Project owners are always keen to expand their list of consultants, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers that can take part in their capital project delivery. Having such a list with all the needed details will enable project owners to decide and select which entities could be invited for the prequalification process which is usually specific for each project. In the article “How Can Technology Bring the Much-Needed Transparency and Objectivity in Assessing Engineering Consultants and Contractors Prequalification Submissions on Capital Projects?” details were provided on the formal prequalification process which is usually by invitation.
Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) which has a module for the formal registration of consultants, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers like PMWeb, capital project owners can implement a quick and robust process for this registration process. PMWeb Vendor Prequalification Designer allows the creation of standard templates that can be used by all entities who are interested in doing business with the capital project owner. The prequalification form will include predefined system fields, user-defined custom fields, system tables, user-defined tables, and links to third-party websites. The user-defined data groups will let the project owner track any metadata that the vendor needs to provide. Those user-defined custom fields can be organized in tabs to make data entry easier for the vendors as well as better structured for the project owner. PMWeb Specification module will be used to define all those custom fields and the group they belong to.
The Custom Tables are needed to take into account the fact that the project owner must sometimes include in the registration applications a way for vendors to supply tables of information. Tables can be defined with a fixed or variable number of rows for applicant-specific data, fields that are locked with predefined values or unlocked, and fields that are required to be completed. If there is a requirement for the vendor to provide input values from a predefined list of values, PMWeb allows adding a list from which it will include a list of predefined values to select from.
The Section Options table will enable the project owner to show/hide vendor application sections and edit their help text to provide the needed instructions for the vendors to provide the needed details. The table has six types of fields, Text, System Help, System Table, Custom Fields, Custom Tables, and Custom Links.
- The two lines marked with a Type of “Text” appear as title and subtitle on the application page.
- The lines marked “System Help” are typically used as general instructions to the applicant and can be hidden.
- The lines marked “System Table” can’t be edited – except for their name and help text – but they can be hidden.
- The lines marked “Custom Fields” can be shown/hidden using the Custom Fields Section.
- The lines marked “Custom Tables” can be defined and shown/hidden using the Custom Tables Section.
- The lines marked “Custom Links” can be defined and shown/hidden using the Links Section.
For vendors to complete the registration application design, vendors need first to register the company and contact details as well as provide the user name and password that they will use to complete the vendor registration.
When the vendor clicks on the “Apply” button, a confirmation message will be automatically received from PMWeb to advise the vendor that the account has been created and now the vendor can proceed with the application process.
If the vendor decides to begin with the vendor application process by selecting “Begin My Application”, PMWeb will display the application page with the fields and tables to be completed, whether those were system or user-defined custom fields and tables. The left section of the application will include the list of sections that the vendor needs to complete before applying. Those fields included in the application could include text fields, currencies, text, values from a pre-defined list of values, and others. The vendor has the option to provide part of the needed information, save and exit the application, and later on return to complete the missing information or edit the information that was provided earlier and complete the application.
The application form allows the vendor to upload and attach all supportive documents to the application submission whether those documents were requested in the application or the vendor wants to submit to improve his submission. At the bottom of the application form, there is the signature box where the vendor needs to provide the date of the application, the authorized person applying, and the contact details of this authorized person. To complete the registration process, the vendor needs to select the button “Submit the Application”.
PMWeb Vendor Prequalification module will be automatically populated with the online registration applications submitted by the different vendors. This allows the designated project owner team to perform and record their due diligence tasks before approving the vendor as a PMWeb company. To formalize the due diligence process, PMWeb allows defining an objective scoring list that will include all items that submitted vendor applications need to be scored on. For each scoring item, PMWeb allows defining the available scoring point and the weight of the score item from the total score.
In addition to the objective and extensive vendor scoring list, PMWeb allows the project owner to get feedback from his team who have had previous experience with the vendor to provide their rating of how good is the vendor on a scale of five. PMWeb allows capturing the details of all those ratings from the different project team members and creating an average rating score for the vendor.
Similar to all other PMWeb modules, PMWeb Vendor Prequalification can be routed for approval using PMWeb Visual Workflow and, when approved, be used to automatically generate a new vendor record in the PMWeb Companies module. The workflow will enable tracking the status of all vendors’ registration that is still in progress as well as capturing the remarks made by each reviewer of the application.
The data captured in the vendor registration process will become available for the project owner team to report on it in any desired form and format. For example, the Vendor Registration Status report shown below is prepared to display the overall statistics on the vendor registration process. For example, there are three donut charts to group the companies who have submitted their registration by status, type of company and whether it is a new company or already registered but expired. The report will have a bar chart to group the applications that due diligence is still in progress by who is reviewing it. Finally, the report will include two histograms that will group all companies by their business category and the second one will group companies by their nationality.
About the Author
Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with more than 35-year service record providing project management and controls services to over 100 projects with a total value of over US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education, and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, Telecommunication, and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in complete project management including project management control systems, computerized project control software, claims analysis/prevention, risk analysis/management (contingency planning), design, supervision, training, and business development.
Bassam is a frequent speaker on topics relating to Project Management, Strategic Project Management, and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 years, he has lectured at more than 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America. He has written more than 250 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is a co-founder of the Project Management Institute- Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC) and has served on its board of directors for more than 6 years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), an Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE), and a Green Project Management (GPM).
Bassam holds a Master’s in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, from George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – from Kuwait University, Kuwait, and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, and London Business School, London, UK.