A night of excellence at the National Procurement Awards

The National Procurement Awards recognise procurement for what it is, a core component to a sound supply chain and overall business strategy. In 2020, each entrant faced a very extraordinary year with the pandemic having an impact on businesses across the nation, they demonstrated remarkable courage and ambition to keep going, which was recognised on the night.

On December last, the winners of the annual National Procurement awards were announced via a live digital audience which was hosted by Richard Curran, Broadcaster and Journalist. The night was brought to us by Business River and sponsored by Verzion, Procurement Transformation Institute (PTI),  Amarach Research and The Irish Times.

The judging panel consisted of many talented procurement and educational experts with one being our very own CEO of Iddea, Ingrid De Doncker.

Entering the National Procurement Awards is free and there is a wide range of categories to choose from such as; Procurement Leader, Overall Excellence in Procurement, Best Green Procurement Project of the year, Best Supply chain Team of the Year, Best People Development initiative and many more.

Check out the full list of categories here


Do you think your organisation has what it takes to enter the 2021 award ceremony?


Contact team@procurementawards.ie  to book your place now or for other queries please see contacts below.

For entries queries, contact our Entries Team:

team@procurementawards.ie | 01 685 4317


For sponsorship queries, contact Kevin:
kevin@businessriver.com | 01 407 0594

For queries relating to judging the awards, contact Darragh:

darragh@businessriver.com | 01 902 2743

For all other queries, contact our team:

info@procurementawards.ie | 01 407 0595




Reflecting on the Impact of COVID-19 in Ireland. Key Points from RTE’s ‘Open for Business’

It was a privilege to appear on RTE’s ‘Open for Business’; a mini-series supporting local Irish businesses and consumers on their journey through COVID-19 recovery, helping them adjust to the new normal. At IDDEA, we help customers buy better and I was delighted to have the opportunity to make a contribution and share our expertise. Here are my key takeaways.

To fully appreciate the impact of COVID-19 in Ireland, first and foremost, we need to acknowledge four realities:


Distant and multi-layered supply chains are not sustainable. 

  • Over the last 30 years, many organisations made the choice to place manufacturing in low-cost economies. This created a geographic bottleneck. An interdependent global trade system became evident, but long and distant supply chains with various invisible, inflexible links were the results. Globally, we were over reliant on these low-cost manufacturing countries while supply chain links were not always clear. To give you a perspective, China accounts for 28% of global manufacturing output, compared to just 11% in the US. Therefore, over a quarter of the world’s manufacturing demand is dependent on just one country; a true bottleneck.

You need supplier options, and ideally local ones.

  • To cut costs, many businesses implemented lean production. Contextually, this means that inventory of stock was kept low and deliveries were scheduled to arrive just in time. You may now realise how this is problematic if your stock dependency lies with just one country, far away. Contingency of stock, products and supply is core to build a resilient business and, ideally, you want to have alternative suppliers within your control and closer to home.

COVID-19, the largest bullwhip effect of your lifetime. 

  • In these lean, fine-tuned supply chains, any big change in supply or demand has an immediate ripple effect throughout the whole supply chain. We call this the bullwhip effect. This occurs when inaccurate demand predictions, price fluctuations or lack of accurate communication lead to the gap between supply and demand becoming bigger and bigger up the supply chain, resulting in over or under production. In the COVID-19 scenario, the ripple started when China stopped producing and shipping to schedule. It resulted in shortages all over the world, and many invisible links in the chain become apparent and an immediate supply problem to end-consumers occurred.

We are connected and impacted by shared global economic threats.

  • While Ireland imports only around 7% directly from China, we suffered more from the bullwhip effect as we import from other countries who had been severely impacted by the restricted supply chain from China. Overall, as per the CSO, Irish imports were reduced by 23% in the last 3 months, that is 1 in every 4 Euro.


What does all this mean for the resilience of Ireland’s businesses?

COVID-19 came on the back of the Brexit disruptions that Irish businesses were already facing. Enterprise Ireland put in place support plans for small businesses to create contingency plans for Brexit impacts. IDDEA has been heavily involved in guiding Brexit contingency strategies for small and medium size businesses. Now local businesses have to deal with COVID-19 and its associated supply chain disruptions. It is a very testing time, but support is out there and ‘Open for Business’ highlights the main supports available.

