This section (1-E-2) of the CPSM exam is an eye opener both both B2B marketers and Supply Chain and Purchasing Professionals.It deals with the point in the business buying process that supply managers must evaluate bids that are received.
If you have studied commerce or basic business at any level (including high school) you would have come across transportation terms like CIF, FOB etc. Also called Incoterms, you need to be clear about what each means. But the purpose of this section, is not merely to teach the Supply Manager some commercial terms - but it's purpose is to elevate the supply profession to a leadership role in organizations by thinking about the strategic imperatives of this stage of the buying process.
At this point of the purchasing process both your (buying) organization and potential suppliers have gone through a whole gamut of processes of developing bid documents,preparing bids, meeting bid submission deadlines etc.
Now the time is to decide among different supplier bids. The key message here that is not very clear in the section, is that your buying process should be fair and appear to be fair. In other words, you need to be really clear that you are comparing apples to apples and not apples to oranges. If you did not specify the CIF price basis then different suppliers might quote FOB,CIF etc. It now becomes your task to make things equivalent so that a fair comparison can be made.
Even before you open bids the "appearing to be fair" rule applies. If you said in the bid documents that bids would be opened at 3 pm in public... just do so... even if no bidding supplier shows up, call in some colleagues and open bids at a pre-fined location. Get people to sign in, that they were present.
Bridge topics in this section, include dealing with a multi-functional purchasing or buying center situation.Here some kind of scoring/grading rubric needs to be developed. However, the grading/scoring policy should be available clearly in the bid documents. For example, you might give timely supply a 60% score and evidence could be at least one reference from current customers about timeliness of supply. If a prospective supplier has a reference who confirms- the bidder gets a 60% score. If you have three or four such criteria clearly decided at the bid document preparation stage, you'll find that there are some clearly better bids.
You might also have to account for supplier diversity in your selection process and that becomes a criteria as well.
To summarize, at this bid opening and supplier decision stage , supply managers should be doing what they said - clearly and without creating confusion among the supplier (B2B marketer) community.