Consulting the market
Perform a market consultation to validate the ambitions, specifications and, if available, the graphic representation of the value chain. With a circular procurement project, you aim to achieve a maximum sustainability impact and a market validation helps you to clarify your ambitions. This ensures you have the most up-to-date knowledge at hand, as market players evolve relatively quickly.
Set up a market consultation in a way that ensures the information exchange works both ways. First of all, share your own ambitions with market players. This information is of interest to them as well. In addition, you should ask market players for information you need: what are the customary requirements in the market, what circular opportunities can be identified, how would parties like to be challenged? An open attitude allows you to make the most of these discussions. The insights you gain from this process can find their way into your definitive call for proposal.
Make sure you have clear objectives for your market consultation. Clearly communicate these objectives in the invitation. Because of the demands you make on market players, they need to be able to assess to what extent they will be able to contribute. Possible objectives of a market consultation could be:
- acquire information about opportunities in the market;
- evaluate the procurement strategy and ambitions;
- stimulate market players to team up; and,
- create external support for circular procurement.
Depending on your objectives there are various ways to perform a market consultation. Your choice should reflect the efforts that market players have to make, i.e. the consultation should be in proportion to the size of the contract. Essentially there are three types of market consultation:
- request for Information (RFI) - a digital request for information, for instance by means of a questionnaire via TenderNed;
- 1-on-1 discussions - individual discussions with market players; and,
- group survey - an open meeting where market players share their contributions and are able to engage in debate.
- Clarify beforehand what you want to achieve with the market consultation and include that in your communications.
- Choose the form that best fits your objectives, i.e. do you just want to gather information or do you also want to stimulate parties to team up?
- Approach the market consultation with an open attitude that allows you to get the best possible results.
- Create a clear report of the market consultation and make this available in the public domain (in case of a public organisation) as an appendix to the tender documentation.
As part of a tender for hot drinks dispensers, the municipality organised a market day and invited parties to form consortia.
This guide sets out considerations on and offers practical advice relating to the organisation of market consultations.