E-procurement in the public sector is now dominant in the UK, with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 having mandated e-communication for all central purchasing body contracts by April 2017 and for most other public sector contracts by October 2018.
These electronic tendering regulations mean that all documents will be issued electronically and must be submitted the same way. This makes using e-procurement systems like Tracker beneficial as it makes the tendering process more streamlined, from the moment a new contract notice is published through to submission. It also provides one centralised location for storing tender documents, which are instantly available whenever you need them, while facilitating collaboration between everyone involved in the procurement process.
What Exactly is E-Procurement?
The practice of buyers publishing tenders online and a supplier submitting bids electronically is known as e-procurement. The implementation of this procurement process is intended to significantly simplify the way public procurement is conducted.
E-procurement delivers greater efficiency, which reduces timescales and helps businesses save on administration costs while also allowing for greater competition amongst suppliers.
Benefits of E-Procurement in the Public Sector
There are numerous benefits to using an e-procurement system for tendering to the public sector. The use of such a procurement system can help streamline the procurement process and improve effectiveness when bidding for new contracts.
Some of the main benefits for suppliers include:
1. Save Money
The most significant way e-procurement can help suppliers save money is by eliminating the paper and printing costs associated with paper-based systems and errors that can occur with manual processes. Businesses will also save money overall as a result of process efficiencies.
2. Eliminate Paperwork
E-procurement allows you to store all your files online, which means no more paperwork. Whether it’s filing and the management/maintenance of documents or the submission of bid proposals, an electronic procurement process means suppliers don’t have to deal with stacks of papers or worry about lost tender documents.
3. Reduce Errors
E-tendering solutions minimise human intervention, which in turn minimises the occurrence of errors. This means there is less chance of tender proposals being submitted with mistakes, whether it’s spelling errors or the inclusion of incorrect information.
4. Increase Efficiency & Productivity
E-procurement is more efficient than traditional procurement processes because everything is stored and conducted online. From making it easier to find relevant files and automate the audit process to streamlining the submission of bids for tenders, e-procurement technology improves process efficiencies so you can free up time to focus on more important tasks.
5. Improve Transparency
An e-procurement system makes it easier for organisations to prepare reports and analyse data on their procurement activities and systems, which provides greater transparency.
Online tendering makes data analytics more accessible, which gives the supplier a bird’s eye view of their tendering activities, buyer network, and buyers’ purchasing trends. It can also help the supplier ensure that all procedures and documents are in compliance with the contract notice and procurement policies during the tender submission or evaluation.
Since 2013, the UK central government has been digitising its procurement systems in a move toward greater transparency and efficiency.
This digitalisation drive continues with the introduction of G-Cloud 13, an online digital marketplace for cloud services.
Building upon this innovation, in late 2015, the Crown Commercial Service launched the Crown Marketplace, a new e-platform that could be used to procure ‘off-the-shelf’ items for government and public authorities.
E-Procurement in Scotland
Another central authority pushing the e-procurement revolution is the Scottish Government. Now in the third phase of its Procurement Reform Agenda, the Scottish Government is using Public Contracts Scotland (an e-procurement portal) to encourage even closer collaboration between local authorities, particularly on Cat C contracts in which goods and services are tendered at a local level by a single organisation.
What Does this Mean?
The development of these e-procurement solutions shows both central government’s commitment to procurement transformation and the scale of opportunities that could be missed, should suppliers fail to update their procurement methods to deal with this new technology. This is where Tracker’s public e-procurement portal can help.
Tracker — A Smart & Secure E-Procurement Solution
Tracker is committed to powering smart business decisions and we do this by providing industry-leading tools that give suppliers the market analytics and technologies they need to make better decisions and add value to their business.
We are committed to the security of your company’s data when you use our business intelligence tools. We have extensive security measures in place to ensure none of your data is compromised and remains protected when using our e-procurement portal.
Beat the Competition with Tracker
Tracker is the only e-tendering solution that provides a holistic portfolio of tools to help you find, bid for and win business. With public sector contract and award notices, pipelines and framework leads, private sector procurement leads, and bidding functions — as well as market and competitor information — Tracker gives you all you need to beat the competition.
Join the Competition with Tracker
If you can’t beat your competitors, then why not join them? The rise of e-procurement has seen a growing number of SMEs partnering to target bigger contracts or smarter public procurement arrangements and processes.
Tracker is a market leader in procurement information products and can help you deliver collaborative projects by use of its Bid Manager function. Bid Manager allows you to access essential tender documents directly from Tender Alerts and searches, upload and work on winning responses, track progress, and collaborate with anyone whether or not they are a Tracker subscriber, anywhere, at any time — all at the click of a button.
Bid Manager also includes a multiple folder structure that enables you to better organise bid documents, which streamlines project management processes and frees up time so you spend less time on admin and more time on key projects.