In the procurement process, the communication plan plays an integral role in ascertaining the efficiency and quality of the deliverables of the project. The application of a communication plan provides the necessary strategies in which One Acre Fund procures farm input materials from reliable vendors. The assurance and demand for quality are critical for both the seller and the buyer, respectively. The communication plan examines and articulates the needs of both the seller and the buyer. Also, a consideration of the stakeholders’ needs in communication is fundamental to ensure the satisfaction of all interested parties. Therefore, impacts on the quality of overall deliverables and milestones in the procurement project implementation process.
Needs of the Seller
The consideration of the needs of the seller in the communication plan includes the determination of the precise quality expected to be delivered. The determination of the quality standards is essential to the seller to ensure the procurement stipulates the expected results (Buzzetto, Bauli&Carvalho, 2020). This is critical to ensure that the stipulated quality is within the provided budget for the fixed-price contract in which the procurement project is executed on the value. This accounts for the needs of the seller for the quality provided to be based on the price and amount offered for the procurement project.
The communication plan articulates the precise risks associated with the fixed price contracts used in the procurement of the farm inputs materials by One Acre Fund. Risks are a fundamental feature that must be well-articulated and exhaustively explained when committing to a fixed price contract in a procurement project. The seller’s needs are based on compliance with the associated risks and the potential outcomes. In the aspect where the communication of risks is not provided to the seller, there is a likelihood of operating blindly. Therefore, positing great dangers to the seller, which must be addressed before committing to the fixed price type of a contract.
The legal liabilities applicable to the seller is a profound concern to determine whether they commit the chosen contract terms. This presents the seller’s needs to outline the potential legal liabilities expected from signing a contract. It informs the level of risks in which the seller should be willing to take in committing to the procurement project (Olena, 2015). Therefore, it is based on competitiveness and capacity to deliver on the stipulated timeframe and budget. Hence, it limits the risks and legal liabilities towards the seller.
Needs of the Buyer
The primary need for the buyer that must be ascertained through effective communication comprises of the assurance and security offered in the procurement projects. The fixed-price contract assures the buyer of not incurring additional costs as a result of price inflations and market changes. The procurement of farm input materials by One Acre Fund using the fixed price contract provides the necessary precautionary measures that ascertain the buyer’s needs are provided on the agreed terms (Kornevs, Hauge& Meijer, 2018). The communication plan, at this point, entails the outlining of the project and details of each phase. The procurement project requires profound commitments and assurance that implementation meets the buyer’s needs.
As well, the procurement project utilizes a communication plan to explain the quality and standards offered for different contracts and prices. The liability shifted to the seller requires the seller to charge a higher price to ascertain safety precautions should there be market inflations. The communication of the costs is essential to ascertain the buyer of what to expect and the extents stipulated in the terms and conditions of the agreement.
The capacity to create a great rapport and relationship between the buyer and the seller is maintained through continuous and effective communication. The communication plan takes into account the need to provide necessary updates on the procurement project’s completion progress (Munyimi, 2019). This is critical in maintaining the time framework provided for the procurement. In the case of One Acre Fund, the capacity to maintain continuous communication is fundamental to allow room for additional preparations on the households receiving the products. Therefore, effective communication between the buyer and the seller is crucial to inducing a positive influence on project performance.
Needs of the Stakeholders
The key stakeholders in the case of the One Acre Fund procurement project comprise of the small household farmers in different countries in Africa. The provisions of effective communication play a significant role in allowing farmers to prepare in advance. The time factor is essential in the growth of plants. Therefore, the procurement project requested by the buyer must meet the stipulated time frames (Munyimi, 2019). This is crucial in maintaining the flow of project implementation in all components. The diverse nature of the One Acre Fund procurement and the connection with the small household farmers as the final recipients of the procurement requires adequate information available to the stakeholders for necessary preparations. Thus, it impacts in increasing the efficiency of the project completion.
