Or are contracts and projects for goods and services simply awarded to just any supplier based on gut feeling?
When it comes to purchasing something for the organization, are there any rules to govern the entire purchasing flow within your company such as:
- Which suppliers to request a quotation from?
- Requests for quotations (RFQ) are requested from how many suppliers?
- What criteria are contracts awarded based on?
It is important for all organizations to have a procurement process in place so that:
- Products and services can be obtained at the best possible price.
- The administrative cost for procurement is low and predictable.
- Award of contracts based on direct negotiations can be eliminated if possible.
- There is transparency when it comes to how projects and contracts are awarded.
If your organization does not have a strategic sourcing procurement process in place, then it’s good to begin creating one now.
If there is already one, then you can try to automate the processes to the next level by utilizing software applications that streamline the procurement workflow and processes.
One open-source tender management software which you can utilize to manage tenders online is:
Tender System – a web-based system to source, award and manage the total procurement process from creating a tender, allowing suppliers to provide quotations and streamlining the entire tender management process.
I have installed and tested Tender System on a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySql, PHP) environment. The installation went smoothly without any problems.
Looking through the SourceForge Tender System download page, there are already more than 30k downloads since 2005.
Trying out TenderSystem, I found out that the basic key requirements for tender management software is fulfilled with abilities to:
- Manage company details such as key info, state, area, branches
- Add common suppliers information
- Add commonly purchased products
- Add product or service categories/subcategories
- Allow buyers to create tenders online
- Allow suppliers to respond to RFQs online
With this system, the management can also view via summary reports the number of tenders that have been created and at what stages they are at, such as:
- Open tenders
- Awaiting approval tenders
- Closed tenders
- Awarded tenders
I find TenderSystem to be comprehensive because the system caters to system administrators, procurement staff, and the suppliers. I liked the fact that suppliers are allowed to:
- Upload and indicate their valid product/services
- Submit quotations online
- View public tenders
To give Tender System a try immediately without having to install anything, check out the TenderSystem Demo where you can try to log in as either the:
- Supplier Agent
Whether or not your organization will choose to adopt TenderSystem as the software to manage tenders online, I believe this system has provided all of us some value in terms of how systems can be utilized to better manage purchases and further improve relationships with vendors and suppliers. A special thanks to the developers of TenderSystem, and do keep up the good work.