Increasingly, the public and the private sector are requesting bid and tender submissions be made online. It’s very rare for you to now have to submit paper copies of bids (though not completely unheard of). Certainly, in the public sector, most bids are now submitted electronically, and by October 2018 all public sector contracting bodies will be required to use some form of e-communication system.
So, if you’re not used to submitting bids electronically now, you soon will be. As with any bid, there are a few things you need to take into account. The first, and most important, is time. Unfortunately, there isn’t one, single e-platform, so you’ll find that different organisations will use different e-platforms to meet their requirements. Each one requires a slightly different approach. Now would be a good time to familiarise yourself with the platforms used by your clients, to avoid making any mistakes when the bid deadline is looming.
The other thing to take into account is to leave yourself enough time to upload your bid response documents. Starting a bid upload with 5 minutes to spare isn’t sensible, because the unexpected can and does happen. It’s your responsibility to make sure your bid is submitted on time, and it is very rare for these platforms to be out of action. As an evaluator, we can also access the audit log on the platform, so we know if you really were logged on when you tell us that the platform wasn’t accepting you bid (yes, people do try to claim the platform doesn’t work, when they weren’t even attempting to log in to the system).
Some platforms have strict character counts, and won’t let you format your responses, so again that is worth double checking before you start working on your bid.
If in doubt, it is always worth double checking, but please don’t leave it until just before the bid closing deadline to check. That is when disaster strikes and all that hard work and effort is wasted.
To make sure you don’t waste your time, talk to us about how to maximise your usage e-procurement platforms.