COVID-19 has been a watershed moment for supply chains throughout the world. It has impacted Ireland greatly as we are an island nation dependent on imported raw materials from countries around the world. The risks associated with single and geographically remote suppliers highlighted the criticality of understanding how supply chains actually work. People now understand how goods and services are delivered to them, how interlinked and how dependent trade has become on world economies. Businesses are a lot more aware of the multiple risks and fragility of all the links in the supply chain.

One example illustrating the impact of this in Ireland was the shortage of PPE. PPE and other healthcare products’ life-saving properties, the importance of their quality, and how and where they’re sourced from, became a national talking-point. Hand sanitisers saw an unforeseen demand and there were few companies in Ireland producing them. PPE products ordered from China were argued to have been of inferior quality. Other industries were impacted as well. Food and drink supply chains, while robust, had to deal with moving their products with reduced air freight, ocean freight and transportation restrictions throughout all the supply chains. Well-known brands were temporarily replaced by alternative products to keep the shelves stacked. Small food producers had to close down due to resource shortages. Things were quite uncertain.

However, out of crisis came opportunity. Within weeks, factories took the decision to restructure their production lines to make hand sanitisers, gowns, masks, gloves. For example, Irish Distillers in Midleton moved from alcohol production to producing sanitising gels. Signage companies started full production on COVID-19 signs for roads and retail. Food retailers opened their kitchens to support the needs of frontline workers and local people. For example, Crust and IZZ Café delivered frequent food boxes to frontline staff in Cork city hospitals.

Businesses have looked at their supply chains and are actively seeking local suppliers or are attempting to shorten their supply chains. Smart, innovative products and services have been fast tracked, and micro, small and medium sized businesses have been the most agile to respond. For example, EcoStraws.ie, a Limerick based company, saw a gap in the market for sustainable PPE equipment and filled this niche with the world’s first plastic free PPE offering. The determination to be resilient, agile and adapt to change is a strength of local businesses that cannot be un derestimated.


Our advice

Still faced with so many uncertainties, companies need to take sensible steps to prepare for the effects of the COVID-19 (see our previous blog). A rigorous business approach should focus on managing risk and increase resilience for the short andhttps://iddea.ie/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=imagify long term.

For now:

  • Set up your own rapid response team and write your contingency plan. When you reach critical financial trigger points, kick start your recovery or contingency plan to mitigate the risks.
  • Review your customer base in order to set priorities, based on your sources of income.
  • Review your first tier suppliers, their suppliers (tier 2, tier 3, tier 4 etc.) and ask yourself:
  • Which suppliers are vital for the survival of your business?
  • Where are your critical products made?
  • Do you know the alternative sources and are they real alternatives?
  • Have you full visibility of the core components journey, along the supply chain, from the manufacturer to you?
  • What is the suppliers’ inventory status?
  • Review your product portfolio. If capacity or supply of your core components is reduced, then agree the rules on which products should be prioritised and which customers should be supplied first.
  • Plan to maximize cash flow rather than profits. Keep the ship afloat!
  • Keep communications clear and frequent with your employees, your customers and suppliers. Transparency and honesty is key.

It is an unprecedented time for all business around the world: it is a very scary time for 99% of Irish businesses, the micro to small and medium enterprises sector. For many, thinking inside the box will not provide the right answer. Every industry will have different risks and every business will have their own supply chain challenges . There is not one solution to the myriad of challenges we are all facing.

Focus your attention on your core competencies, your competitive advantage, and re-think your future. The world is changing, your customer will have different needs, your business will need to provide different solutions. Your perspective is key and your authenticity will make the difference in your dealings with your customers and your suppliers.

I have learnt that incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over, instead of craving control over what you don’t. Opportunities don’t just happen, you create them. Let’s take control, and together, let’s create a more sustainable future.                                                              written by Ingrid De Doncker, IDDEA

The ‘New Normal’ is the Triple Bottom Line: Changing Trends Emerging from COVID-19 Recovery

In 1859, Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking text, On the Origin of Species, changed the very fabric of scientific knowledge and the way we perceive the natural world. Darwin revealed to the world that ‘it is not the strongest of species that survives, but rather, that which is most adaptable to change.’ A veil had been lifted and a new period of enlightenment began.

