The period contracts for the management of SAF cookhouses were due for renewal and a fresh tender had to be called. The DSTA team anticipated that the meal cost would surge in view of the rising food price index and labour cost in Singapore over the next few years.

To pre-identify new market players for greater competition, a two stage procurement approach was adopted by first calling an open Request For Information before the tender. Suppliers who were able to meet the stipulated criteria based on capability and capacity were then invited for tender in the second stage. To generate competitive pricing, tenderers must offer a standard price for all the zones that they were bidding for. The tender also asked for bundled discounts if the supplier was awarded multiple zones.

As the tender would not be awarded solely based on the lowest price, the Analytic Hierarchy Process evaluation methodology was adopted to ensure a fair and objective evaluation of the benefits.

During the tender negotiation, the team and SAF users managed to secure discounts, achieving considerable cost savings as a result. To introduce the new contracts and keep the cookhouse community updated on other food matters, DSTA and the SAF co-organised a seminar in October 2013. The two suppliers awarded the tender were also invited to attend and present their new initiatives for the SAF, such as deploying a mobile food kiosk outfield to serve hot meals instead of distributing packet meals to soldiers.