For its remarkable benchmarking project ‘The Way Beyond Traditional Procurement’, Dubai Municipality won the 7th International Best Practice Competition held in May 2021 (Fig 1). Dubai Municipality were one of five winners at the competition for its best practice in the planning and implementation of a digitized and agile procurement process to improve efficiency, effectiveness, quality, and productivity, and overall satisfaction.

Figure 1: The Dubai Municipality Winning Team

The core challenges that motivated the Contracts and Purchasing Department of Dubai Municipality (DM) to initiate the project were: high procurement transactions; high total procurement value of AED 0.7 billion yearly for an average of 460 service contracts handled by 15 employees; the procurement procedures were complex, manual, and backdated; huge waste of time, costs, process, handovers, approvals, etc. in the procurement process; low stakeholders satisfaction rate of 65%; and government initiatives and directives. The main aim was to reduce the procurement cycle from 210 days to an average of 45 days through benchmarking and learning from best practices leading to reengineering, utilizing innovative and digitalized technologies, and a simplistic approach towards waste elimination. The project directly impacted 8 procurement paths, various technical and administrative support, 15 contract officers, 2000 local and global registered suppliers, 34 beneficiary departments, 97 requesters, 18 procurement forms, and 320 processes. To build a strong sense of association and as a change management strategy, the team ensured strong stakeholder engagement right from inception.

Utilizing the TRADE Benchmarking Methodology, the team conducted desktop research and site visits and gathered 135 improvement ideas for implementation of which 40 were deployed as Quick Wins due to the ease and impact of their implementation by automating the process, and seven comprehensive best practices to tackle the complex obstacles of the procurement cycle – 1. Reengineered procurement processes 2. Created and managed data warehouse to capture, store, analyze, standardize, and visualize procurement data and activities 3. Designed agile procurement paths framework that is now automated end-to-end without any manual or paper process 4. E-Evaluation: Automated contracts committee evaluation 5. E-contracts 6. Smart supplier application to enhance suppliers’ experience allowing KPIs tracking, keeping them informed all the time, full paperless process, financial reporting, and mobility for quick access and 7. Designed smart indicators to monitor and measure all performance to stimulate rapid intervention and avoid delays in the delivery of procurement services.

Figure 2: The Project’s Innovation Focused on Solution Instead of Product, Value Instead of Price, Access Instead of Place, and Education Instead of Promotion.

Dubai Municipality registered 5 Intellectual Property rights in procurement and reached 96% customer happiness (Fig 2). It not only achieved 100% digitally integrated operations but outperformed its targets and global peers. According to the American Productivity and Quality Center, the worldwide average procurement days for services is 59 Days/Service, whereas the contract cycle at DM is now only 23 Days/Service. 78% of purchase orders are approved electronically worldwide, and DM pioneered with 100%. Through an efficient procurement function, the team saved 21.5% from the budget and 40.5% from the market value in terms of total procuring cost.

For further information on this best practice, including a presentation by the Dubai Municipality team, and to learn from 1000s of best practices from across the globe, join the

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Posted by: Ahmed Abbas
Author: By Dr. Almas Tazein
Source :

BPIR Category : 10.1.1 Derive info/KM requiremts from business strategies
10.1.3 Plan information/knowledge management systems.
10.1.4 Select information technologies
10.2.1 Establish info/knowledge management systems
10.2.2 Acquire & collect information/knowledge (big data)
10.4.1 Manage business records and documents.
10.4.4 Manage internal information & knowledge sharing
14.2.2 Benchmark performance measures with noncompetitors
14.3.5 Reengineer business processes & systems
15.6.14 Benchmarking/performance measurement/survey design
15.6.5 Purchasing/supplier & partner (lenders/regulators)
5.2.1 Select suppliers/outsourced contractors
5.2.2 Work with suppliers/outsourced contractors
5.2.4 Purchase materials & supplies
6.2.1 Select suppliers/outsourced contractors
6.2.2 Work with suppliers/outsourced contractors
6.2.4 Purchase materials & supplies
8.2.4 Leadership relationships with suppliers and partners
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