Once again, the UK public sector, with the support of some consultant, provides a good insight about the Electronic Tendering Systems: Definition, Benefits, how to use ETS, typical features are described in a basic but valuable document. Written in 2003, it is not fully up to date but you will find there just what you need to know to understand what is ETS all about.
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Definition: an electronic tendering solution facilitates the complete tendering process from the advertising of the requirement through to the placing of the contract. This includes the exchange of all relevant documents in electronic format.
RFQ (request for quotation)
RFT (request for tender)
Some e-tender solutions are packaged with evaluation tools, which assist in comparing tenders from
suppliers in order to select the winning tender.
E-tendering is similar to Request for Quotation (RFQ). RFQ is sometimes included as part of the
functionality of an e-tender system. (See e-Marketplace Overview for a more detailed explanation of RFQ)
Why should I use e-tendering?
Manual tender processes can be long and cumbersome, often taking three months or longer, which is costly for both buyer and supplier organisations. e-Tendering replace these manual paper-based tender processes with electronically facilitated processes based on best tendering practices to save time and money. Buyers are able to manage the tenders coming in, with all tenders stored in one place. Buyers can cut and paste data from the electronic tender documents for easy comparison in a spreadsheet. Evaluation tools can provide automation of this comparison process.
Suppliers’ costs in responding to invitations to tender (ITT) are also reduced as the tender process cycle is significantly shortened. E-tendering offers an opportunity for automating most of the tendering process: from help with preparing the tender specification; advertising; tender aggregation; to the evaluation and placing of the contract.
Typical features of an e-tendering system may include: