PCI​

Connecting Government with Business​​

Purchasing Consultants International Inc.

Connecting Government with Business

Services
Consulting Services  
PCI  offers a wide range of different types of service to our prospective clients. These services can be sub-divided into those oriented towards public sector buyers and private sectors suppliers to the public sector. For public sector clients, our primary goal is to encourage suppliers to bid for contracts, since this is the proven method both for getting the costs of government purchasing down and for securing the best value for the money spen

For private sector clients, our services are oriented to helping the client compete more effectively for government contracts. Our services are of particular help to small and medium-sized business and are priced at a level that such business can afford. Ninety percent of all government contracts in Canada are worth less than $100,000. Most of these contracts are open to locally based suppliers across the country, as well as to national firms. However, most small businesses have no idea how to compete for Government work. We can help you.
mentation. Early internal consultation is critical to the development of a functional specification, facilities management specification and output specification.

 
Public Sector Buyer client services include:

• Strategic reviews of purchasing methods (mission/vision development, goals and objectives setting, implementation planning)
 
• Assistance in reforming purchasing rules and practices;
 
• Critiquing standard contract documentation and specifications to make government tenders more attractive to bidders;
 
• Investigative reports in relation to problematic transactions;
 
• Staff training;
 
• Research reports on a wide range of public procurement topics, including supplier surveys and analysis.


Private Sector Supplier client services include:

• Advice on strategic planning for government sales;

• Investigating government sales resistance;

• Staff training on the government procurement process;

• Feedback on typical, unsuccessful tenders. 


Mediation/Arbitration Resolution outside of the courts:

When disputes arise, we can offer trained, experienced assistance as mediators or arbitrations. However, we are not just interested in problem-solving. PCI can help with problem avoidance, through training programs geared towards developing a strategic approach towards procurement.

• Strategic planning
 
• Market research (surveys, focus groups, interview programs)
 
• Feasibility studies
 
• Business plans
 
• Organizational development (assessment and realignment)
 
•  Community and regional economic development strategies
 
• Training and training needs assessments
 
• Customer or supplier satisfaction studies and
 
• Customer or supplier management strategies
 
• Policy development and program review and evaluation


Detailed Description of some of our Services

 
 
ALTERNATIVE FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT
 
 
Much of the current public procurement in relation to built infrastructure is being conducted using the “alternative finance and procurement” or AFP model. In a full AFP (or design-build-finance-maintain) transaction, a consortium consisting a design firm, a construction contractor, an equity partner and a property manager undertake (a) to design and build a facility which exactly matches a detailed functional specification set by the owner; (b) to arrange financing to cover the bulk of the construction cost, which will be repaid over a period of up to 30 years; and (c) to operate and maintain the facility over that 30 years, in accordance with a facilities management specification.  The financing must be arranged before the contracts become effective. Since the cost of the facility is repaid through the monthly maintenance payments over the 30 year period, the lender must be satisfied that there is an exact specification of the standards that must be satisfied by the consortium, in order to secure a smooth flow of payments over the life of the contract. If there is anything less than total certainty, the deal will not be viable.
 
AFP and near-AFP transactions have many unique features and involve many special relationships that are not found in public procurement generally. These atypical characteristics can make them a challenge to owners which have not previously participated in the AFP approach. PCI is able to provide public sector entities with transaction-tested advice as to the best approach to take in working with organizations such as Infrastructure Ontario, to carry out a successful AFP project. 
 
Experience with AFP transactions indicates that owners intending to carry out an AFP project, such as hospitals and school boards, should begin preparing for the transaction well in advance of beginning work on the RFP documentation. Early internal consultation is critical to the development of a functional specification, facilities management specification and output specification.

