e-Tendering: A Modern Approach to the Tendering Process

The tendering process is of significant import for business entities. The bidding system pivotal to this procurement methodology enables buyers to acquire goods or services best suited to their individual needs. Furthermore, the competition that sprouts among businesses contending for published tenders is also beneficial for the bidding parties. It is by the virtue of this competition that businesses identify their shortcomings, and also gain access to valuable debriefs. Simply put, the utility of the tendering process is beyond question. It is a system that has stood the test of time. However, if a prototype works, it doesn’t mean that it cannot profit from advancements. In today’s digital age, the traditional model of the tendering process can be viewed as a prototype. Consequently, the newer model of e-tendering can be seen as the revolutionary upgrade to the prototype. But, what advantage does the e-publication of tenders have over the traditional way? Well, the advantage is not singular. The publication of tenders on the internet has several merits. But, before we go over them, let’s clearly define how e-tendering works.publication of tenders

A breakdown of the e-tendering process

In the case of e-tendering, the stages of the procurement process remain the same. Buyers still need to initiate the procurement with project analysis. The format of the Request to Tender document also doesn’t undergo any major changes. Bids are still evaluated per the selection criteria detailed in the tender itself. The only aspects of the process that undergo mentionable modifications are publishing and bidding. Here’s how the changes pan out:-

  • Business entities/government organizations/non-profits publish their tenders in entirety on online tender publication platforms.
  • New bidders need to fill up sign-ups forms to become members of such platforms. Already existing members can bid on published
  • For placing a successful bid, a tenderer needs to submit required documentation within the stipulated deadlines. Tenderers need to pay a service charge for the submission of bids on such platforms.
  • After the publishing party evaluates all received bids, the winning entrant is declared on the platform, and the tender is marked as procured.

The outcome of the procurement process stays unchanged even in the case of e-tendering. However, online tendering gains its edge over traditional tendering by increasing the efficiency of the process by many folds.

Why exactly is the e-publishing of tenders better than the traditional publication method?

The digitalization of the tendering process offers a faster, more flexible, and more transparent experience when compared to the old-school method. But, where does this divide in overall effectiveness between the two procurement methodologies come from? Here are the top 5 areas in which the increased efficacy exhibited by e-tendering is most-pronounced:-

  1. Environmental Impact:- Publication of tenders on the internet turns the entire tendering process into a paper-free ordeal. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how that’s good for the environment. When businesses use less paper, lesser trees get cut. When lesser trees get cut, our carbon footprint experiences a reduction. Given the current environmental crisis facing us, this seemingly small initiative can exhibit a strong cumulative effect when viewed at scale.
  2. Ethics and Fairness:- e-Tendering is an inherently transparent process. Within this system, winning bids are announced to the world. Likewise, published tenders don’t just come to the notice of pre-selected groups of vendors. From an ethical standpoint, e-tendering checks all the right boxes. Simply put, portals that offer tender publication services online facilitate a remarkably fair rendition of the tendering process.
  3. Bid Management:- The digitalized version of the procurement process offers obvious benefits to the bidding parties. However, the publishing end of the e-tendering system is also privy to some perks. Perhaps the biggest perk is the ease with which publishers can view all registered bids. Comparing the tenderers also becomes much easier when the evaluators can simultaneously view all the received bids. The bottom line is that buyers can seamlessly manage bids received on e-tendering platforms.
  4. Operational Efficiency:- The good thing about using a shared platform is that buyers, as well as bidders, have uninterrupted access to the same communication channel. The submission of bids doesn’t require strenuous amounts of manual paperwork. Queries arising during tendering can also be cleared more efficiently in the digitalized version of the process. This ease-of-communication also makes the entire procurement experience faster. Furthermore, easier bid-management enables buyers to finish the evaluation process without encountering unprecedented operational delays.
  5. Scope for International Collaborations:- Given the increased connectivity of an internet-enabled bidding platform, e-tendering can give rise to international collaborations among relevant parties. This increased exposure leads to a more competitive bidding environment, which in turn, places the buyer at an advantageous position. At the same time, access to international markets exponentially increases the income potential for vendors. Thus, the e-publishing of tenders makes the procurement process more profitable for all involved entities.

The Caveat

e-Tendering offers some undeniable advantages over the old-school approach to tendering. However, it is not a perfect system by any means. Even though publications of tenders on the internet requires minuscule efforts, the bidding process can become quite tiresome for tenderers because of the concrete layouts embedded in online tendering systems. Tenderers are often required to go through long lists of questions before they can submit their bids. Furthermore, the rigid structure that governs bid submissions on online tendering platforms inhibits innovation on the tenderer’s end. However, the biggest caveat is that buyers, as well as vendors competing for tenders, are left at the mercy of the platform. If the website where tenders are hosted goes down, the entire procurement process comes to a halt.

What’s the Takeaway?

Despite not being perfect, e-tendering is still an improvement over the conventional approach to the process. Furthermore, e-tendering is only expected to grow better as time goes by.

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Chris Morgan

Hi, I'm Chris Morgan. I'm very passionate about my work. Even I'm very fond of blogging as it enhances my knowledge about the various aspect of the internet.