iSpec is revolutionizing tender and contract management not only for general tendering, but especially for complex project procurement. Transparency and speed is of the essence for these strategic projects and all stakeholders require instant access to the latest data.
No more searching for that specific email or attachment -
iSpec knows what you are looking for
Automated tender evaluations for super fast decisions
No more comparing Word and Excel files - drill down to the detail instantly
Your dashboard gives you an instant view of your procurement status, outstanding tasks, and spend analysis in an easy to use graphic layout. Manage your contracts effortlessly.
No more routing Word documents. Collaborate with all stakeholders and edit your documents together online. No more waiting for someone to send you that document. Approve as you go. Speed up the entire process
Never again forget to reply to an email (or lose one), get daily to-do lists on all your outstanding tasks, emails, evaluations, approvals, etc. No more keeping to-do lists or Excel spreadsheets to remind yourself what to do.
Project managers reduce their time spent on project administration from around 75% down to 15-20%. This allows them to either handle more projects at a time or to spend more time on delivering quality projects on time and within budget.
Each tender or contract can be “built” from a master library that contains documents that are either pre-approved and not subject to amendment without approval, or those that require “re-purposing” specific to the tender or a tender/contract can be built up from scratch. Depending on the governance structures of each organisation, participants are allocated levels of authority to participate/contribute. These levels can be from limited contribution to selected documents to full access to all documents and the ability to amend/modify. Access and editing rights are governed by a comprehensive role and permission management system.
The strength of the master library and template information is due to its “granularity”. In other words, each template or master “document” is managed at a “clause” level. Consequently, each clause, statement or requirement is a template in itself. For example,
the contractual terms and conditions is not one single template. Rather the contract is a compilation of individual “template” terms; some of which may be modified to suit each specific tender’s requirements (for example, the term, scope etc.). The others are “locked down” or “secured” in order to uphold the organisation’s governance and risk management policies (for example indemnity, IPR and insurance) and are not able to be modified by the tender team.
Templates can also contain selectable items (options) which need to be selected during tender/contract preparation. This means these options are locked-down but the user can select which option(s) they require. During tender/contract preparation the user is forced to select the required options before the document can be published
Although many procurement systems have online information, most were built around manufacturing requirements and not around the procurement and management of large complex projects - which iSpec was. Therefor most of them rely on technical specifications and complex agreements being uploaded as Word or PDF documents. Version control and editing permissions as described in the previous section is not possible or extremely difficult in such cases. iSpec however maintains a fully comprehensive audit trail of edits and approvals during all negotiations and changes and vendors respond - not by uploading Word or PDF documents (although it can be allowed) but by entering their response directly into the document and section where it is required. This make it easy to evaluate and compare vendor bids as everything is in a database and comparison and other reports are generated at the click of a button.
One of iSpec’s key features is the email facility included in the system. This allows collaboration both internally or with suppliers, external legal council and other parties not only during master document creation but also during tendering or contract negotiations or project management. This feature has a number of significant benefits, including:
- All collaboration during master document/template creation is recorded.
- All communication from the date tender/contract is established in iSpec until contract award through final delivery, is controlled and contained within iSpec. This includes both internal emails between internal team members and external emails with the tenderers and external parties;
- Compilation of documentation in the event that the agreement relies on the RFT and all prior representation;
- Ease of access for tender evaluation, clarifications and negotiations;
- Full traceability;
- Ease of audit and probity;
- Ease of retrieval in the event of discovery or Official Information Act requests
Not only is all correspondence stored in the system, but it is linked to the document and section to which the correspondence relates. This makes it very easy to find the exact email you require almost instantly without requiring keyword searches and filters although those functions are also available.
The online approach to iSpec tender management makes tender evaluation far easier and more efficient for the project team. Instead of having to compare multiple Word, PDF or Excel files that are often submitted in different formats, iSpec provides for immediate price/compliance evaluation and identifies those aspects of non/partial compliance where further clarification is required before evaluation can be completed. Separate evaluation teams can be assigned for technical and commercial evaluation. Evaluations can be structured to be a simple process or include more complex weighted-score evaluation criteria.
This is an area where, again, iSpec’s internal email / communication tools become material to the evaluation process.
Upon completion of all price affecting and non-price affecting clarifications with the tenderers, the organisation can make a final assessment of the price and remaining risk elements with the aim of selecting preferred tenderers and commencing negotiations.
Upon the selection of preferred tenderer(s), tender status letters can be sent to all tenderers via iSpec.
iSpec’s contract management (post-tendering and contract award) key features and benefits are comprehensive Whether the tender is for manufacture, construction, supply or services the basic principles remain the same. Also if it is a single contract awarded without going through a tendering process.
All deliverables as defined in the contract are tracked by delivery and or commissioning dates and vendor performance is recorded and reported against KPIs that have been set up in the system. Once the contract date has been agreed and captured in the system, all contract “milestone dates” and/or activity durations (e.g. delivery dates, commissioning dates, payment dates, lead times etc.) are set in the system or calculated (by the system) to actual calendar dates against the “baseline” contract date. This functionality allows for regular and automated reminders to be sent by the internal email system to both the vendors and internal users to promote timely delivery.
When deliveries are not made in accordance with the contractual obligations, and those obligations are “attached” to financial, or other, KPI’s, then
iSpec will automatically calculate those financial adjustments needed to be made.
These may be in the form of liquidated damages, legally binding penalties, service level credits or other forms of financial rebates that are liable by the seller for non performance. It is then up to the client to determine whether these financial adjustments are effected:
1. Automatically in accordance with the rules set up in the system, and in accordance with their rights under the Agreement;
2. Manually after engaging with the supplier to satisfy itself that the adjustments are appropriate (as a function of relationship management);
3. Or not for whatever reason deemed appropriate at that time.
iSpec has the capability to interface to Microsoft Project and can therefore generate a project plan from those milestones and deliverables set up in each on-line agreement. This plan can then be distributed amongst both vendor and client project team members for project planning and monitoring purposes.
iSpec contains an optional inspection module that can be used for statutory inspections, certifications, performance and acceptance tests and also ad-hoc inspections. All data is kept within the system with a full audit trail. Issues arising from tests can be linked to various user-defined “hold-points” or milestones and in this way it is easy to track issues that need to be cleared before payments or next phases can be executed.
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iSpec is an essential tool for the CAMO to consolidate all stakeholder collaboration into a single point-of-truth.
As a leading global and smart trade enabler, DP World recognises that innovative procurement technologies such as iSpec would allow it to stay at the forefront of the industry.
I use iSpec everywhere in my industry.
Procurement CAPEX is the
biggest single cost element in
SABMiller, some $US900-million a
year, and, based on the Proof of
Concept (PoC) phase of iSpec,
the system can deliver on average
a 3% saving on total project cost