Pre-market engagement is the practice of consulting with suppliers before a business goes to market or enters negotiations.
Both public and private sector organizations use pre-market engagement to get an advance understanding of the market, suppliers and their offerings while also forming or strengthening relationships with those suppliers. The practice can also help an organization refine its business case and procurement plan.
While pre-market engagement is effective, many organizations prefer to wait, instead relying on competitive dialogue later. This hesitance may be due to a lack of clarity about procedures and the extent of communications allowed under procurement rules, panic buying due to a lack of time or resources, or too little understanding of a market and its offerings to properly engage with suppliers. An additional difficulty is the stipulation that most procurements must be completed in a relatively short time frame.
See also: supplier relationship management (SRM)