e-Tendering System Terminology
Definition: an e-Tendering System (or Electronic Tendering System) facilitates the complete tendering process from the advertising of the requirement through to the placing of the contract. This includes the exchange of all relevant documents in electronic format.
- RFQ(request for quotation)
- RFT(request for tender)
Nowadays, large organizations usually have to handle multiple procurement needs by applying different kinds of information systems developed by various suppliers. Such process will become inevitably long and cumbersome in conventional e-tendering systems when the categories of products are not well sorted out.
How to improve?
In order to realize better cost savings and increase efficiency, replacing the manual paper-based tender procedures by electronic-facilitated system has become an essential element in process re-engineering. With a highly automated e-Tendering system, tender specification, advertising, tender aggregation as well as the evaluation and placing of the contract can be prepared at ease.
Manual tender processes can be long and cumbersome, often taking three months or longer, which is costly for both buyer and supplier organisations.
Tender Tailor, an e-Tendering System (or Electronic Tendering System) developed by Software Tailor, replace these manual paper-based tender processes with electronically facilitated processes based on best tendering practices to save time and money.
Buyers are able to manage the tenders coming in, with all tenders stored in one place. Buyers can cut and paste data from the electronic tender documents for easy comparison in a spreadsheet. Evaluation tools can provide automation of this comparison process.
Tender Tailor e-Tendering System offers an opportunity for automating most of the tendering process: from help with preparing the tender specification; advertising; tender aggregation; to the evaluation and placing of the contract.
- Reduced tender cycle-time
- Fast and accurate pre-qualification and evaluation, which enables the rejection of suppliers that fail to meet the tender specification
- Faster response to questions and points of clarification during the tender period
- Reduction in the labour intensive tasks of receipt, recording and distribution of tender submissions
- Reduction of the paper trail on tendering exercises, reducing costs to both councils and suppliers
- Improved audit trail increasing integrity and transparency of the tendering process
- Improved quality of tender specification and supplier response
- Provision of quality management information
Some e-tender solutions, like Tender Tailor, are packaged with evaluation tools, which assist in comparing tenders from suppliers in order to select the winning tender.
E-tendering is similar to Request for Quotation (RFQ). RFQ is sometimes included as part of the functionality of an e-tender system.
How is e-tendering used?
Please check out the side bar for explanations.
Some key things to look for and think about
Some E-tendering systems are relatively simple technical solution based around e-mail and electronic document management. It involves uploading tender documents on to a secure website with secure login, authentication and viewing rules. Tools available in the current market offer varying levels of sophistication. A simple e-tendering solution may be a space on a web server where electronic documents are posted with basic viewing rules. This type of solution is unlikely to provide automated evaluation tools; instead users are able to download tenders to spreadsheet and compare manually, but in an electronic format. Such solutions can offer valuable improvements to paper-based tendering.
More sophisticated e-tendering systems, like Tender Tailor, may include more complex collaboration functionality, allowing numbers of users in different locations to view and edit electronic documents. They may also include e-mail trigger process control which alerts users for example of a colleague having made changes to a collaborative tender, or a supplier having posted a tender.
The most sophisticated systems may use evaluation functionality to streamline the tender process from start to finish, so that initial tender documents are very specific and require responses from vendors to be in a particular format. These tools then enable evaluation on strict criteria which can be completely automated.