What are the key features of good vaccine procurement?
Delivery on time
Delivery on time is influenced by accurate forecasting and clear contracting terms. However in this qualitative criteria what is referred to is that the delivery schedule communicated and agreed with the supplier is met.
If the delivery schedule is too soon after contract award this can result in delays, the delivery schedule should be agreed between both parties to ensure it is feasible. A delivery schedule that is too tight and results in depletion of buffer stocks or delays in deliveries to the periphery is not recommended.
Careful management of stocks at a central level is required to ensure that out of stock situations do not occur at the periphery during any delay periods.
Contractual obligations should include any actions and indemnities that can be taken in the event of a failure on the part of the supplier to meet the agreed delivery schedule. Good contract management and follow up mechanisms should be put in place before such events occur to minimize the impact of any delay.
On time delivery can also be affected by any delays purchaser may have in relation to finance, budget release and payments. These factors over which the purchaser has control should be closely monitored and contractual terms should reflect the realities of the financing and payment ability of the country. Including payment terms which are unattainable can lead to a break down in the trust relationship between the purchaser and supplier and ultimately influence, price, delivery and security of supply.