Identify Suppliers

If you have identified that your organisation has a new procurement requirement (that cannot be met by reusing or recycling existing goods or services, or by using an existing contract), you should seek quotations from a minimum of three suppliers.  These suppliers should have the experience and expertise to meet your requirements.

Hints and Tips

To receive three quotes back from suppliers, you may wish to approach four or five suppliers in case not all respond.

How to Identify Potential Suppliers

Potential suppliers may be identified by searching the register of suppliers on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS). This website offers a 'Quick Quote' system to seek quotations from suppliers registered on the website.

If your Organisation does not use PCS, potential suppliers may be identified by other means e.g. using internet searches, trade publications or phone directories.

If you are unable to identify three suppliers, you should then commence a Route 2 Procurement Exercise If you need further information or guidance on this you should contact your local procurement team or Centre of  Expertise.

You should try to not restrict your selection to existing suppliers to your Organisation, but include new suppliers for each procurement exercise This will:

  • facilitate competition
  • encourage innovation
  • ensure best value in future service delivery
  • help suppliers, who have not previously bid for Scottish public sector work, to gain access to opportunities and gain experience working for the Scottish Public Sector.

A Non-Competitive Action

If only one supplier can undertake the work required, you should contact your local procurement team, senior management or your Centre of Expertise for advice.  One possible option they may propose is to seek approval for a Non-Competitive Action (NCA)  from your local procurement team or senior management. You should then follow the remainder of this process. For commercial reasons, you should not inform the supplier that they are the only supplier involved in the process.

Note: A Non-Competitive Action is an exceptional procedure and should:

  • be strictly limited to certain situations
  • be approved from your Organisation’s senior management to proceed with this process
  • be documented and retained for audit purposes.



Do You Have What You Need?

Before carrying on, please check you've got everything you need.

Please ensure that you:

  • are registered on Public Contracts Scotland
  • have received senior management approval
  • documented all activities related to identifying suppliers for your procurement exercise.

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