The Metropolitan Cemeteries Board (MCB) is cognisant of its obligations with regard to Competitive Neutrality (CN) and the need to be fair, open and ethically robust in dealing with suppliers of commemorative products for use within our grounds.
We provide the following information for those wishing to investigate the supply of commemorative products to our organisation.
The installation, structural maintenance and amendment to monuments (i.e. the traditional headstone) within burial areas can only be undertaken by a licensed Monumental Mason. The licencing of Monumental Masons is a legislative function of the MCB and ensures that families can enlist the services of accredited providers who will ensure that their monument is constructed to Australian Standards.
The MCB is not able to provide families with any specific recommendation with regard to the Monumental Mason whose services they may wish to enlist but does provide a list of ALL licensed Monumental Masons so that families can conduct their own research.
A list of licenced Monumental Masons can be downloaded here.
The MCB is, in entirety, responsible for the complex task of managing the hundreds of thousands of cremation memorials that are established with its cemeteries.
The plaques utilised for cremation memorials, generally traditional bronze and chrome in composition, are sourced via a panel of suppliers appointed as part of a tendered supply contract.
The supply contract ensures that the MCB is able to source an ongoing supply of plaques for those families who make the entirely discretionary decision to select one of the cremation memorials offered for families in our cemeteries.
In a process managed in accordance with State Supply Commission guidelines, those individuals or organisations appointed to the panel are assessed with reference to a number of conditions. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Organisational capacity to meet ongoing demand
- Commitment to technology
- Ordering systems and processes; simplicity, usability and capacity to enhance efficiencies
- Provision of products which meet defined specifications
- Provision of products which are durable and carry a defined warranty
- Ability to remediate errors within acceptable timeframes
- A suite of innovative and traditional plaque offerings so as to ensure existing plaques can be matched and that new options, if deemed fit for purpose, may be introduced to the product range
- Appropriateness of wholesale pricing.
The supply contract is next due for renewal in September 2018, however there are three (3), one-year extension options from September 2018, exercisable at the absolute discretion of the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board of Western Australia. The supply contract is managed via the Department of Finance. Interested parties should ensure that they are registered on the Tenders WA website so as to be made aware when the tender documentation is released for market response. The Tenders WA website can be found by following this link: https://www.tenders.wa.gov.au/watenders/index.do
New Options and Innovations
The MCB, in its task of meeting the commemorative requirements of the Perth community, is responsive to new industry innovations and constantly reviews the options that we are able to offer families; from landscaping features in garden areas through to cremation urns manufactured by Australian artisans.
In considering new options our marketing team take into account a range of variables including, but not limited to:
- Regulatory permission - Is the item something that is outside of and not stipulated as something that can be provided by our tendered panel of plaque suppliers?
- Appropriateness - Is the product deemed to be tasteful and fit for its intended purpose?
- Need, choice or competition -Is there a defined need or, potentially, an emerging need amongst families for the product being offered? Does the item or option potentially serve a new style or niche form of commemoration that families may wish to consider? Is there apparent client demand and, if so, is this quantifiable? Would it provide more competition for existing products?
- Supplier capacity - Is the supplier able to meet demand and do they have the organisational capacity?
- Consignment opportunity - For individual non-personalised items is the supplier willing to provide items on consignment so as to determine whether it is viable for the MCB to consider standard wholesale purchasing?
- Ordering systems and processes - Are these simple, user-friendly and able to be utilised by MCB staff in an efficient manner?
- Warranty - Can the supplier offer a warranty on their product and what are the specific terms of the warranty?
- Does the item or memorial option offer a point of differentiation from what is currently being offered to families? Is it significantly different enough to be a viable option for families to consider; is it simply replacing or is it a slight deviation upon that which is already being offered?
- Pricing - is the pricing determined to be appropriate and does the supplier have an appropriate wholesaler pricing structure in place? Is the pricing viewed to be competitive and affordable for families?
For options that generally meet the above conditions but will be exposed to the rigours of the external environment the MCB will generally require that field and market testing be undertaken. This would generally involve sample products being placed within our gardens for a 6-12 month period. This exposure to the external environment allows us to gain insights into the following key points:
- Is the item durable and can it suitably endure the elements within the gardens (grounds equipment, calcium/bore staining)?
- Do the aesthetics of the option degenerate acceptably or unacceptably over an extended period?
- A measure upon how families react when asked their opinion on the new option during family consultations. Would they consider the option if it were to be readily available?
If the proposed product has been tested in other cemeteries, please note meeting criteria in other cemeteries may not be wholly comparable with WA environment, such as weather, bore water etc. The MCB will fairly take into consideration any relevant testing evidence from other cemetery sites as we work through our assessment process.
If you are a supplier who would like to introduce your products to the MCB, please send a message of introduction to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please contact our Karrakatta office on 1300 793 109.