To give some examples, in view of the tie between project financing and the payment mechanism under the contract, it is essential that the contractor has a clear understanding of exactly what is required both from a functional perspective (including such matters as adjacencies, finishing millwork, etc.) and from an on-going operational perspective (i.e. the facilities management specification). For this reason, the RFP must include both the functional specification (output specification) and the facilities management specification. Other areas of critical concern include the owner’s responsibilities, the dispute resolution process, the payment mechanism (which requires considerable attention to the performance monitoring process), the works committee, the post-occupancy evaluation process and so forth. It is vital for the governing board and senior management of the owner to have a full understanding of these complex contractual arrangements.
PCI is ready to provide assistance to any hospital, municipality, school board, university or other public authority on a direct client-professional basis with respect to these complex projects. We will work you through the documents, explain their inter-relationship and commercial rationale; discuss the commercial reality of various alternatives, etc, as a supplement to the type of assistance that your legal advisors can provide.


DEVELOPMENT OF STANDARD FORM DOCUMENTATION


Government standard form documentation should lead to a network of consistent and efficiently administered supply relationships. Since governments are customers offering a certainty of payment, the use of the tender and RFP process should lead to competitive pricing involving the top quality suppliers. Too often, neither of these things occurs. Very often, the problem is with contract documentation that provides over-the-top protection against risk, but which scares suppliers off. Complex, one-sided documentation usually contains provisions that no one understands.

Studies show that competitive tenders that attract fewer than four bidders tend to result in above market pricing. Running a tender with one or two bidders can cost more than simply going into a shop and asking for a price quotation. Yet many governments find that their requests for tender and quotation attract minimal interest from the private sector.

Most government purchasing departments look no further for professional advice than the legal department or an outside law firm, when developing their standard form RFP, tender and similar documentation. Properly preparing these documents takes time. We can help your organization hit the ground running. While proper legal support is essential, it is also necessary to consider the commercial implications of contract terms. An unbalanced contract can cost government millions in unnecessary hedging and similar costs.

PCI can help you develop standard form documentation for generic use. We can also help with special purpose contracting. We will review existing or proposed standard-form documentation from an objective commercial perspective, and propose the kinds of changes necessary to ensure that your organization will secure the best value for money. We work with your legal counsel to ensure that all documentation meets all legal and regulatory standards and all internal policy and governance requirements.

We can provide guidance regarding various documentation options, the benefits and cost of security options such as letters of credit and bonds. We can work with product and service specialists to structure and help document viable one-off transactions.


CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION REVIEW

Public sector entities can realize substantial savings by improving the supplier friendliness of their contract administration process. Our Contract Administration Review service includes an evaluation of an organization’s entire contract administration process. The Review will encompass a report on:

•    Existing contract administration policies and procedures;
•    Contract administration training programs, including a bench-market assessment against prevailing practice;
•    Existing and potential special processes for potential revenue-generating contracts;
•    The effectiveness and flexibility of the organization’s requisition and contract development processes;
•    Contract administrator delegation process and documentation;
•    The pricing implications of the organization’s payment processes, including consultation with suppliers regarding the comparative efficiency of that process;
•    Any adverse implications of the dispute resolution process;

The review process will include an initial meeting with the client to clarify the scope of the study, confidential correspondence with suppliers and other relevant stakeholders approved by the client, a draft report followed a consultation session with the supplier (to make sure that the final report addresses your needs). After completion of the review, we will issue a final report based on Client comments, discussions and revisions.

Client Responsibilities: provide PCI with electronic documents for review, be available for questions and clarifications, furnish the names of its key suppliers and other stakeholders, and review the draft report and provide comments within a two week period.


POLICIES AND PROCEDURES REVIEW

High costs of procurement often have an “institutional” foundation, since they derive from the legal constraints, corporate policies and rules governing the procurement process. Often, these constraints, policies and rules have been adopted as a reflex response to isolated cases, with little thought given to their long-term impact on the overall procurement process. A policy and procedure review can form the basis for a comprehensive re-engineering of an organization’s basic approach to procurement. 

