Your Requisition Template Isn't Enough

PurchTips edition #138


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Is Your Requisition Template Incomplete?

A requisitioner sends you a requisition describing an item that he needs. You get bids from the major suppliers of that item, qualify the most attractive ones, and collaborate with the requisitioner on a mutually agreed supplier selection. You place the order. The item arrives. The requisitioner refuses it, says it isn't what he wanted (though it matched the description on the requisition), and is ready to punch holes in the wall.

Sound familiar? It's a common purchasing situation. The problem is clear: the specifications were poor.

So that's the requisitioner's fault, right? Not completely.

Requisitioners have their areas of specialty. And specification writing usually isn't one of them.

Purchasing deals with specs daily. It's not your job to write specs, but helping requisitioners write them well is.

The first step in helping them is to add a questionnaire to your requisition template, whether that template is paper or electronic. This questionnaire should help requisitioners provide commonly omitted information.

Such questionnaires consist of several yes/no questions. For every "yes" answer, the requisitioner must provide more detail. Examples of such questions are:

  1. Does the item have to be a minimum, exact, or maximum size?
  2. Does the item have to be a minimum, exact, or maximum weight?
  3. Must the item be compatible with any other item?
  4. Does the item have to produce a certain level of output per period of time?

For a sample 14-question questionnaire, please check out my blog post at:

The detail harvested through the questionnaire should be built into the specifications provided to bidders. Then, before awarding an order to the top bidder, review those details with that supplier and the requisitioner.

These additional steps will decrease the risk of buying the wrong thing. And you won't have to worry about finding a vendor to fix all of those holes in the wall!

To learn more about requisition templates and other purchasing fundamentals, consider the online course "Mastering Purchasing Fundamentals." Learn more by clicking here.

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