Never before, in our modern era, has a lesson from the past held more truth. Recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic will require the building of businesses and societies that can thrive in the face of continuous change. The lessons businesses are learning during the pandemic are profound; the cost-effective supply chain model revealed its brittle nature, digital business transformation accelerated at lightning speed, innovative agile teams problem solved complex tasks, necessity illustrated what products are truly important, and the planet, in our absence, began to heal. We are living through a turbulent period in history, with climate change, political unrest, and COVID-19 challenging our perceptions of ‘normal’. However, we decide as to whether this can be another era of lifting the veil, of revealing important natural, political, social and business truths to enlighten and improve our ways of life, or, we can revert back to ‘normal’, business as usual, with no lessons learned.

I believe that the veil has been lifted. Today, I hope to give you a look through.

Innovation and Agile Leadership

The current crisis has ignited the spark of innovation often hampered by rigid, bureaucratic structures. The businesses that most aggressively adapted their ways of working have turned the crisis into an opportunity for innovation, solving important social problems. Dyson designed a new ventilator in ten days responding to UK hospital demand, Alibaba built an unmanned store providing essential items for citizens in Wuhan, and Irish spirit distillers are collaborating with the HSE producing alcohol sanitisers for frontline medical workers.

These innovative responses weren’t part of any business plan. Instead, small teams recognised an urgent need, shunned aside unimportant activities, broke rigid bureaucratic structures and adapted their standard operations. This social innovator transformation strengthened both their businesses and society. 47% more business ‘rising stars’ are viewed during periods of turbulence rather than stability, with 89% of ‘sinking ships’ capsizing (Bain, 2020). Agile leadership and innovation appear to be key determining factors in whether businesses sink or swim, while simultaneously brining value to profits and society.


Building Resilient Supply Chains: ‘Going Local’

The current pandemic has shown the fragility of global supply chains and the importance of good procurement practices. Market demands for cost competitiveness have put unsustainable pressure on supply chains. This became most evident in the personal protective equipment (PPE) global bottlenecks. The brittle, inflexible, and often obscure nature of these cost-effective supply chains has been laid bare, exposing the need for change.

A Thomas Reuters’ study, on the ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Global Supply Chains’, reveals that 63.5% of businesses foresee nationalism on the supply chain rising. This has important implications for producers and service providers who can avail of this opportunity by offering sustainable, local solutions to businesses who wish to shorten their supply chains. In turn, this will satisfy shifting consumer trends. Euromonitor’s ‘Proudly Local, Going Global’ 2020 megatrend sees consumers valuing home culture and products tailored to local tastes and preferences.

As an open economy, we should avail of our position within the Eurozone and build collaborative relationships with our local European neighbours. As we are an export and import dependant country, cooperative trade relationships within our Eurozone could prove mutually beneficial; export opportunities continue, with supply chains also shortening and strengthen.

Together, businesses and consumers can support local while also availing of the value that they desire. This ‘new buying normal’ can help boost local economies, assist small businesses and start-ups, and add value to the triple bottom line by supporting people, the planet and profits.


Technology: The Digital Transformation

COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of digital readiness, allowing businesses to continue operations. Digital technologies are playing a crucial role in keeping our businesses and societies functional and preventing the spread of the virus.

Remote work is redefining consumers daily routines and, as they adapt to life at home longer, drives trends towards ecommerce, home entertainment and new digital experiences. This creates strategic opportunity for businesses across products and services.

Ecommerce and digital marketing must be embraced by businesses if they are to answer to shifting consumer behaviours. L’Oréal responded successfully to the crisis by quickly moving its marketing spending online, seeing e-commerce sales rises of up to 400%. L’Oréal executive, Lumboria Rochet, explains that “we are setting ourselves up for a world where half of the business is e-commerce and 80% of consumer interactions will happen online…In e-commerce, we achieved in eight weeks what would have otherwise taken us three years to do.

B2B buyers are also embracing the digital transformation. Research shows that 70% of B2B buyers believe that virtual sales calls are as effective as in person calls for complex products, with ‘virtual experts’ being presented as new service offerings (Bain, 2020). Digital transformations will be key in building sustained competitive advantage.

Sustainability with Purpose

While researching for this article, I came across an interesting misinterpretation of the Chinese word for ‘crisis’. Many motivational speakers correctly translate the first character as ‘danger’. However, the second logograph does not mean ‘opportunity’, as many believe, instead it translates as ‘a point where things change’, with the derivative being ‘chance, good timing’.