Also, the communication plan accounts for the needs and expectations of the stakeholders as the final recipients of the products procured by the buyer from the seller. The buyer has a responsibility to update the small household farmers of the progress and the level of project completion. This is fundamental to give room for advance preparation and assurances of not incurring losses in the failure to provide the procured consignment.
Communication Plan When Selecting Contract Types and Negotiating Specific Needs
The selection of contract types and negotiating for specific needs is an integral part of the procurement projects. The application of effective communication that brings together the buyer and the seller to a consensus is crucial in attaining the project’s objectives. The communication plan informing the selection of contract types and negotiating for specific needs is based on various critical measures.
The first critical measure comprises of the predictability of the project. This allows the seller to determine the most suitable contract type and favorable to generate higher profits. The seller must focus on predictable projects to ensure no additional costs are incurred during fixed price contract implementation. The predictability of projects allows the seller to make adequate plans and follow the project’s implementation plan to the latter (Čulo&Skendrović, 2012). The communication plan on the predictability of the project involves providing the flexibility of the price adjustment from the start to cater for the unexpected developments.
Second, price competitiveness is a crucial aspect of the communication plan. This accounts for the negotiation of the costs of specific needs included in the procurement project. That is the determination of the quality and standards of products required to be supplied by the vendors to the company (Larsson & Larsson, 2020). The price competitiveness opens room for negotiation between the buyer and different vendors resulting in the selection of the best of them all. The quality of project completion and success rate informs the decision to select the most viable and effective vendor with higher achievement in completing similar procurement projects. Thus, it culminates in achieving higher quality and standards for the company.
The third measure comprises of the importance of meeting the scheduled milestone dates. The procurement of farm input materials by the One Acre Fund is distributed in three phases. Successful completion of each phase in the stipulated timeframe is fundamental to ascertain the success of the overall project (Čulo&Skendrović, 2012). The operations of the vendors utilize communication to the negotiation of scheduled dates allowance. That is an allowance of three to seven days after the stipulated delivery dates. The negotiation allows the vendor to cover for the delays in clearance, supply, and transport logistics. Therefore, it leads to the potential of eliminating potentials costs and loss of contract in the failure to deliver on the agreed milestone dates.
Communication Plan in the Overall Deliverables of the Procurement Project
The communication plan involving all the deliverables accounts for various aspects of the project. Communication of the scope of the project allows the vendors to share in the vision of the buyer. This is fundamental to induce positive influence in the commitment to meeting the deliverables scheduled milestone dates and overall project deliverables (Larsson & Larsson, 2020). The work breakdown structure allowsthe communication to agree on the terms of the implementation of various parts of the project. The work breakdown structure brings the buyer, the vendors, and the stakeholders to a consensus that finds a compromise agreeable to all parties. Thus, it ascertains efficiency in the project completion and meeting of the deliverables on time.
Communication enables the flow of the project from one phase to the next. The provision of the progress report gives room to determine the need, capacity, and urgency to proceed to the next phase. This is critical to avoid unnecessary bias and overreliance on one aspect of the project. As a result, the communication helps maintain the project within the budget and on the stipulated time frame. The success of the project is attained through successful completion of all the deliverables provided by the continuous communication and updates on the progress of the procurement project.
Buzzetto, R. R., Bauli, M. R., &Carvalho, M. M. D. (2020). The key aspects of procurement in project management: investigating the effects of selection criteria, supplier integration and dynamics of acquisitions. Production, 30.
Čulo, K., &Skendrović, V. (2012). Communication in the Process of Negotiation. Informatologia, 45(4), 323-327.
Kornevs, M., Hauge, J. B., & Meijer, S. (2018). Perceptions of stakeholders in project procurement for road construction. Cogent Business & Management, 5(1), 1520447.
Larsson, J., & Larsson, L. (2020). Integration, application and importance of collaboration in sustainable project management. Sustainability, 12(2), 585.
Munyimi, T. F. (2019). The role of procurement quality controls in procurement performance in the energy sector in Zimbabwe. Cogent Engineering, 6(1), 1631563.
Olena, L. (2015). Planning project communications: How it works?.