From table-top to smartphone – Innovation in procurement*
As a pioneer in Tender Notification services, way back in 1984, TenderSearch, became one of the premier Tender Notification businesses in Australia.
In 2013 the team turned their attention to the buyer side of the equation and set out to develop an eProcurement Portal, that would offer ‘best practice’ principals for the increasingly complex job of running Request for Rfx projects improving productivity and ensuring integrity.
The development team consulted widely, forming strategic alliances with the organisations, both in the private and local government sector, in order to develop the best product possible for the Australian marketplace.
In late 2014 eProcure launched their SaaS (software as a service) eProcurement Portal and it immediately proved to be a success, providing a secure, inexpensive alternative to tired old expensive, clunky legacy systems that were in use, many developed for overseas markets.
With growing acceptance across a wide range of industries, including mining, manufacturing, educational, construction and especially local government, eProcure continues to offer an Australian alternative to the big end of town.
Continuous improvement has been the cornerstone of the philosophy in place amongst the management and development teams, with a constant stream of enhanced functionality rolled out to its client base on a regular basis.
With the approach to market side of things bedded down and not wanting to rest on its laurels the eProcure designers turned their attention to the probity around Rfx evaluation.
Some rather damning reports from Auditors General throughout Australia highlighted the need for local government organisations to be far more transparent and open regarding the evaluation process and probity around the selection of successful bidders.
Again, building on a wide cross section of its client base for input, the team developed an integrated module that was easy to use, transparent and met all the requirements demanded by a ‘best practice’ approach, designed to keep the auditors happy. It was also important that it enjoyed support from the bidders wanting a level playing field.
The ability for the procurement team to develop online forms to standardise responses from prospective suppliers, had been built into the eProcure product, almost from the launch.
The development team migrated the concept into a new module for the evaluation of Rfx responses, handing the procurement team a powerful interactive tool.
Prior to releasing the Rfx, the team can set the evaluation criteria questions, with user defined weightings not only on a sectional basis but even down to single question. The Evaluation team can evaluate supplier responses online, but only after a rigorous procedure to ensure they do not have a conflict of interest.
On one of the first eProcure tenders launched using the new evaluation model a multi-million dollar contract was posted and evaluated by 30 evaluators in all states throughout Australia and New Zealand, with the evaluation being completed in less than two weeks, from supplier submissions from four countries including Australia. A fantastic test for the new module.
The eProcure team is committed to continuous improvement, with some exciting new developments in progress, and is determined to ensure that this Australian designed, developed and supported initiative continues its march against the big end of town.
*Copy supplied by eProcure