The theme of change is again evident. Now, more than ever before, we have the chance, the good timing, to get things right and recover from this period of danger.

Since the financial crisis of 2008, we have added environmental (climate change, pollution, biodiversity destruction), social (inequality and injustice), and political (Brexit and Trump) crises to our list. We now face the current COVID-19 crisis which has brought us collectively to our knees. Evidently, something is not working. Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, states that “the best memorial we can build for those who lost their lives to the pandemic is a better, greener, smarter, fairer world.” Realising how past inactions have deepened global inequalities, her proposed ‘Global Reset’, promising mass investment in people, education, society and the planet, again echoes the desire and need for change.

During the pandemic, as humanity halts, nature is healing. COVID-19 is triggering the largest ever annual fall in carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels, heading for an 8% global reduction. Crude oil is close to worthless. The waters of Venice, normally choked with diesel and petrol, are now clear and frequented with dolphins. Lions roam freely on African roads that usually teem with safari jeeps. People in India now see their neighbouring Himalayan mountains for the first time, as the cloak of air pollution lifts.

The call to action is clear. We must embrace this opportunity for a global reset and build a ‘new normal’ where we live in equilibrium with our natural planet.

For too long environmental responsibility has been transferred to the individual citizen and for too long greenwashing has tainted businesses CSR policies. COVID-19 has highlighted humanity’s fragility in the face of nature’s power. We cannot allow climate change to teach us another fatal lesson. The pandemic has also taught us that no one can prosper alone and that collaboration for the common good can be achieved. We must adopt a holistic approach to our businesses, the triple bottom line, and create social, environmental and economic value for all our stakeholders, including our planet.

Ask yourself:

What kind of business do you lead?

What kind of business do you work for?

What kind of business do you buy from?

Is this business promoting the type of ‘new normal’ you want in this world? Or are they inhibiting it?


The secret of change is not to focus all of your energy on fighting the old, but on building the new. Together, we can build a stronger, fairer, safer, healthier, planet. Together, we can achieve anything.


Written by Marie Muckley

Top tips for attending one of the world’s largest private label trade shows; PLMA

Private Label has grown over the past 25 years, with grocery chains experiencing a significant rise in private label of up to 60% (Oracle, 2019). The objective required of procurement professionals in the retail industry is to ‘buy better’ and compete with discounters. With the uncertainties of post-Brexit, trade tariffs need to be taken into consideration to combat future costs whilst maintaining quality for the consumer. This rapid movement to alternative suppliers will put pressure on food retailers across Ireland to react, as supply base options narrow for the demand on EU suppliers. German discounters like Aldi & Lidl have dramatically improved their offering since first arriving in 1999. With the focus now on local produce and Irish origin the larger retailers are lowering price points as the discounters compete on quality.


Last year I flew to Amsterdam to attend one of the largest private label trade shows, PLMA, for my third time. In my role I focus on sourcing private label products for Irish retailers. PLMA is a two-day event, with over 4,000 global exhibitors, from suppliers to manufacturers. It is one of the largest trade shows in Europe after Anuga in Cologne. It caters for both food (fresh, frozen and refrigerated foods, dry grocery and beverages) and non-food products (cosmetics, health & beauty, household and kitchen, auto aftercare, garden and household DIY) and includes suppliers for major retailers and discounters across the world.


Over 5,000 visitors and buyers descended on the conference to find new and existing products to compete within the retail industry and engage with potential suppliers. The annual event is important to attend as manufacturers are investing in their companies to be able to provide larger ranges. Teams of product developers and technologists are present, seeking to bring new lines to life to compete in this heavily saturated industry. The opportunities to bring value to your company are plentiful.


With the aforementioned rise of discounters in Ireland, neighbouring retailers across the EU have subsequently lowered prices of product to compete but have also expanded their range to include non-food goods. The non-food section increases year on year at PLMA, as there is more of a demand from consumers on retailers to provide a ‘one stop shop’ to include an array of products from clothing, garden and DIY products.


