Tender Management System: What it Does, Features, Benefits & Cautions?

A tender management system, either manual or electronic, is required to ensure an effective and efficient process for:

a) the buyer wishing to source products or services and
b) the seller wishing to bid to supply a company.

Managing tenders is very time consuming exercise and a lot of paper work is involved. Manual systems have some merit but are prone to errors and cannot deal with growing volumes of tenders to be managed by both buyers and sellers.

Cautions with Tender Management Systems

We caution you when purchasing software or signing up to services that manage tenders for you on an outsource basis. Many of these solutions are expensive, complex and difficult to use. A simple tender management system that is a repository of key information and has reporting capabilities will often suffice.

What does a simple tender management system do? It manages:

  •  the information content of a tender being issued;
  • the administration process of both issuing tenders and receiving of bids;
  • the content and structure and production of the bid submission and time and resource management for the bidder
  • the record keeping and audit trail of changes;
  • a repository of all documentation.

Benefits of tender management systems for the buyer

  •  The sourcing professional is often under pressure for time so it is important that the administrative tasks are streamlined and minimized. Securely managed tenders can be issued to selected bidders error free and on time
  • Master templates can be available for all types of sourcing activities to cut down on drafting times
  • A full audit trail of change and updates, questions and actions is kept
  • Tenders can be sent out and received electronically via an on-line portal with or without attachments
  • Costs are reduced in the preparation and the distribution of the documents and the responses
  • Reduced likelihood of poor submissions and costly delays due to suppliers not being in possession of the latest versions and updates
  • Security and limited access via passwords

Benefits of a tender management system for the bidder

  •  Forthcoming tenders can be accessed early through subscribing to tender companies and having an early warning system. Chasing these documents is very time consuming.
  • It can serve as a database of key information e.g. text, photos, graphs etc that are needed to build in to the bid submission
  • Previous bids are all kept in one place for reference
  • Detailed records are kept of times and dates of submissions, win and lose statistics with interrogation facilities
  • Less time needed searching for the relevant information and statutory forms and attachments
  • One place where you can search for best practices to re-use for other bids 

Features to look for in a simple tender management system

  •  Ability to manage the entire process from issue of the tender to awarding the contract.
  • Issuing tender requests on-line to qualifying registered companies either for free or for a fee
  • Automatically notify participating companies with any changes to tender or specifications.
  • Access control allowing for limited procurement persons to manage the tender process using passwords.
  • Capacity to store and retrieve historical tenders.

    A simple electronic tender management system that permits procurement organizations to manage the main activities in sourcing is a good place to start. It should at least be able to compile online tender documentation, allow the pre-qualifying of suppliers, be able to invite and receive bids. A really good feature is to have a function that allows internal messaging and provides collaboration tools.

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