- Missing a specific feature in your environment?
Administrators can have features activated or modified by getting in touch with their account manager at Mercell.
- Mercell Source-to-Contract has two tender management modules.
4 May 2022
New: replace tender number with own reference number
By default, all tenders in Tender Management (Mercell Source-to-Contract version) have an automatically generated tender number. For many organisations, however, their own reference number is more relevant in their reporting.
From now on, organisations can choose to use that reference number instead of the default tender number. This number is then visible in the overview of tenders, in the tender itself and in the communication where previously the automatically generated tender number would have been visible.
After the activation of this feature for your organization, there will be no need to adjust your templates. Where previously the tender number was loaded in templates, from now on the reference number will be shown.
Standard tender number
Custom reference number
It is a feature that can be activated in the BPM processes of your organisation. The administrator at your organization can request these changes through your account manager at Mercell.
A new feature has been added to the Overview of the tender: Tender Summary.
You can see summary this as the ultimate statement for your accountant. It includes how the tender was set up and what was being contracted, the schedule, received offers and information about the awarding.
The summary can be exported as a PDF.
Tender Summary is available for all new tenders created using Mercell processes. If your organisation has custom processes for running tenders, please contact your account manager at Mercell to have them updated with the new feature.
14 April 2022
Within My Reports in Tender Management (version Mercell Source-to-Contract) there are several custom report options available. A new report about offers has been added.
In this report you collect meta data about all offers including the related tenders, deadlines, information about the suppliers, information about the evaluation, ranking and much more.
A simple report that allows you to quickly view the most important information of all received offers across multiple tenders.
In 'My Reports', choose 'Create' in the top right corner. There, you select 'Offers report'.
Next, you compile the report by selecting different columns.
Via 'Save and View' you can open the report immediately and download it as an Excel file.
30 March 2022
New: view your tender as a supplier. This way you know exactly how a supplier will see the tender at that exact moment.
Within the overview of your tender there is a new option within the 3-dot menu: 'View as supplier'.
16 March 2022
New: the Tender Assistant. A new tool that helps making choices about the setup of your tender.
The Tender Assistant helps the buyer with the initial set-up of a tender. Step by step, the buyer is assisted making choices related to content, settings, and functionalities. Think of choosing a template for the schedule or questionnaires, activating Question & Answer, choosing an awarding method and much more.
This is how it looks like:
As of Wednesday, March 16, the Tender Assistant is available to everyone.
First, questions are asked regarding the proces and tender name.
Then the buyer makes choices regarding settings and content.
Does the buyer want to use Question & Answer, which templates are applicable, and will questionnaires or only documents be used?
Next, there are also choices available for scoring and awarding.
How are you going to decide on the best offer?
After creating the tender, all settings can be adjusted again. Just like you are used to now.
9 March 2022
A big update for this month! New features for Tender Management (Mercell Source-to-Contract version) and Supplier Management.
For Tender Management we introduce the Snippets for buyers, after the announcement in January introducing them to administrators. Also, buyers can now import questionnaires from an Excel-file.
For Supplier management we introduce Risk management, a completely new feature to manage risks and mitigating actions.
The complete update includes:
Tender management (Mercell Source-to-Contract version)
- Snippets are now available for buyers
- Anonymous evaluation
- New report: DPS Category Reports
- New export: Public tender export
- Import questionnaires from an Excel-file
- New! Risk management
Intake management, Tender management (Portal version), Contract management, Supplier management
- Goodbye Classic! Contact groups now also available outside of Classic
PSA: With this update, Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. Users that will visit the platform using Internet Explorer 11, will see a screen restricting access and suggesting other browsers to continue using the platform.
Tender management (Mercell Source-to-Contract version)
Adding Snippets to your tenders and templates
Last update saw the introduction of Snippets: a new way of managing requirement templates. Instead of full questionnaires, you can now manage basically any piece of content that you usually would add to a questionnaire as an individual template. Just like building blocks.
When we introduced the feature in January, you where only able to build a snippet library for you organization.
This updates enables buyers to add those snippets to their tenders and questionnaire templates.
By adding snippets to templates, you can re-use snippets in multiple templates creating a single source for managing repetitive content. Updating a snippet means that the templates containing the snippet are updated as well. This prevents the need to update multiple templates as soon as a single piece of repetitive content requires an update.