Amongst many others, I met Dry-Lock, one of the most impressive stands in the 2019 trade show. Large digital screens were used as walls to display video adverts of the products and how the new ‘magic tube’ technology works. Dry-Lock supply private label nappies to major retailers and have developed a new technology to compete with branded Pampers magic tube technology for more absorption than leading brands. With a very impressive resume of fast tracking to success in just 5 years from first opening their doors they have already established themselves to be serious competitors within private label.



Health is a major topic with many confectionary and cereal companies making claims of using little or no sugar, only naturally occurring. Alternatives to salt-heavy snacks were substituted for trendy ingredients such as quinoa and kale. Gluten free was also a hot topic in recent years and is in high demand along with the need of multiple allergens to be omitted from factory lines. Ireland’s population has a higher than average percentage of coeliac affected people due the high existence of wheat in the diet.


My 5 top tips for PLMA visitors:

  1. Have ideas on what products you are looking to target. There is a room filled with thousands of experts with innovative ideas to assist retailers and businesses to grow their current range.
  2. Navigation is key in PLMA. With over 14 halls the new app is a must for a user-friendly experience. The halls are organised into regions so that each pavilion consists of relevant products of that origin (e.g. Italian includes pasta and sauces etc.).
  3. In preparation for PLMA, once registered it is wise to communicate with current suppliers/agents that may also be in attendance on the day to catch-up and arrange a meeting to discuss product ranges etc.
  4. The majority of exhibitors included products belonging to UK and EU retailers that they cater for. This is a great benchmarking exercise to see how your products measures up across the market.
  5. Preparation is key but keeping an open mind to products is vital. Buyers may identify gaps in your product range increasing your competitive advantage over other retailers

Every year PLMA is held in the month of May. Due to the Covid19 pandemic PLMA has been postponed to December 2020.


Maybe I will see you then?


Follow the link here to discover more about PLMA: https://www.plmainternational.com/


Written by; Suzie Lynch


”Prepare To Win”- Full Life-Cycle Tender Management

The clock slowly ticks towards the end of the game. The score is leaning heavily in their favour, but the players at both sides still power on and push for success. Each play, tactic and technique has been well prepared and planned for the win, everyone pulls together and ultimately the best team wins.

Other than having incredibly skilled players, a playbook is essential to any team’s success. A playbook for tender lifecycle management is as essential to a tender’s success as it is for a team’s. At iDDea we are proud to provide a variety of services within and beyond the procurement arena. In the first of a series delving into our specific expertise, we will look at our proven playbook for tender lifecycle management.

But before we can look at the playbook and what it entails, we must first look at what a “tender” means to us at iDDea. The word “tender” on its own is a homonym, which means it is a word that contains multiple meanings: think of bat, or matter, or pen. Imagine swinging a baseball bat at some fruit bats. The words make total sense in their context, but on its own, ‘bat’ can mean any number of things. Tender is the exact same. If you search for the meaning of the word “tender”, you can find a plethora of definitions. So, we already have a mountain to climb in relation to understanding what it means. However, since you’ve come to iDDea, it is reasonable to assume that you have some understanding of what a tender, in the context of what we are discussing means, so we already have climbed some of that mountain.

In the procurement business, ‘tender’ usually refers to the method through which businesses invite bids for a large project. At iDDea, the term ‘tender’ covers the wide range of stages and processes from the beginning of the tender, with the tender brief of what we are trying to achieve and assembling of the responsible team up until the final award of business. Other stages include the data requirement baseline, as well as market engagement, which involves testing the market to identify whether it is the right time to go into the marketplace as well as other factors, like the actions being taken by competitors. The tender also involves the drafting of the ‘fit for purpose’ specification documents, wherein time is carefully spent developing and including all documents that are necessary for the suppliers to be able to submit a commercial proposal, and the publishing of the e-tender, the post e-tender review and the blended decision matrix.

Now that we have established what the tender is and what it involves: what about the playbook for tender lifecycle management? In our playbook, there are various different aspects needed to ensure a successful tender. In each of these aspects, we place an emphasis on efficiency, effectiveness, prioritisation, transparency and interdependency.

The Tender Brief:

This is where we detail the specifics of the tender. It is important to us at iDDea that we engage with our stakeholders early in the tender process so that we fully understand the scope of their needs for the tender. What do they want to achieve? These wants and needs, the objectives and intended outcomes of the tender are made clear in the tender brief. The strategy for the tender is also established in the tender brief, which should be thorough, detailed and clear. Furthermore, we would ensure that we understand the assumptions and the risks as well and we agree the measures for success.

