Once these evaluations are completed, the final factor is the cost of the shoes.
“We will then open up the price envelope and do a comparison,” ME6 Tan said, stressing that the procurement process does not depend on price alone.
“With a good mix of price and our evaluation, we ensure that as a baseline everything meets our our cardinal requirements. Then, through certain metrics we will then select the best value-for-money product.”
The New Balance and Asics shoes cost S$43.55 and S$35.90 respectively at the SAF e-mart. While servicemen can choose to wear other brands, the models selected by SAF are sold cheaper than retail prices. They can be paid for with cash or credit.
The same panel then makes the final decision on which shoes get selected. The current practice is to select two models – for high arc and low arc feet – to cater to two “distinct” groups of runners, ME6 Tan said.
“(The decision is made by) an entire board … so that it is definitely fair. We have a report that we also table out to ensure that everything we say is backed up with data, and ensure that things are done in a transparent and fair manner,” he added.
ST Logistics will then enter into a purchase-on-demand agreement with the supplier, meaning it will bulk buy the shoes based on a “steady stream of demand”, like when new recruits enlist every quarter.
“It basically reduces the need to stockpile,” ME6 Tan said, pointing out that this minimises the storage space needed.
“You should be aware that running shoes have got shelf life. If we buy too much (without people using them), the rubber (on the soles) will deteriorate and all that.”
The procurement process, from tender launch to product delivery, takes about a year.