Basics of procurement

Understanding the Procuring Entity: Role, Needs and Challenges in Procurements

The role, needs and challanges of a procuring entity

New to the world of procurement? In this article, we’ll break down what a procuring entity is and their role, needs and challenges in the tender process. Let’s dive in!


Procuring entity meaning: understanding their fundamental role

In the realm of procurement, the term “procuring entity” refers simply to the buyer. It may be any private company, government department, agency, local administration or organisation that is acquiring goods, services, or works by means of a procurement.

The buyer, of course, plays a crucial role in ensuring the efficiency of the procurement. In public procurement, where the buyer is a public organisation, efficient and effective procurement is essential for the smooth functioning of public services and operations. Understanding the role and needs of a procuring entity is key for suppliers looking to submit bids on tenders.


The role of a procuring entity in the procurement process

A procuring entity is tasked with key responsibilities throughout the procurement process. From identifying requirements to awarding contracts, each step is crucial in ensuring that the procurement is conducted efficiently and effectively. Here are some of the key roles a procuring entity plays:

  • Needs assessment: Recognising and defining the needs of the organisation to determine what goods, services, or works are required. Often, a procurement is conducted by a purchasing department responsible for procuring a vast variety of goods and services.
  • Preparing procurement plans: Developing comprehensive plans that outline the procurement objectives, strategies, timelines, and budget allocations.
  • Market research: Conducting thorough research to understand the market landscape, identify potential suppliers, and assess the availability and cost of required goods and services.
  • Drafting tender documents: Preparing detailed tender documents that specify the requirements, evaluation criteria, and contract terms and conditions.
  • Advertising tenders: Issuing public notices and advertisements to invite bids from qualified suppliers.
  • Evaluating bids: Assessing and comparing submitted bids based on predetermined criteria to identify the most suitable supplier.
  • Contract award and management: Awarding the contract to the successful bidder and overseeing the execution of the contract to ensure compliance and performance.


Ensuring fairness and transparency in procurement

A vital role of a procuring entity is to uphold the principles of fairness and transparency throughout the procurement process. This involves establishing clear and objective evaluation criteria, ensuring equal opportunities for all suppliers, and maintaining open and unbiased communication. By adhering to these principles, procuring entities help build trust and credibility in the procurement process, fostering a competitive and healthy marketplace.


Challenges faced by procuring entities

While procuring entities are responsible for the effective execution of procurement activities, they often encounter various challenges that can impact the process. Some common challenges include:

  • Complex regulations: Navigating the complex web of public procurement laws and regulations can be daunting, requiring a deep understanding of legal frameworks.
  • Budget constraints: Procuring entities must often operate within tight budgetary constraints, necessitating careful planning and efficient resource allocation.
  • Supplier management: Identifying and managing reliable and capable suppliers can be challenging, especially in highly specialised or niche markets.
  • Risk mitigation: Managing risks associated with procurement activities, such as delays, cost overruns, or supplier non-performance, requires proactive risk management strategies.


Understanding the procuring entity makes you a better supplier

Oftentimes, a public procuring agency is faced with certain constraints and challenges. The tender process restricts contact and the buyer needs to act objectively and without favouritism. This means suppliers might find the procuring agency difficult to communicate with. It’s important to understand the role of the buyer, and what they can and can’t respond to, the rules they need to abide by and the challenges of their position.

When bidding on a tender, it’s crucial to carefully analyse the needs of the buyer to present a proposal that is a good fit for both you as a supplier and the procuring agency. Doing so both increases the likelihood of winning the contract and a long and successful partnership.



The role of a procuring entity in public procurement is multifaceted and essential for the efficient acquisition of goods, services, and works. From needs assessment to contract management, procuring entities are pivotal in ensuring transparency, fairness, and value for money in the procurement process. Understanding their responsibilities and challenges is crucial for suppliers looking to participate successfully in tenders and navigate the complexities of public procurement.


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