Procurement Network Powers Online Strategy

When the Town of Whitby selected an online eProcurement provider in 2014, the move helped meet its objectives to be more efficient, “be more out...

Friday January 27, 2017

When the Town of Whitby selected an online eProcurement provider in 2014, the move helped meet its objectives to be more efficient, “be more out there, get more bidders”, said Michelle Trudel, Supervisor of Purchasing with the municipality and a 15-year veteran of the profession. But the Town’s needs were rapidly evolving and they needed to look to a system that could deliver more to the bigger Procurement puzzle.   

“Year to date, we have 40% more projects than we did last year.  In addition to the increased number of new projects, assets are aging and need to be maintained or replaced. We are concerned with both efficiency and keeping up,” she said. “Our vendor community is asking for more services online; the number who are doing things online outweighs those who don’t.”

“We looked at a municipality that built its own solution with online vendor registration and bid posting. It would have been a very complex project for IT to take on. So we talked to other municipalities that were moving to a fully electronic system,” Michelle said. “We also spoke with staff at the Town of Newmarket, where bids&tenders was already being used.”

An intensive Purchasing and IT review process included review of and presentations from other vendors. The Town chose bids&tenders, an eSolutionsGroup product, for its end-to-end capabilities and reputation in the public sector.  Last month, Whitby, together with the Town of Ajax and the City of Oshawa, held an information night to introduce the bids&tenders eBidding platform to vendors.

“We especially liked that it was created for buyers and built by buyers. It (bids&tenders) follows the common sense paper approach to make it less of a change for staff. There was comfort, too, to work with the same company that is the provider for our website. They are great staff; we enjoy working with everyone”, she said. eSolutions and the Town have worked together for more than seven years.

“The contract management portion will be valuable. We are really looking forward to vendor performance management in the system, too. All the information will be readily available.”

The Town plans to issue its first fully-online eBid early in January 2017, not only publishing the bid and all addenda through the eProcurement platform, but receiving bids online from registered bids&tenders vendors. 

With an increasing number of public sector organizations (municipalities, police, schoolboards, universities, health and energy) moving to bids&tenders, Michelle sees benefits for buyers and suppliers.

“We expect more bids because of the consistent platform,” she said. “And with the large number of other municipalities using the system, suppliers will be familiar with the site and how it works,” Michelle said. 

Curious about what bids&tenders can do for suppliers? A bids&tenders vendor tells their story.

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