Snippets in templates are labeled for clarity and can only be edited in the Snippets library.
In tenders, Snippets are added just like any other piece of content in a questionnaire.
It won't have a label and a buyer can change the content of the snippet in the tender. There is no link to the Snippets library anymore. Likewise, Snippets updated in the Snippets library won't affect content in tenders.
Buyers want to be able to let their team evaluate offers, without them knowing who is who. The main goal is to have an objective evaluation without preferences from the evaluators influencing the score they give.
In the Round Settings, a new setting “Anonymous evaluation” can be enabled.
As soon as this is done, all supplier and offer names will be anonymized for all users without the permission “Finalize evaluation”.
All users with the Lead Buyer role will always see the real supplier and offer names.
If the user has the right to send Messages, they can see the supplier names in this menu. Additionally, evaluators will not be able to view or export offers because supplier information could be found here.
Once the evaluation has been finalized for the first time, the real supplier names will be revealed for all buyers. Finalizing the evaluation is a one-time event: when reverting back to evaluation, the real supplier names will remain there.
Anonymous evaluation is not available in DPS/QS tenders.
Import questionnaires from a spreadsheet file
Many buyers start their requirements by building a spreadsheet file (like Excel) to share and approve internally. To ease the process of adding those requirements in the actual tender in Mercell Source-to-Contract, we introduce the ability to import those files.
In order to import your requirements the first thing you need to do is to download the empty import file.
|You'll find the import file in the top right within the requirements menu.|
You can then use the file to draft up all the requirements. The file looks like this:
You will notice that there are multiple tabs within this Excel: Requirements, Multiple choice settings, and Value settings. Once the file is ready, you can import the file within the requirements menu.
The file will be validated and any errors will be clearly stated after the check. Once everything is alright, the file is ready to be imported and you can continue in the tender.
DPS Category Report
With the DPS Category Report, buyers can see which suppliers selected which categories in a DPS. You can also see how many mini-competitions were created, related to certain categories and you will find some related statistics.
Public Tender Export
In every tender, a new Public Tender Export is added for buyers. This is the same export that suppliers find on the published tender page. The export is always up-to-date with whatever content is available to suppliers.
Also for suppliers this export is available within the tender, on the Overview page.
The result of well-done risk management is insight into risks that can occur during the contract. It is important to see how to handle those risks and, if needed, which actions will be taken.
Risk Management is a new menu item that is added to the supplier card.
Adding a risk takes two steps.
In the first step the vendor manager is asked to fill out properties related to the risk.
The second step is related to mitigating activities. So if the manager decides to take action, he is able to add text and documents to put down his plan of action. This is optional.
When risks are created, it will end up under the Active tab. The chances are high that during the lifetime of a running contract risks will be added and edited due to the volatility of risks in general.
If for some reason a risk is not relevant anymore, they can be archived and a reason for archiving is asked. It will still be accessible, but will not be part of the active tab.
With this we also added a new type of report called “Risk”. Almost all fields are reportable.
Authorization is based on your role for this supplier. Managers will be able to add and edit. Followers can only see the content.
Intake management, Tender management (version Portal), Contract & Supplier Management
Currently admins need to go to the “Classic” environment to perform certain actions related to contact groups.
With this update, the contact groups are moved to the general admin environment. In the Organization settings, we added a new menu called Contact groups. Here, the admin can manage the colleague groups, user groups and vendor lists as he could in Classic before.
21 January 2022
The second update of the year is a special one. We are introducing a new way of handling templates in Tender management (version Mercell Source-to-Contract): Snippets! In this release, we make it possible to create and manage Snippets. The next release will introduce Snippets within tenders so they can actually be used by buyers.
- Adjusting price after opening vault: adjusting a submitted price
- New report on suppliers in your Dynamic Purchasing Systems
As of the next update, Mercell Source-to-Contract is no longer accessible through Internet Explorer 11 (IE11). Please use a modern browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox or Opera. We announced last September that we will no longer actively support the browser.
Tender management (Mercell Source-to-Contract version)
Templates are one of the main benefits of using smart procurement software. It simplifies setting up a tender and makes using repetitive elements more efficient. Hence we already have full templates for questionnaires and price lists for everyone to use.
