eTendering – The Final Frontier or Just the Beginning…?
Posted by Hailey Thomson on January 26, 2010
Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.
Today’s technology is high-speed and merciless; if you miss even one of the latest trends, you’ve practically fallen off the face of the earth. As purchasers move more and more into eProcurement and eTendering, are the suppliers, particularly SME’s feeling left behind?
Do not let eTendering pass you by! Keep reading and have a quick look at my checklist to help you with future eTenders…
The vast majority of Local Authorities will be publishing, sending PQQ’s and responding to tenders electronically. I wouldn’t start packing away your fax machines just yet (my what…?), but gone are the days of sifting through newspapers and a phonebook sized Official Journal, tenders are online and they won’t be going anywhere in a hurry.
SME’s tend to be the ones missing out on this trend if they don’t prepare themselves for the change. eProcurement and eTendering is a much more fair and transparent (a favourite word in procurement) method of tendering. All notices have a digital audit trail from publication to contract award, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. eTendering has been around for a few years, are we about to go where no man has gone before?
We are sitting on a gold mine of new and exciting ideas and we have the technology to do it. It’s no Star Trek, but it is exciting. There is plenty of chatter in the States about the government using new web 2.0 applications to tender. For example, it has been proposed to create tenders as wiki’s or other document sharing based platforms allowing collaborative input. Other technology advances could be local authorities hosting live Q&A sessions via Skype or similar programs. All tender changes should be given in an RSS feed, tender updates could be publicised on a live twitter-like platform, this is real transparency; nothing left to hide. It may all seem like a distant pipe dream, but so did eTendering a few years ago. Here at Tenders Direct we can remember when it took hours to sift through the tenders on the vacant MS DOS screen, pumping in our keywords to then having to fax and post, yes post, out the tenders to our customers, the whole process was clunky and very time consuming. We embraced the change, and slowly we saw the suppliers embrace the change as well. Change is good and in most cases for the better, but you have to be ready. Never get too comfy with how things are done presently, set yourself up to be on the edge, be ready.
Have a quick look at my checklist to help you with future eTenders;
- Do you feel comfortable using the internet? If not take a crash course in IT.
- Do you have the latest version of Adobe, Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer?
- Do you have digital copies of all your policies? Environmental, Equal Opportunities, Health & Safety…
- If you really want to stay in the loop, get a Smartphone allowing you to check your tenders and record an interest on the move.
Live long and prosper and good luck with your eTendering!