When equipment needs to be purchased, start by determining the equipment specifications, and options required to manufacture/produce the predetermined mix of products. When purchasing used equipment is determined to be an option, precautions and additional research are needed. Then decide which models/manufactures meet the requirements and source potential vendors before sending a Request For Proposal [RFP].
There needs to be a section with questions and information requests within the RFP. Has the equipment been under water? What repairs have been made? Is there a maintenance log that can be provided? Which company/technician made the repairs?
When the bid[s] arrive and only one bid is received or only one of the bids are determined valid the buyer needs to review the process to determine why only one bid was received. The buyer should review the original specifications and ask the following questions. Were all the requirements/specifications needed? Were the bidders limited by the requirements of the RFP? Was only one model acceptable? Was the RFP process limited by not inviting enough qualified vendors? The buyer after answering these and other questions needs to modify the RFP and request new proposals in an expeditious time frame.
Once a piece of equipment is selected from the bids, confirm the bidder has provided the correct and fully executed documents; Indemnification, and Certificate of Insurance. Then modify the corporate Contract based on precautions need for the equipment being purchased.
Work with your legal team to ensure the Contract, has all the necessary details such as warranty of service and parts, terms, termination, choice of law, payment schedule, training, extended warranty, pre-test, and post-test, etc.
The tests need to be designed specifically for the piece of equipment you’re purchasing. The type of test should not be left up to the seller! A press, for example, needs to have a test designed for the maximum image/sheet area, and the number of printing units. Don’t use a four-color test when the press is three-color. The best test is designed to easily determine equipment flaws, so don’t short change this step.
A buyer or company which doesn’t take the time to rebid or pre-test isn’t being fiduciary responsible.
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