It is often the case that you don't want to reuse entire questionnaires, but only a small part of them. A single element about purchasing conditions, complaints procedures or other standard requirements or wishes that you might have as a purchasing organization.
With Snippets you create individual, reusable building blocks for the content of your tender. As administrator you manage these among your Templates in your Organization Settings.
In Organization Settings, go to Templates within Modules, choose Tender management and select Requirements.
Here you will find the list of snippets. Create the first snippet via Create in the upper right.
Give the snippet a name. In this example, a snippet for the standard terms and conditions that the organization often applies as a requirement in tenders.
Select the type of snippet via Select item. Here, choose from all the options you know from building a questionnaire.
For example, in the example of signature for an NDA, choose a Document question where you ask the supplier to upload a signed agreement.
After saving the Snippet, you'll see the full list. Here you can edit, delete or create new ones.
As of next release you will be able to load Snippets into your tender as well. Until then, have a look at your current templates and maybe copy parts to Snippets. Which parts of your templates are used most often? The next release is scheduled for early March. From then on, buyers will be able to select Snippets in their tenders.
Adjusting a submitted price
It sometimes happens in a tender that a submitted price contains an estimate that has been interpreted incorrectly. As a buyer, you still want to be able to compare offers correctly with each other. A price that deviates from the other offers due to a misinterpretation or typing error will make that nearly impossible.
From now on it is possible to adjust a submitted price, including a motivation. To do this, go to Evaluation and open the offer from the supplier. Click on the price and go to the Total price button with the pencil icon in the top right.
A price submitted by the supplier you can then adjust by adding, or subtracting an amount.
The changes are tracked so that they can always be reviewed. After the adjustment, the ranking is updated.
This functionality is immediately available for new tenders created after the update, except for tenders with an ongoing procedure (such as a Qualification System, Dynamic Purchasing System etc.).
New report: suppliers in your Dynamic purchasing systems
The reporting functionality offers you the possibility to combine data from the tenders into reports.
From now on it is possible to create a specific report about a Dynamic purchasing system, specifically about the suppliers.
With the report you get a overview of your DPS about for example:
- Which suppliers have participated
- Which categories have been selected
- Which mini competitions the supplier participated in
- Average prices and quality scores in mini-competitions by the supplier
Go to Tender management, choose the My Reports tab and click Add. From there, select the DPS report - supplier.
Next, you compile the report. It is a mix of information about the supplier and related statistics that are brought together in a report.
After you have selected the columns, choose Save and select the Dynamic Purchasing System on which you want to generate the report.
5 January 2022
This update includes the following:
Tender management (version Mercell Source-to-Contract)
- Price-quality ratio improvements
- Manage the default formula settings in the BPM
- Rollback of the vault opening
- Visibility of content of a tender on the published tender
- Improvements in communication around statements
Tender management (version Mercell Source-to-Contract)
Price-quality ratio improvements
Previously, buyers set the price-quality ratio via round settings. Next, the buyer distributed points in the questionnaires and price lists. From now on, the price-quality ratio is calculated automatically based on the points set in the questionnaires and price lists. The way the information is presented has also been improved.
Management of default formula settings in the BPM
In Mercell Source-to-Contract, Business Process Management (BPM) largely determines the way a tender can be set up. At the start of each tender, the buyer chooses a process from one or more options.
There is now the option to set the default formula for each process. The default setting remains the point system, but can be adjusted for your organization. Your administrator can submit a request through your account manager at Mercell.
Reversing the vault opening
Opening the vault with submitted offers is irreversible. However, from now on it is possible to activate in the BPM that a vault opening can be reversed. For all other BPMs, this is turned off but could be activated by submitting a request through your account manager at Mercell. The features has only been activated for private organizations in the process "Request for offers without direct access".
Visibility of the contents of a tender on the published tender
A published tender, in addition to TenderNed or TED, is also published on the published tenders page of Mercell Source-to-Contract. The content of the tender is now better displayed and easier for interested suppliers to download. The previous update already brought some improvements.
Improvements in communication around statements.
Messages that are sent between suppliers and vendor managers can now be found in External (on the vendor manager side) and in Messages (on supplier side). As soon as a statement is rejected or approved, the vendor manager is notified.