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The MSF Amsterdam Procurement Unit currently deals with more than 150 suppliers, together supplying around 4,800 items. The number of items sourced from one supplier can vary from one to many. In general, MSF asks its suppliers, both new and existing, to meet a list of requirements as follows.
- Supplier takes due note of MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam’s (MSF OCA) General Purchase Conditions.
- Supplier is aware of the importance of meeting the delivery dates requested on the MSF Amsterdam Procurement Unit’s purchase orders.
- Supplier takes notice of the objectives of MSF as an organization and agrees to refrain from any act that directly undermines MSF’s image and identity.
- Supplier's products meet MSF's quality requirements.
- Supplier's delivery lead times are acceptable to the MSF Amsterdam Procurement Unit.
- Supplier's prices are reasonable or acceptable in the given context.
- Supplier is open to discussing improvement of performance.
- Supplier shows flexibility if and when required.
- Preferably, supplier is able to prepare export documents.
In specific cases, MSF may ask its suppliers:
- to deliver directly to a project (so-called direct delivery)
- to stock items to guarantee timely delivery and/or keep items under specific conditions for the MSF Amsterdam Procurement Unit
- to group items (buying some products from other suppliers to complete shipments) and/or to supply and/or stock non-standard items, thus minimizing the number of orders, invoices and receipts, and reducing the number of separate consignments, which is beneficial to the whole supply chain.
Suppliers should take note that MSF may give preference to suppliers located closer to the MSF Amsterdam Procurement Unit if this benefits the reliability/continuity of the supply chain, provided that this decision does not interfere with any other criteria.
The MSF Amsterdam Procurement Unit aims to conclude written agreements (such as contracts and memoranda of understanding) with suppliers when:
- suppliers offer a wide range of products of interest to the unit
- the supplier’s valuable cooperation with the unit suggests the desirability of a formal partnership
- suppliers keep stock specifically for the unit
- the way of working with the supplier is complex and requires arrangements to be documented
- there are service requirements related to the supplied goods
- suppliers require a written agreement in order to deliver their goods
- the unit needs to introduce vendor rating (the process of evaluating suppliers by a quantitative assessment)
- stocks for different MSF country organizations need to be managed.
When a written agreement is required, standard contract formats are used which can be adapted to the situation at hand. In most other cases, use is made of price lists and MSF OCA's General Purchase Conditions (see above) only.