PCI will conduct a review of documents that includes a consideration of the following:

•     A critical analysis of the by-laws, statutes, and internal procurement policies and procedures governing the client’s procurement process to ensure consistency with current practices and industry best practices in the public sector;
•    A discussion of the consistency of the foregoing, and of the understanding of these practices held by suppliers and the client’s staff;
•    A compliance review of policies and procedures with any applicable transfer payment requirements that impact the client;
•    A broad brush critique of standard “front end” contract terms for tenders and RFPs.
•    A benchmark evaluation of specific purchasing practices and procedures, such as P-card programs and vendor-of-record or standing order arrangements.

After completion of the review, PCI will issue a draft report with recommendations, and then a final report based upon Client comments, discussions and revisions.
The review process will include an initial meeting with the client to clarify the scope of the study, confidential correspondence with suppliers and other relevant stakeholders approved by the client, a draft report followed a consultation session with the supplier (to make sure that the final report addresses your needs). After completion of the review, we will issue a final report based on Client comments, discussions and revisions.

Client Responsibilities: provide PCI with electronic documents for review, be available for questions and clarifications, furnish the names of its key suppliers and other stakeholders, and review the draft report and provide comments within a two week period.


TRAINING PROGRAMS

We offer a wide range of unique educational programs, specifically tailored to client needs, and delivered highly competitive prices. Let PCI train your entire purchasing or government sales team on your premises and at your convenience.  The following cross-section of training programs that we have delivered nation-wide illustrates the range of our training services:

•    “Managing Construction and Other Major Projects,” full-day workshop, Summit Magazine/ BC Institute of PMAC Joint CPD Program, Burnaby, BC
•   “Bid-rigging—the extent of the problem,” Federated Press Conference on Bid-Rigging, Toronto,
•    Understanding Government Contracting,” Seminar on Effective Negotiation with Government, Toronto
•   “Purchasing Leadership and Construction,” Ontario General Contractors Association, Blue Mountain, Ontario
•    Keynote address to the Canadian Forum on Public Procurement, in Calgary, Alberta, on “The Evolving Concept of Leadership in Infrastructure Procurement”
•   “Municipal Tendering and Other Procurement Issues”, in OBA Program on Current and Up-coming Local Government Issues
•   “Public Procurement: The Shape of Things to Come”, Insight Conference on Negotiating and Drafting Major Business Agreements
•   “Building Bridges to Meet Future Needs: The Inherent Procurement Problems of Major Capital Expenditures”, 79th Conference and General Meeting of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada, Halifax.


Industry Expertise


We provide critical advice on a wide range of procurement matters, such as in relation to:

• Drafting and refining procurement by-laws, policies and procedures;

• Staff training and development;

• RFP, tender, restricted procurement and non-competitive procurement options;

• Complex procurement projects, including P3 procurement;

• Hands-on technical and business support;

• Needs assessment and procurement options;

• Communication plans, estimating worksheets and guidelines and others form documents that can be customized for individual projects;

• We focus on sound principles of estimating and provide suggestions for the simultaneous management of multiple complex projects.



PCI is the recognized expert in Canada on public procurement. A few of our recent publications: 

Municipal Procurement Handbook, (Toronto: Butterworths, 2002)

Leadership or the Lack Thereof, (Lulu, 2005)

Municipal Procurement, (Toronto: LexisNexis, October, 2009)


Job Order Contracting


Overview

Streamline your repair, renovation, alteration and straightforward new construction projects with Job Order Contracting. JOC allows you to complete a large number of projects with a single, competitively-awarded contract. 


Program Set-Up

We will carefully craft a customized JOC program to meet your individual needs. Each JOC program is designed to minimize your administrative burden while maximizing efficiency and producing high-quality results. JOC simplifies and expedites the construction procurement process so work can begin earlier, and you can complete more projects with the same number of staff resources.

For more details on JOC, please visit thegordiangroup.com