Lean e-Tender Process:

A key step in managing the tender lifecycle is to ensure an efficient and streamlined e-tender process. At iDDea we place an emphasis on efficiency throughout the tender journey, because we believe that an efficient tender is a successful one. In our playbook of tender lifecycle management, efficiency is kept at the forefront, so that all resources are used in the best way, and no time is wasted because tasks are clear and performed without delay. The e-tender process involves several steps. The first is supplier sourcing. We ask our customers what initial criteria are important to them in the search for suppliers, so we take care to find as many suitable suppliers as possible for a given tender. We use different channels to ensure we have a broad network of suppliers in the given market. This translates into questions in an RFI – Request for Information, where we contact potential suppliers, making an enquiry regarding the products they provide, to clarify if they are suitable to our customer to be included in our tender. Following this, once we have clarified that the supplier does provide what we are looking for, we ask the potential suppliers to provide a quotation or a proposal. The next step is supplier onboarding, which refers to the getting all the relevant information from the company as a supplier for the tender and also to train them into the rules around how to submit a compliant tender. This involves collecting all valid documentation and data and ensuring that the prospective supplier is reliable and in line with laws and regulations. The e-tender documents, that have been drafted in collaboration with our customers, are then send out to the qualified suppliers and we ensure the tender format best suits the specific tender.

RACI & Timelines:

Throughout the lifecycle of a tender, we at iDDea know that it is important to have the right people in the right places. As part of our playbook for tender lifecycle management, we make sure that each person’s role and time required of them is carefully mapped out, as well as the resources required to carry out each task. When deciding on the people responsible for tasks in a project, we think it is important to follow RACI:

R – Responsible – this is the person who is responsible for carrying out the task.

A – Accountable – this is the person who is ultimately accountable for the task. They are usually a step above the Responsible person and can help guide them.

C – Consulted – this is the person who those carrying out the task gets feedback from on how to carry out the activity

I – Informed – the person who needs to know what decisions and actions are taken


At iDDea we believe there should be a clear chain of command when carrying out tasks, similar to managing any project. This way, everyone has someone they can turn to for help and in the rare occasion something goes wrong, the person responsible is clear.

Supporting our stepped through process flow for assigning each person their roles, we also have clearly established timelines, so that the trajectory of each project is clear. This allows us to keep track of the progress of a project and make sure it is being carried out on schedule. In establishing these timelines, we focus on prioritisation. In doing this, we make sure that each task is dealt with when it is necessary. This means that we waste no time on tasks that do not need to be completed yet, while also ensuring that the important tasks are dealt with in a timely manner.

Additionally, by planning out timelines, we are able to manage any future risks. We implement a Risk Register, wherein we identify possible risks and pre-emptively take actions to respond to these risks. We also employ risk mitigation to reduce the possibility of risks arising throughout the tender lifecycle. We ensure, then, that risks are all identified and tracked to make sure that they do not hinder the tender lifecycle.

Team Management:

The RACI step outlined above also involves assigning the right people to the right teams. Once they have been assigned to their teams, it is important that these teams are all managed effectively so that their tasks are performed on time and performed well. Effective team management involves teamwork and communication among the team, as well as objective tracking and performance appraisals. We believe that a team will work best when their goals are clear and every member of the team know very definitely what roles they are to perform, as well as the pace the other team members are working at.

Effective team management involves effective engagement not only with internal stakeholders, like those involved in the project and [the businesses] but the external supply base as well. Throughout our proven playbook for tender lifecycle management we place emphasis on interdependency and knowledge share, and this is especially true when it comes to team management. We believe interdependency to be significant to the success of a tender because it is important for us to acknowledge that we need the input of all parties involved in the tender to make sure that it is successful, especially our internal stakeholders and external supply base, without whom the tender would not be possible. Thus, we become the translators of the needs of our internal customers and engage the suppliers in a given market to provide us with sustainable options and solutions. We again translate the options out of the market in to the blended decision matrix to obtain the optimum decision for our internal customer where evaluation criteria such as price, quality, service, account management and sustainability are intertwined to get the best possible outcome.

