Use Tenderboards for the professionalisation of your purchasing process

Are you working in the field of purchasing within public organizations? Then you have heard of a 'tender board' or have you already had to deal with it during the execution of a tender. In private organizations, more and more use is made of a tender board during a purchasing procedure. Joyce, purchasing consultant at Supply Value, has done research into the use of tender boards in both public and private organizations.

What are tender boards?

Another word for a tender board is a tender committee. This committee can be described as a committee of experts who (from a strategic point of view) use their expertise to assess tender documents and provide advice during the procurement process. With this expertise, tenders can be better placed on the market and this contributes to the professionalisation of the purchasing process of the organization that makes use of this.

In 2018 research was done into current types of tender boards in Dutch public and private organizations and the factors that determine the composition of the tender board. With the description of tender boards mentioned above, the five determining factors of setting up a tender board have been named. These are the following:
- the tenderprocess in which a tender board plays a role;
- the position who has a tender board;
- the tender discussed in a tender board;
- the experts in the tender board;
- the documents that will be discussed during a meeting of a tender board.

By means of these five factors, an organization can determine how, when, and for what purpose a tender board can be used. This means that there is a range of possibilities with regard to the type of tender board and that organizations can determine this set-up and the use of a tender board.

Tenderboards in practice

During the investigation into the different types of tender boards, it was investigated how different organizations use a tender board. This showed that public organizations use a tender board especially at the beginning of the tendering process. In this phase there is still the most control over the tender, often given as a reason why it takes place especially at the beginning of the process. A distinction can also be made between ministries and municipalities. Where ministries use a tender board, especially when determining the purchasing needs, municipalities do so mainly in the tendering strategy and documents. Private organizations, on the other hand, use tender boards throughout the entire procurement process, from the purchase requirement to the award and evaluation.

For both types of organizations it happens that a tender board is used once in a procurement process, but it is also possible that a tender board is used several times in the tendering or purchasing process. This choice depends on the purchasing policy of the organization concerned and the tenders that are made. For example, public organizations can opt to use a tender board only when a tender exceeds a certain threshold value. Organizations also make the decision to use the tender board in all tenders to ensure the quality of the tenders.

The composition of a tender board differs in this study from 3 to 12 people who are experts in the tender board. A difference has also been noticed in internal and external experts in a tender board and having a fixed composition or rotating composition. In public organizations, differences in municipalities and ministries have again been discovered. Municipalities have 3 to 6 internal and external experts, both fixed and rotating in a tender board. Ministries use a permanent group of 9 to 10 internal and external experts. Private organizations have both smaller and larger compositions of a tender board, and only use a fixed group of internal employees.

Follow-up research

As you have read above, practice has shown that tender boards can occur in all sorts of different combinations. These combinations can all be linked to the five determining factors of a tender board. The question that can be asked here is when the combinations of factors work in a tender board and when they do not work. To answer this question, Joyce started her follow-up research in which she will investigate this theme in practice.

Would you like to know more about the different types of tender boards or would you like to get started with the use of a tailor-made tender board in your organization? Please feel free to contact us via or 088-0555 999 If you would like to contribute ideas about the follow-up research, Joyce is of course open to your response.