As part of the implementation phase* of the project, where the design phase* has helped identify needs that cannot be fulfilled with British Red Cross-owned resources (such as stock, staff, licenses or premises), the programme team and procurement lead will need to raise a procurement plan. This will capture sourcing options and manage the programme team’s expectations in terms of what should be available and when and enable the fulfilment of the activities that the programme has defined for itself.

The procurement plan is as much a work plan for the procurement team as a communications tool, and it will act as a service-level agreement between the procurement team/lead and the programme team/lead.

* These refer to the different stages identified in the British Red Cross International Quality Methodology (IQM) process. Details available from British Red Cross staff if required.

The procurement plan

How a procurement plan is designed

A diagram depicts how a procurement plan is designed. The steps are: programme-defined objectives, programme-scheduled activities, goods and services needed, procurement support needed, procurement process definition, procurement plan

An indicator of likelihood of change should be included in the programme plan for each activity and objective.

Roles and responsibilities in developing a procurement plan

ResponsibleProcurement lead | Programme team
AccountableLogistics department
ConsultedFinance | Warehouse | Technical adviser I UKO logs
InformedProgramme quality management | Programme team

Available to download here.

Who can help develop a procurement plan?

  • UKO logistics
  • for cash programmes: the Cash Hub
  • experienced programme managers
  • supply chain experts with local expertise
  • finance staff (for cost indications)
  • IFRC, ICRC, HNS colleagues and other organisations.

What to consider when developing the procurement plan

How to obtain the goods

There are different methods to ensure that the material needed for the delivery of a programme are made available to the programme team.

  • procurement – for high-value or high-risk items needed
  • purchasing – for lower value, low-risk items needed
  • donations – where reliable sources have resources beyond their needs
  • loans – where items can be temporarily supplied by partners with subsequent replacements.

Waivers must be submitted to the UKO head of logistics and approved on an individual basis, regardless of the value of the procurement. For procurement conducted in UKO, this is the role of the CPT but UKO logistics can always advise and inform.

All waivers requested and obtained must be logged on the procurement plan. For UK-based procurement, a list of the waivers requested/obtained must be kept on a list of exceptions.

Where to obtain the goods from and where to deliver them

  • local – small-scale retail, loan or donation system
  • national – large suppliers who are part of a national supply network, national partners
  • international – international supplier or donors, IFRC, ICRC and PNS.

Note: the procurement plan also needs to define the exact delivery point for all the goods or services to procure.

Defining responsibilities

The below table displays an example of how the procurement process can be broken down into steps, matching each step with responsible, accountable, consulted and informed stakeholders.

This matrix should be completed, formally or informally, for each large procurement that is undertaken. There can be as many steps added to the matrix as necessary!

Defining needs
Raising requisition(s)
Validating procurement
Procurement sign-off
Contract negotiation
Order management
Quality check at delivery

Available to download here.

When to conduct procurement

  • Link to project timeline – match up procurement timeline to project objectives. Identify dependencies between activities.
  • Procurement lead time – sourcing, contracting, manufacturing delivery – how long will it take?
  • Reverse logistics plan – plan for any returns or exchanges which could be required.

Documents to support the procurement plan development

Reference documents for procurement plan development:

  • project plan
  • financial approvals matrix
  • project budget
  • specialist procurement guidelines*
  • donor requirements*
  • local procurement legal framework
  • due diligence reports*
  • audit reports*
  • market assessment*
  • HR matrix and organogram.

* Not always available or relevant

The scope of the required a market assessment (how deep and how wide does it need to be?) needs to be identified at the idea stage of the project (see British Red Cross IQM guidance document) in alignment with both the available time and resources and the objectives defined for the project.

There are several tools available in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to support logisticians and programme teams in the market assessment and analysis process:

  • Market analysis survey tool to capture average prices and availability of standard goods and services.
  • Market assessments for cash-based interventions (such as RAM or MAG) are key to understanding the functionality of markets, and its ability to support the objectives of the programme. They are available from the Cash Hub. The output of the market analysis will feed into the response options analysis and programme design and decision making.

For more details on market assessment and monitoring for cash programmes, refer to the Cash Hub and the logistics support to cash programmes RACI matrix, from the Market Assessment and Analysis Principles paper.

Validating a procurement strategy

Based on the procurement plan and the estimated costs of items or services to be procured, it is helpful to identify the procurement lines that will consume the biggest share of the total cost at the design phase. This is useful for understanding where the efforts to conduct procurement should be focused.

A good rule of thumb to use is pareto analysis: calculate the total estimated spend on procurement, identify the 20 per cent highest-value procurement lines and invest 80 per cent.

There are other considerations to take into account, such as the urgency of the requirements. However, based on the pareto analysis, it will be critical to define and plan the procurement process of those lines which make up more than 80 per cent of the expected spend.

The pareto analysis can be based on expected amount to be spent, or on expected quantities to be procured. Typically, items that are purchased more than 50 per cent more often than others (and at regular intervals) should be purchased through long-term procurement agreements such as framework agreements.

In the UK, this is the role of the CPT at SSC – the UK logistics team act as an adviser or stakeholder in the procurement planning and strategy, driven by similar analyses. See the pareto step-by-step tool for more details on how to build your own pareto analysis into your procurement strategy.

The procurement strategy will flow from the procurement plan and from the pareto analysis and evolves based on the procurement reports that are available throughout the lifecycle of a project.

View and download a diagram of the procurement strategy flow here.

Read the next section on Planning resources for procurement here.

Download the full section here.