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Procurement going digital? Part 1

Sep 10, 2013

Our core business is bid writing and bid management, giving us insight in to the various methods by which buying organisations produce their tenders. We've been seeing a slow increase in the use of an electronic tender process via ePortals. There are a variety of portals in use, each with different ways of working. Some will ask you to submit a copy of your bid on to the portal - a bit like uploading photos on social network sites. Other ePortals will have the questions and answer boxes as part of the ePortal - requiring you to add text directly on to the portal. So - are these good or more hassle than they are worth? Of course, the tender process can be frustrating and navigating any website or portal can be frustrating. However, it shows that buyers are moving with the times, making use of new tools and systems. Plus, the ePortals also provide savings in terms of both time and money for the buyer. From a supplier's perspective it may cause the opposite - requiring more investment in to completing the bid, which goes against the grain being that the government want to make the whole process easier - especially for SMEs. ePortals are not yet the norm but in a few years, they may well be. So, the question becomes will you still get involved in the tender process, or will you also move and evolve with the times? If we think a few years ago, smart phones seemed like something unreal and immensely complicated . Look around and you'll be pushed to see traditional handsets anywhere. The ePortals may certainly seem like an additional barrier but anything new can be daunting. Like anything, the more we do or use something, the easier it becomes. If ePortals do become the norm, hopefully they will also evolve to be more user friendly and streamlined.

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