Paul, my question is this, I've been receiving quotes from very "small business" suppliers (2 to 5 employees, etc.) who have not included or who have bid too low a fee in their proposals.  I utilize the Weighted Guidelines Tool to ascertain what a "reasonable" fee objective should be. 

In these times of trying to negotiate lower prices, is it "okay" to suggest that a fee be included in the ones where no fee is bid and indicate that a  higher fee should be recommended, based on results from the Weighted Guidelines, to management?  (This will cause the total price to increase.) My thoughts are "what's good for the goose is good for the gander." If the fee bid is too high, based on the Weighted Guidelines and considering any substantial risks involved, I always recommend the most reasonable reduced fee.

 Response: Yes!  Is that straightforward enough!  Wait, I forgot to protect myself - I meant Generally Yes (smile).

I would first ensure that your small suppliers have “not” included a fee in some other form that may not be as apparent to you.  Sometimes a fee is factored in their markup.  This is something you want to know. 

If they have included a fee then you would not want to add an additional fee to your final price.  You would want to consider adding an administrative Handling Fee.  This would be more appropriate for you to add on top of your vendor quotes. 

If they have not included a fee, or if it is unreasonably low, I would most definitely assist and inform my suppliers of their options, and your preference as the prime, that they include a reasonable fee to ensure their ongoing success!  As long as the final price(s) will allow you to be competitive you should be okay.

By the way, I appreciate your interest and concern for our “very small” business colleagues.