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European Innovation Council


Innovation procurement strategy - Finalists: BEL-PROC-TF-COVID19


YQ Purchasing BV is a consultancy company that develops and implements innovative strategies, tools and techniques enhancing innovation and also fostering new ideas and approaches tailored to its client private companies and/or public institutions. Its main expertise is innovation procurement generating important added values in (crisis) procurement challenges.

YQ Purchasing BV established and spearheaded the Procurement Taskforce Covid-19 for the Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment using innovative “Out-of-the-Box” Procurement in order to respond to the needs of the Belgian health care professionals and the Belgian population to face the Covid-19 challenges.

Especially in times of shortages and skyrocketing prices, innovative strategies, tools and techniques were extremely useful to reduce the volume needs and product prices as well as increase the quality, the number of vendors on the market and the procurement processing speed. Through these the Procurement Taskforce Covid-19 managed to achieve the following outcomes:

  1. Look and find alternatives to the mainstream products and make sure to get them validated, preferably in another geographical area avoiding long queueing lines at the same suppliers as everybody is looking for the same products in the same geographical areas.
  2. Reduce drastically the needed volume by reducing the product waste, by re-using single-use products twice instead of one time, by procuring 40 times re-usable products instead of single-use products, allowing as a consequence the procurement in less solicited areas at less solicited vendors and at a lower cost per usage.
  3. Be fast and one of the first. “A good decision taken too late is a bad one”. Use tools that enables the public buyer to execute a fast-sourcing market analysis defining the top 5 supply countries in 5 seconds and the top 5 vendors in those countries in a few hours' time in order to be first in the vendor’s queuing line, not wasting time searching in 190 other countries that would anyway not be in a position to provide the needed volumes and/or quality.
  4. Negotiate with vendors based on “sound logic” rather than on “contractual terms”.
  5. Convert sales promotion institutions into worldwide sourcing ones increasing the sourcing power by multiple times and creating international benchmarks via international exchange of experiences as a leverage versus suppliers.
  6. Enlarge market supply by implementing simplified and accelerated public investment and public tenders with intensive use of volume options in close collaboration with expert institutions (when market refuses to invest to provide the required market volume) or by applying innovative color (read: anonymous) teleconferences to match companies that can provide added value to each other.
  7. Buy low-cost critical components of a product and not the final product itself as a backup scenario in case of high shortage risks.
  8. Increase the quality level implementing triple physical quality controls (during production, prior to shipment and at arrival) instead of the usual certification paper checks.