Working on flood defense systems with a DPS and multidisciplinary teams

Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) - Tim Kievit

Module: Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS)

With annual tenders for projects and services counting towards a total value of more than 3 billion euros, the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) is the Netherlands’ largest purchaser of civic, road, and hydraulic engineering. The organization recently published a Dynamic Purchase System on Mercell for flood defense. This customer story about the DPS was originally published in the online magazine Rijkswaterstaat & Zakelijk en Innovatie 02/2020.

With a dynamic purchasing system (DPS) for flood defense, Rijkswaterstaat is launching a unique tender on the market. Rijkswaterstaat Procurement advisor Tim Kievit: “Normally we use a DPS for hiring. Now we will use it to purchase products, which are delivered by multidisciplinary working groups of experts in the field of flood defense. ”

Flood protection is a complex matter, says Tim: “The Water Act states that all primary flood defenses must meet the standards that have been in force since 1 January 2017 by 2050 at the latest. With the new standards, a “basic protection level” applies to everyone in the Netherlands. In addition, areas where many casualties or where the economic damage will be great are even more protected. This means that there is work to be done. But those activities are very complex and have significant variety. The result: it is difficult to find market parties that can carry out every aspect that is involved.”

Card tray with 13 categories

That is why Rijkswaterstaat is putting a so-called dynamic purchasing system (DPS) on the market. Kievit says that the principle of a DPS is not new.

“A DPS is often used, but it usually involves hiring employees. This dynamic purchasing system is special, because we use it to purchase products. This involves concrete plans and working instruments that Rijkswaterstaat will use to improve flood defense in practice.”

A DPS is a kind of digital card catalog, in which the selection and award of a contract are separated. “An expert first ends up in the DPS and can then competes for a future assignment.” The DPS for flood defense has 13 categories, varying from hydraulic loads to hard asphalt coverings. “Market parties can register to be selected for these categories: for one, for several, or for all. In this way we prevent specialist companies from being left out. “

 

Multidisciplinary working group

The requirements for entry into the DPS are easily accessible. “It’s a relatively light jump-off. After all, we want to offer as many parties as possible the opportunity to compete for a contract, to contribute to flood protection, and to acquire and share knowledge about this. Once companies or experts are in the catalog, they then register per category for a specific call for offers, which is published by us in the DPS.”

The assignments are not exclusively awarded to one party or expert. “For each assignment we put together a multidisciplinary working group from the DPS, which – sometimes alongside knowledge institutes – works together on the product to be delivered. This means that a team can consist of people from different parties. Of course that makes it quite exciting.”

Knowledge dissemination and development

To put together the project teams, the assignments are divided into 2 lots. Lot 1 contains 2 roles. Firstly, a type A role, in which an expert is selected to bring the right knowledge to the right place. There is also a type B role, in which the sharing of knowledge is central. Lot 2 concerns a coordinating or project manager role. The type B role in particular is unique, says Kievit. “Parties that have been awarded a type B role rejoin the back of the queue. They are only involved again when other parties in the category have also had their turn. With this we want to stimulate knowledge dissemination and development. All parties in the DPS are given the opportunity to gain knowledge through the type B role. ”

The ultimate goal of the DPS is to stimulate collaboration between knowledge institutes, Rijkswaterstaat, and market parties. “The DPS is also about using the knowledge of the institutes for the needs and objectives of Rijkswaterstaat, whereby the practical experience and knowledge of market parties contributes to the realization of the requested products. The idea is to boost knowledge expansion, knowledge development, and synergy within the world of flood defense systems.”

"With Mercell, managing applications of experts and setting up new competitions for specific products has become a lot easier."

No maximum

The DPS has been published on Mercell since June 16, 2020. This is quite special, because Rijkswaterstaat does not generally use Mercell to publish tenders *. “Mercell is ​​a software service that makes it much easier to manage the registrations of experts and to submit further inquiries for specific products. You can also always reuse templates and formats . Although we request products for flood defense safety with this DPS rather than hiring personnel, the required workflow and support is comparable to the hiring process. That’s why our choice was Mercell. ”

The official tender will initially run until September 1, 2020, but the DPS will remain open after that. “This means that companies and experts can continue to register. That is also one of the many advantages of a dynamic purchasing system.” Kievit notes. He is curious as to the outcome, “We don’t have a maximum number. In any case, I hope that we will soon have a well-stocked catalog, by which we can purchase the right products to raise flood defense safety to the required level. ”

*Rijkswaterstaat uses TenderNed for its regular tenders.

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