Results Reporting:

For a successfully managed tender, it is essential for frequent and clear reports of progress and results. At the earlier stages of the tender, like supplier sourcing, we make sure to document every step and report to fellow members of the team responsible. When it comes to results reporting, and in all of tender lifecycle management, we ensure transparency to make sure that our clients are clear on every step we take and why we take it. Further, we keep detailed records of each step of each tender stage, so that our clients can track every move being made and what the outcome was.

If we have not focused enough in our previous paragraphs on communication, reporting is all about appropriate communication. In strategic sourcing, fit for purpose communication is critical for the success of any negotiation and we will dedicate another blog only on the topic of the value of communication in life-cycle tender management.


Now that we have outlined our playbook for you, you too can go forth and climb mountains, win games. Have successful tenders.

When ”I” is replaced by ”We”

As the Irish nation re-adjusts to life working at the kitchen table, it can be difficult to switch off after ‘’a day in the office’’.

The IDDEA team are lucky in one sense as we have been developing remote working skills over a period of time and working from home is part of our weekly routine. We have a good balance between visiting clients on site and working remotely. I would love to share our top tips for staying connected during these unprecedented times.

Top Tips:

Stay in contact: Zoom or Teams are great media platforms to connect with your colleagues. Iddea schedule a Team’s call every second day to check in with each other and we never leave without a smile on our face. It is great to connect on non-work-related topics and catch up on all the latest Netflix recommendations. If you are feeling demotivated, pick up the phone and contact one of your colleagues as it can be good to hear a friendly voice and its good to know that you are not alone during this isolation period.

Stay Active: Mary Ryan- IDDEA’s eAuction Coordinator aka our virtual fitness motivator has set up a great initiative to get the team moving. She has set up an online tracker whereby we list our weekly workouts. Whether it is the daily household chores or a 2km walk, everything counts and gets tracked. At the end of every month it is very rewarding to reflect on all the good work that you have done! Yoga is also a great way to start your working day and some Instagram handles that have come highly recommended by the Iddea team: ‘’yogawithmaura’’ and ‘’yogaandval’’ both accounts run free daily yoga classes from the comfort of your own home.


Come dine with me: You always have the smart (or lazy) ones who take advantage of a situation to create an opportunity. Working from home has its challenges for working moms so our CEO Ingrid proposed to her family to start a “come dine with me” competition where a rota was agreed that every day, everyone different in the household was going to show off their cooking skills. A balanced scorecard was set up to track the performance and criteria such as taste, texture, innovation and presentation were rated. So every few days, food recipes are being discussed on our zoom call and recipes have been shared. And she is happy to share that her youngest 15-year old daughter is showing amazing flavour combinations and is winning by a mile!

Party-Animals: The “Young ones” of our team have their own challenges with social distancing while keeping their social life active. Every time, the “Old ones” in the team are delighted to hear about what new social media game or virtual party was organised. Bingo Loco, which was Ireland’s, go to night out has now launched via Facebook live. Bingo Loco has the same concept as traditional bingo but with a modern twist. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates on their next virtual bingo party https://www.facebook.com/bingolocoie/ 


Meet the Fockers: We have been introducing our friends and families to one another via Zoom. In many circumstances we are away from our family during covid 19 therefore, we show photographs of our loved ones whom we miss dearly or family members that live in the household pop on the screen and give a wave. We are so close as a team and it is a nice to connect on both a personal and professional level.

Back to the Future: Making a list of future plans to offset somewhat the current feeling of loneliness, anxiety or the general feeling is a great mood-booster: when the “New Normal” starts, the top 3 things I will do is…..! Sharing the big and small things we look forward is very powerful and triggers a sense of hope, excitement and energy. The negative thoughts of cancelled holidays, festivals, foodie experience, city trips and family occasions, we turn in o future plans. Only the positive “what if” scenarios can be talked about and we all get excited about each other dreams. “The Return of Investment” of sharing each future plans is 2000:1 as that is where our hope and future self lies

Staying connected and staying true to yourself, we empower each other in good and hard times. There are 3 choices in life you can make: give in, give up or give it all you got! Finding a way together to give it all you got, will make you stronger. As they say, tough times never last, tough people do. Finding the “we “ in “I” is what we are trying to do at IDDEA. We hope some of top tips of our remote working experience, might work for you. Be well, stay safe, keep close and mind each other.


Procurement Framework

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Strategic Sourcing life-cycle

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