paperwork, the procurement of goods and services document is something that’ll inevitably come your way.

According to Convey Co, it is estimated that the global B2C sales will exceed $4.5 trillion by 2021, while at the same time B2B sales are expected to rise to $17.6 trillion. Whether you operate as a small business that handles shipping papers and orders, or as a manufacturer or delivery intermediary, documents pertaining to the procurement of goods and services can often make or break a contract.

While the document is a standard affair for companies that focus on shipping, eCommerce and other trade industries, it may prove challenging to those who are uninitiated. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can write a brief for the procurement of goods and services regardless of the type of good or service you intend to procure or ship to a third party.

Procurement of Goods and Services Basics

Before we go any further, it’s worth noting what the procurement of goods and services represents – the process of agreeing to the terms and acquiring goods or services from an external source. The external source in question can be an existing B2B networking partner, an open market bid you’ve made previously, or procurement via tendering.

Generally, the process of procurement involves making buying decisions for your company under certain conditions outlined in the brief and delivered to the external source in question.

Due to the nature of these documents, its good practice to rely on professional platforms such as Evernote (a cloud-based writing and editing service), Trust My Paper (an outsourcing and editing platform), Hemingway (service which is used for legibility optimisation) and WoWGrade (a dedicated writing platform) in your brief writing activities.

Typical briefs for the procurement of goods and services involve clear outlines of all factors pertaining to the sales/purchase contract, including quantity, delivery, handling, discount and price fluctuations, as well as the procurement timeline. These are technical documents that are standard in the corporate, manufacturing and shipping industries, but very important as they legally bind all parties involved to respect their agreed-upon contract.

Advantages of Writing a Procurement of Goods and Services Brief

Now that we have a clearer idea of what briefs for the procurement of goods and services are in practice, let’s take a quick glance at the benefits of their existence in your business’ documentation. Given that businesses typically work as suppliers or buyers with a multitude of other companies and brands, often internationally and at the same time, it can get daunting to manage the paperwork efficiently.

Even though procurement is only one small part of the contractual equation in this sense, it can still take up a lot of your time and even small deviations can cause you to lose trust or much-needed goods, services or revenue if you are a supplier.

In that respect, writing procurement brief outlines in advance can bring several benefits to your business going forward, including the following points:

  • Streamlined operational performance
  • Standardised documentation workflow
  • Improved accuracy and clarity of the procurement data
  • Lowered margin for the procurement error
  • Growth of positive brand reputation and industry authority

Writing Guidelines to Consider

Write a Brief Overview

The first item on your list in terms of writing a brief for the procurement of goods and services is to create an overview of your documentation. This is the segment of the brief in which you are expected to give a short outline of your business, its product portfolio and relevant website links for the receiver to follow up on.

It’s also important to provide a clear description of the procurement items you are requisitioning, as well as a brief summary of their intended purpose and its target audience. These items will allow the reader to quickly discern what the document is about without going over minute details or items in the order itself.

Define your Procurement Method

Depending on what type of goods or services you aim to procure via the written brief, you can propose the procurement methodology personally or ask for suggestions from the target business. It’s always good practice to state which procurement methods you’d like to see in the follow-up letter depending on your own business’ infrastructure and resources.

You should also take potential issues and complications into consideration based on the previous procurement experience in order to anticipate bottlenecks before they rear their head. Data in regards to past procurements or sources of information you are willing to share in regards to the particular goods or services should also be attached in this section of the brief for your reader’s convenience.

Detail your Deliverables

The deliverables section of your procurement brief is self-explanatory. However, it also has to abide by certain standards and expectations. Mainly, your deliverables should be outlined based on quantity and (in case of manufacture) the time you expect them to be completed by.

For example, if you are procuring certain types of pipes for your business, you should note any special requests you may have in regards to their length, custom build, etc. You can also add a small addendum in the deliverables section of your brief that will inform the reader that they can contact you in case of additional questions or concerns in regards to your procurement document.

Outline the Procurement Timeline

The timeline of procurement is one of the most important elements in the outlined brief as it pertains to specific deadlines in regards to your requested goods and services. While not complex or lengthy, the procurement timeline section is essential and should be clearly highlighted for emphasis.

Elements such as a procurement return deadline, procurement decision deadline as well as clarification meeting dates (if necessary) should be included. This section can be capped off with a listing of your contact information, such as email and phone, which the reader can use to let you know if the procurement request was accepted.

Request a Follow-Up on the Brief

Lastly, a formal follow-up should be included as the final element of your procurement brief for the sake of colloquial and professional courtesy. The follow-up request should be in the form of a simple call to action that will respectfully inform the reader of your anticipation of their response in regards to your document.

It’s good practice to repeat the procurement return deadline from the previous section to drive the point of urgency home. After all, it is in both parties’ interest that the procurement brief goes through so that the goods and services can exchange hands as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Creating a Clear and Streamlined Template

Once your brief for the procurement of goods or services is set in stone, you can easily retrofit it for different requests, both as a supplier or a demander. Make sure to brand your document accordingly in order to make it stand out with elements such as business logo, minute visual elements as well as a unique style of writing.

If your requests are within the realm of deliverable possibilities for the receiver, your procurement will always go through, additional clarification or not. Write your procurement brief outline through the set of guidelines we’ve discussed previously and your business documentation will be that much clearer and more streamlined for it.