New Treaties Bring New Challenges

As discussed in the October 2017 issue of Purchasing B2B, given the additional risks and complexities created by our new trade treaties, the long-standing resource and training gap within our procurement departments has become a public procurement crisis. Senior decision makers need to allocate greater portions of their departmental spending towards updating their central procurement systems and enhancing internal capacity through advanced training.

To the casual observer, electronic bid submissions and electronic fund transfers may represent a brave new world of “artificial intelligence” that will take you to a higher orbit of automation; however, as explained in the August 2015 edition of Purchasing B2B, these technological innovations are relatively minor operational improvements to our procurement systems.

To help solve the deeper systemic issues that lead to procurement delays, cost overruns, bid challenges and other project failures, we need to harness human intelligence by automating project design planning, digitizing tendering call drafting and leveraging procurement data analytics.

While Canada’s new trade treaties impose greater risk and uncertainty on traditional tendering practices, they also serve as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reboot your procurement systems. This article will explain how Orbidder, a made-in-Canada procurement platform, offers a cost-effective path to high-speed compliance.

Treaty-Compliant 3.0 Series Templates

The Procurement Law Office has a proven track record of successfully updating the tendering templates of public institutions across Canada to meet the emerging global procurement standards that are now formally adopted under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement and the Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. In anticipation of the formal implementation of these new trade treaties, we have updated our Procurement Playbook templates with treaty-compliant 3.0 versions. For all template users, we recommend a rapid deployment using our Orbidder drafting system since this is the most efficient route to training your organization on the use of treaty-compliant templates.

As I talk about in my article 2020 Vision: How To Relaunch Your Tendering System in the June 2016 issue of Purchasing B2B, “Most organizations remain mired in outdated tendering templates that require manual data entry, produce drafting gridlock and create version control chaos. Smart templates take us light years ahead of current drafting procedures by enabling team members to concurrently upload their content to facilitate coordinated document drafting and editing while allowing final document assembly with the push of a button.”

Successful Canadian Launch

Since Orbidder’s Canadian commercial release in June, we made rapid progress over the summer configuring our brand-new treaty-compliant 3.0 series templates for Canadian client institutions and launching those institutions onto the Orbidder drafting system. With an even larger number of launches set for this fall, we’re on track to Orbidding every region in Canada and every sector of government before the end of 2017. We are also working with client institutions in the English-to-French translation of our tendering templates and Orbidder interface to enable bilingual Orbidder launches in 2018.

Based on the momentum of our successful Canadian campaign, we are also fast-tracking our U.S. expansion with our initial U.S. commercial release in New York State slated for January 2018, followed by subsequent releases in other major U.S. states through the spring, summer and fall quarters. Further afield on the global front, we continue to build on our successful Cayman deployment and our global deployment team is in final countdown mode for its second high-profile U.K. launch set for this fall. More news to follow soon.

New Functionality: Orbidder Vault and Notice Generator

Following the successful rollout of our Orbidder Vault function, which allows institutions to customize their private library of re-usable content within their Orbidder control rooms, we are currently developing our new Orbidder Notice Generator. With the push of a button, this new function will automatically pull the right data from your final RFX documents and instantly generate ready-to-post solicitation notices. This single function is reason enough to launch Orbidder so that your organization can streamline its treaty compliance efforts. The Orbidder Notice Generator, which is now in final testing, is scheduled to launch this quarter.

Connecting Orbidder to Your Posting Platforms

To enhanced your end-to-end interoperability, we are also developing the Orbidder Application Program Interface (API). The Orbidder API will enable you to automatically integrate Orbidder with the downstream functionalities contained in your existing posting, bid receipt and bid evaluation platforms.

As we highlighted in our recent joint webinar with Bonfire, Orbidder helps you manage your state-of-the-art tendering templates and automate your design and drafting process so you can create RFX documents with unprecedented speed and precision. For current Orbidder users, external posting is as easy as pressing “Assemble” within Orbidder and then uploading your final RFX documents to your posting platform.

To further enhance Orbidder’s end-to-end interoperability, the new Orbidder API will enable you to upload your final RFX documents, along with other related information, to your current posting platform with the single push of a button. Starting next year, seamless integration through the Orbidder API will be available to all public and private posting and bid receipt platforms used by Canadian institutions. More details to follow shortly.

In the interim, please contact us if you’d like to update your templates for treaty compliance, would like to launch your organization into the drafting automation of Orbidder, or would like to take Orbidder out for a test drive.

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