As part of the actions linked to a single market strategy, eForm aims at facilitating the management of data in the European procurement process. This new European legislation would apply to Life Science tenders as well. The increased importance of tendering . The updates will potentially impact all the different types of tender existing within the European Framework. To fill some of the gaps created by the current legislation, the eForm contains 21 major updates. Even though the legislation is still under consultation, it’s prudent to analyze the potential updates to prepare the tendering organization, as well as potential updates to tender databases. This post focuses on detailing major changes. The second part of the post discusses positive and negative impacts that could arise from the updates and the impact on a tendering system.
There are several changes. However, some are only cosmetic while others may have a more profound impact by, for example, creating new fields or altering the data model. Of the 21 changes, four are targeting tender authority only, which we won’t review in this post. Overall, cosmetic and ease of use are the two major areas that are expected to be impacted. Updates to the identifier — either at the field or tender level — are probably one of the most interesting changes, along with new fields altogether.
The main purpose of the cosmetic updates is to improve the user experience, making it more user friendly and ultimately easier to understand. For example, some fields detailing the interfaces are slated for removal. This will be a huge benefit for SMEs solely interested in the tender data and not in the technical aspects. Along the same lines, some fields now have more user friendly nomenclature. For example, type of authority has been renamed type of buyer.
Ease of Use
Ease of use updates are more subtle than the cosmetic changes. Those changes impact more than one field or may be linked to a relationship between two contracts — tenders or notice. For instance, the type of buyer field has been updated and linked to activities. As proposed, those two fields will be functioning together, thus limiting the number of classifications.
Identifier updates target the way tenders or fields within a tender are identified. One major update is the establishment of a European wide identifier for procurement procedure. This could have a major impact since it will enable companies to track tenders on different portals seamlessly from TED database or through a local search.
New fields will dramatically impact future data, including accessibility and availability. Based on country participation, it will be possible to obtain mandatory information on all tenders submitted — and not only the awarded. This could create a major opportunity for companies that can assess competitive intelligence, while creating a major threat by showcasing bidding strategy to all participants.
What does all this truly mean for companies?
First, the cosmetic and ease of use modification should increase the overall usage of the eForm and because of that, the visibility of tendering related data. A European level view will become a must have — not only a nice to have. With price visibility, this update will offer companies that can assess this intelligence crucial competitive insights. Companies that ignore these insights do so at are their own peril. Over time, however, this type of assessment should become standardized among companies, watering down the competitive advantage.
Identifier improvements could have a major impact on company tender planning. It will be far easier to capture a complete picture of the market. TED would become the master source for the identifier and the tender data could be captured from all available portals, not only the tender a company participated in, but also all other opportunities published: below or above the European threshold. In addition, using the TED identifier as a master source, it ensures no tenders are duplicated. This increases data quality.
Finally, adding some data fields will force companies to rethink how they store their data. Two reactions may follow. Either companies update their respective database to integrate the new model or they don’t. Depending on local government and geographic scope, the optimal solution will likely be different for each company. It may not make sense to update a costly end-to-end system if most of the countries in scope are not enforcing the usage of the field. At the very least, it may be wise to incorporate additional column(s) in spreadsheets used to track tenders. If companies are relying on vendor solutions, they should require vendors to incorporate the new fields in their products. These insights will be invaluable.
Essentially, eForm updates are not disruptive. Rather, they are incremental improvements focused on user experience, eForm usage, and data availability for all tender players on the market.
However, companies should start strategizing on the best way to incorporate these updates into their tender planning; otherwise, they may put themselves at risk by missing critical opportunities. New insights create beneficial competitive advantages. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or if you want to discuss any tender management topic.
HighPoint Solutions conducted a benchmark study in June 2016 to capture a snapshot of the state of tendering in the industry. In the third report, HighPoint’s EU Pricing & Contracting team shares survey results related to the tender management solution across all phases of the tender lifecycle.