bmobile E-Tender Solution is on par with Int’l Procurement Standards
Since moving to an online procurement system in 2012, bmobile has seen a 40% increase in the number of companies participating in contract bids. This increase has fostered greater diversity in the size and types of companies submitting bids resulting in better quality competitive bids and cost reductions for TSTT, including about 20% savings on routine purchases. There has also been an increase in productivity and efficiency along the whole value chain of the procurement process and a higher quality of products and services purchased by bmobile. These benefits can now be enjoyed by other organisations that also want to use bmobile E-tender for their own online tendering for their internal purchases.
These and other highlights were shared by Keino Cox, TSTT’s Vice President, Supply Chain and Enterprise Portfolio Management, as he addressed participants at a stakeholder engagement and consultation workshop hosted by the Office of Procurement Regulation (OPR) on September 27th at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, Port of Spain. The workshop was held to engage public sector stakeholders to finalize the key processes and procedures to be included in the handbook, guidelines and regulations to support the new procurement legislation.
bmobile’s e-Tender system was developed using international standards for security and functionality and is compatible with the requirements of the new procurement legislation. That means it can manage the process of moving an organisation’s existing manual procurement systems, to an online procurement system. “Our e-Tender System provides an open, fair and transparent system that levels the playing field for all sizes and ranges of companies; simplifies the tender process; cuts costs for all vendor and bidding companies; and provides real-time competitive tender postings, updates and queries.” Said Cox.
The features of bmobile’s e-Tender Platform, which was 100% developed locally, include online prequalification; reverse and forward e-auctions; public advertising/notice of public tenders, cancellations and acceptance of successful tenders via the e-Tender system; online tender evaluations; contract management; online query management; automated procurement reports; online procure to pay; eco-friendly; mobile device compatible (apple and android); cloud storage with high-end security, governance, risk and compliance protocols and external and independent security and auditors.
Cox shared that to date bmobile’s e-Tender Platform has over 3,000 registered users from over 129 countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, USA, India, Canada, UK, Czech Republic, Belize, Mexico, Barbados and Jamaica and over 100,000 unique sessions. Due to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Information and Communication Technology Company Limited (iGovTT), 22 ministries, 119 state companies and 135 statutory bodies can also use bmobile’s e-Tender platform to provide automated e-tendering solutions.
Moonilal Lalchan, Board Chairman, Office of Procurement Regulation (OPR) thanked the attendees for partnering with the OPR to make procurement best practice, based upon the principles of good governance, accountability, transparency, integrity and value for money, a reality in Trinidad and Tobago. “It means that all of you here are committed in one way or another to being change agents who are not satisfied with the status quo, and who do not want to be same agents.” he said.
Lalchan stated that the new procurement legislation recognizes e-procurement as part of best practice and the OPR will be encouraging as many organizations as possible to get involved in e-procurement. “There are some ministries and agencies which are still depending on manual systems but they will be in a better position to go the e-procurement direction. This is the only way we can benefit by getting synergies across the different agencies. I welcome bmobile who is here to promote the role of technology in procurement, as part of best practice.”
Leslie Figaro, NALIS’ Procurement Manager and an e-Auction/e-Procurement Specialist, attended the workshop and believes that e-procurement should be mandatory because of the many benefits that can be gained from it. “One of the major problems of the previous procurement process was corruption. The only way we can eliminate corruption is to put a robust system like e-tendering in place. E-Procurement technology has a trace of everything done and by whom so it puts a check on corruption and also offers high value at low risk. The high value is the confidence in the system; getting value for your money; the speed of the e-procurement process; the high integrity, accountability and transparency of the system; and having different players in the e-procurement process who understand their role and responsibility. The low risk is the elimination of a lot of stock, the cost of storage space and obsolete stock because, as part of its specification, a company can now have a supplier deliver the stock when the company wants it. E-procurement would improve things significantly.”