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last updated: 22nd January 2015

Sometimes the goods/services received will fail to meet the users' expectations. This type of occurrence should be investigated to find out why. For example:

  • Was the wrong product specified?
  • Does it simply not work or is it not suitable?
  • Were the user's needs under estimated?
  • Were the needs of, for example, disabled users not considered or included in the specification?
     

If the wrong product was specified, review the decision processes followed at the start of the exercise to find out where the mistake was made in specifying what was required.  If mistakes are identified, review them and see how they could have been avoided, then share the lessons learnt to minimise the chances of this happening again.  It may be that the correct products were specified at the time, however, other factors affected the use to which the product was put after it was received.  For example, a major shift in research direction/ methodology could render a piece of scientific equipment less useful than what would have been specified had the users known his/her requirements were going to change.

If the products do not work, refer the issue to the institution's Head of Procurement.  It will be necessary to determine what is causing the problem, for example, it may be that the product is faulty and that a replacement is required.  It may be that the product is not 'fit for purpose' ie it cannot fulfil the purpose for which it was purchased. In this case, there may be an opportunity to seek some remedy from the supplier, in either the provision of an alternative product or financial compensation.  It will be important to refer back to what was asked for in the quotation/tender specification and stated on the purchase order to ensure that the institution's requirements were specified appropriately and not that the supplier provided what was asked for ie that it was the initial specification that was wrong.

If you have problems with goods or services provided, contact your Head of Procurement as soon as possible to discuss the problem and decide the best way to proceed.  The longer you delay, the more difficult it will be to persuade the supplier that there is a genuine problem.

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