E-tendering has become standard practice throughout current tendering processes. E-tendering portals make private and public tendering more efficient.
What is e-Tendering?
E-tendering is the online version of tendering and is an essential tool for both public entities and private entities alike. It allows buyers and sellers to quickly access (and apply for) tenders electronically. E-tendering requires parties to register on an e-tendering platform (i.e., portal). These portals allow tenderers access tendering opportunities, submit tenders and requests to participate, and digitally sign documents. Both parties can upload documents as they go through the tendering process.
Some examples of e-tendering platforms include: Negometrix, TenderNed, Vortal, and Mercell.
Benefits of e-tendering
In terms of public entities, e-tendering and e-procurement have become invaluable tools in making public spending and tendering processes more transparent and efficient. Additionally, e-procurement simplifies and accelerates procedures, reduces participation costs for both parties, reduces administrative restrictions and red tape, and propels innovation. As a result, e-procurement has been integrated as a component of the new EU directives. That is: Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement; Directive 2014/25/EU on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport, and postal services; and Directive 2014/23/EU on the award of concession contracts that have been transposed to EU Members nations’ law.
These benefits are also applicable to the private tendering. With e-tendering, there is clarity and assurance when it comes to transactions. Given that the entire tendering process is being held online, both parties have access to certain pieces of information. This prevents conflict spurred by parties claiming they haven’t received certain documents. Moreover, the online format of e-tendering allows (real-time) tracking of progress and tender details, enables a streamlined workflow, and provides an online database of past tendering information and purchase history.
Moreover, time savings are a big plus. The automated, electronic tendering process prevents delays that may otherwise have been experienced with the delivery of physical documentations. This additional time also technically means that tenderers have more time with document preparation, as they no longer have to factor in delivery times and manual form filling.
Cost savings are also a bonus, as costs of paper, printing, ink, and transport costs are eliminated. Additional costs that decrease the profitability of tenders (e.g. advertisement, costs of participation) are also diminished with e-tendering.
Disadvantages of e-tendering
However, there are several disadvantages of e-tendering that may pose problems throughout the tendering process. Given the accessibility and distribution of documents online, security may become an issue for concern; this can affect the integrity of certain e-tendering platforms. Moreover, if you’re solely relying on etendering platforms for tendering opportunities, a system failure may lead to missed opportunities due to late, incomplete, or rejected submissions. Other disadvantages that may complicate the tendering process are the multiple layouts of e-tendering platforms which may make tender documentation difficult to access and navigate. Additionally, the often limited and prescriptive format allows for tender submissions by etendering platforms disallows for innovation or creativity when submitting tenders.
At Altura, we innovate the tendering process to make it as efficient, quick, and easy as possible for new and experienced tenderers to tender. Our tendering platform allows tenderers to view a wide array of private and public European tenders sourced from multiple e-tendering platforms. These tenders can be filtered based on multiple filters (and search profiles), with the possibility of viewing previous, current, and future (expected) tenders. Moreover, access to tendering documents is quick, intuitive, and easy. Tenderers can preview, download, and search tendering documents for relevant keywords.