The following article was prepared by Mike Taylor, C.P.M.

Who is That?
April 2005

Ever have a contractor refer to one or more 'partners', 'team members', 'subcontractors', etc as part of a proposal? It happens all the time, and usually we read right past those words. Sure I understand that the local repair shop will be using an Ingersoll Rand technician when they do the work. I kind of expected it.

But when I see it in the proposal, what does that really mean? It's easy to fall into the trap of understanding the words and missing the impact. I suggest you ask yourself what assumptions you are making about the offer and then ask the offeror a few more questions:

It's important to make sure you understand - not just the words - but their impact on your contract. Of course this is all theory…. 99% of all contracts get performed without significant complications. However, I'll bet you can find at least one buyer at an affiliate meeting who has discovered this type of problem the hard way.


An unclear offer is a non-responsive offer! 

When in doubt get clarification, a revised proposal, due diligence support and/or a performance bond.

Need help with due diligence for an international contract - here is one resource (I'm sure there are many more)

Of course; a buyer who isn't paying attention can't complain when the contract goes south.



Read more articles about negotiation and creative contract solutions in the Purchasing Toolbox at and in the BuyTrain news article archive at


MLTWEB is assembled and maintained by Michael L. Taylor, C.P.M. 
Materials and articles prepared by Mike may be shared for purchasing education provided that this source is cited and no fee is charged. The rights for any other use are withheld.
Copyright;  Michael L. Taylor, C.P.M.
Last Updated: 11/26/2016