What tendering process does Telstra use?
Telstra’s MERIDIAN eSourcing is a web based sourcing application used to obtain offers from vendors, This application is used to seek, obtain and analyse vendor RFx online (including RFI, RFQ, RFP and RFT).
Telstra staff responsible for the acquisition of products and services are required to determine the appropriate, corporately approved, method of procurement which can be made within their authority. The method chosen should, wherever practicable, provide open and effective competition, and will seek to achieve value for money.
Where Corporate Contracts have been established, staff are required to order against those contracts.
Telstra requires different levels of formality in purchasing depending on the value of the goods or services being purchased.
One of the following "invitation" methods will be used seek offers from the market:
Typically quotations are used for low value purchases and are obtained verbally or in writing using a brief letter or form.
Request for Tender (RFT)
An RFT is a common approach to seeking offers.
RFTs are typically used where the specification (after some research) can be clearly defined, and there are a number of vendors able to offer competitive solutions to satisfy Telstra's requirements.
Where there is sufficient evidence that only one or a few vendors are active in a particular market, or for other reasons an Open tender is not warranted, Telstra may choose to issue a Restricted RFT in which a limited number of potential vendors are invited to tender.
A Restricted RFT may also be used as the second step of an RFP.
Any RFT should comprise a request for offer with detailed specifications and appropriate terms and conditions of contract.
Request for Proposal (RFP)
An RFP provides the opportunity for vendors to offer a wide range of options or alternatives, and new or advanced technology. It is especially suitable for 'design and build' type contracts.
An RFP is often part of a two-stage process, the first being to shortlist possible vendors and the second, to put out a Restricted RFT usually using a more detailed specification of requirements.
Request for Information (RFI)
An RFI is usually used at the 'ideas' stage of a project, when there is a need to obtain more information about the product, costing and market and to assist with further definition of the project.
It is usually used for projects which may be novel or complex, and where there is little information available.
An RFI is likely to be used when funding for the project has not been settled, and the project may or may not go ahead. If the project continues, a formal invitation in the form of an RFP or RFT will be made at a later date.
All vendors responding to an RFI have an early and equal opportunity (if they wish), to present information to the project managers and influence the direction of the project. The RFI would normally be in the form of a project brief, which would be short, broad and open, and require minimal resources from all parties in supplying and processing the information.
As is the case for RFPs and RFTs, an RFI may either be Open or Restricted.