Online Procurement Side Effect: Silent Phones

Jun 15, 2015 by Tim Schmidt

I recently had an opportunity to meet a client, Sal Amadeo, Purchasing Manager at the Town of Wallingford Connecticut. In our conversation, he raved about how much he loved eBid eXchange and noted that “the phone stopped ringing.” I’ve heard similar comments from clients but Sal’s emphasis on the point helped me get it for the first time.

I often hear that eBid eXchange cuts the time of managing a solicitation by 50 to 70%; however, Sal’s comment was different. He was emphasizing how in the past his phone was always ringing with calls from vendors. This interrupted his day and made it difficult to get things done. And because every vendor wanted to give him the “sales pitch” or talk about the weather or family vacations to “build rapport,” every call took longer than it should. As a result, the only quiet time he could get done for the big picture tasks was in evenings and weekends. With the interruptions gone, only then was he able to focus on the important parts of his job.

So how has eBid eXchange managed such a dramatic transformation for the Town of Wallingford?

First of all, it gave him a simple way to post solicitations and related documents. Because he did not have access to posting information on the Town website, a common situation for most municipalities, vendors would see the local advertisement and then he would get bombarded with calls from vendors wanting the documents. Now vendors can access the information directly without contacting him and many will eliminate themselves because they can see the details without asking him a bunch of questions.

This leads to the next point: Now all questions are directed to their eBid eXchange portal. Vendors can submit their questions online and the staff can easily retrieve a list of questions for a solicitation and answer them directly or export them to prepare the addendum. As an added bonus, because the vendors can see the answers to the questions, it minimizes the inevitable duplicates. Of course, he could have mandated email but that creates its own challenges of collation and high risk of overlooking vendor questions.

Lastly, the new system allows him to post the bid results. Suppliers can easily access the site to see the status of the solicitations rather than calling him every week or two to find out the status of the award or the details of the award once it is made.

These may seem like simple things, and they are compared to the full-suite of time-saving functions; however, they can completely change your work life. And, instead of working late you just might find that you can go home early.

e-procurment side effect: quiet phone