Service aims to tidy online tendering

SupplyNet owner PSB Group has launched a service to help companies improve their tendering process.

SupplyNet owner PSB Group has launched a service to help companies improve their tendering process.

PSB Group marketing manager Matt Caughey says the solution comprises online tendering plus consulting services. It is aimed at tenders in the $250,000- plus category.

“Tenders can be very expensive and yet people tend not to take them seriously. I recently saw a one-page document put together for a $1 million tender which was so general that the suppliers couldn’t respond with anything.”

Based around software from Commerce One, of which PSB Group is a supplier, the e-sourcing service will use collaboration software to allow interested parties from different offices to work together to prepare the tender, while suppliers can respond online. An evaluation template uses weighting and formulae to allow buyers to compare suppliers’ bids.

Caughey says later versions will be able to connect back into the supply chain tools. Companies can also save all their RFPs and re-use them.

“Most people still tend to use spreadsheets, email, fax and phone for the tendering process,” he says.

GSB Supplycorp, which aggregates commodity supply for government departments and which is owned by PSB Group, is already using the service. GSB Supplycorp, which was bought from the government two years ago, manages about 800 contracts, which are tendered out every few years.

CEO Peter Royle says speeding up the tendering process will be one of the main benefits derived from the system.

“When you consider that some of these contracts take eight months to put together and involve many people, it’s not hard to imagine the benefits if we can shorten the time it takes by 20% or 30%.” IT suppliers are keen, he says.

Caughey says other benefits include lowering tender costs by automating manual processes, and improving accessibility and transparency.

The service is charged on a per-use basis. However, Caughey says it will be less than 1% of the tender’s worth.

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