Keystone Procurement has developed a process that allows buyers to focus on finding solutions to such complex problems, which is a more powerful alternative to the traditional procurement approach.

Using this problem-based procurement approach, we can assist buyers in adopting a structured and competitive procurement process to form innovation partnerships with one or more suppliers in the market who can help the buying organisation to research and develop creative solutions tailored to their requirements.

At Keystone Procurement, the first step we take in helping a buying organisation to procure goods or services using innovation partnerships is to help the company in scoping out the nature of the business problem that they need to address.

Thereafter, we will further support buyers in sourcing potential suppliers, familiarising prospective suppliers with the problem challenging the business, and managing the development of proposed solutions to improve and whittle them down until a preferred supplier has been identified and contracts are negotiated and in place.


  • Sometimes, a clear business solution is not readily available or easily determined, e.g., where there is a need for the development of a product or service but available solutions on the market are not capable of meeting the requirements. Typically, when this occurs, the kinds of solutions needed are complex, and require creative and solutions-focused thinking.
  • Basically, the innovation partnerships procurement process allows buyers to enter into an agreement with one or more stages of research and development prior to awarding the contract to one or more suppliers for actually delivering the relevant goods and/or services. The procurement process can be halted at any stage prior to contract award.
  • In such cases, the use of an innovation partnerships procurement procedure, gives a buying organisation the option of liaising with suppliers to create an innovative solution, in partnership with buyers, without having the technical specifications clearly defined. Sourcing suppliers using the traditional prescriptive tendering approach is highly unlikely to successfully address these needs, since suppliers in the market normally have better insight into what buyers may need (or could benefit from) than staff in the buying organisation.
  • The advantage of Innovation Partnerships is that they deliver change that has the potential to push boundaries and improve the lives of society at large or take your business to new heights.

Contact us for more information on how we can support your procurement sourcing needs.

On the other hand, if you’re a supplier with an opportunity to bid for new work, read more on our Bid Management page to find out how we can help you to prepare a competitive tender response.