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FAQs for Buyers

Why should I use e-tendering?

E-tendering is one of a portfolio of e-procurement tools available for organisations to use and is readily accepted as a method of reducing the costs associated with the selection of suppliers. As recognised in the February 2008 joint report between the Audit Commission and the Housing Corporation “Better Buys – improving Housing Association procurement practice”

“Use of e-procurement is common in the private sector and in local government; it is not used so extensively by housing associations”

“It is clear that housing associations have been slower to embrace esolutions in procurement”.

E-tendering can, as identified by the National E-procurement Project 2004 research, deliver on average 21% savings for a non-Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) tender and 25% average savings for an OJEU tender.

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How do I purchase CirrusTenders?

You can begin the process of using CirrusTenders for your procurement activities by registering your interest with us via the following methods:

Email: sales@cirruspurchasing.co.uk

Phone: 07828 121 270 (Simon Reed) or 07828 143 935 (Phillip Williams)

Currently CirrusTenders is available as a managed service, with two grades of package available; the “Single Tender Package” or the “Annual Package”. More detail relating to these packages can be found on the ‘Welcome’ page.

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Do I need to register?

As part of the managed service the CirrusTenders team are responsible for ensuring your tender is uploaded and active online for completion by potential suppliers. Registration is not necessary for this process to happen. However, for you to view the tender online and checking the uploaded documentation you will need to register free with the site to obtain a bidder account.

To access the buyer functionality such as audit reports, downloading completed submissions by bidders etc you will need a buyers account available to subscribers.

To register please visit the registration page CirrusTenders Registration

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How do I run a tender using CirrusTenders?

Running tenders through the CirrusTenders system couldn’t be more straightforward.

First send your tender documentation to the CirrusTenders team.

We will then enter the questions and supporting documentation onto the CirrusTenders system for you.

Once you have checked that you are happy with the tender the CirrusTenders team will activate the tender at your required time.

The CirrusTenders team will close the tender when the deadline arrives.

You need to tell the Cirrus team who you would like to have a “Buyer” account. This person can extract the collated submissions once the tender is closed. You will then receive an individual .pdf of each submission and a .csv file summarising all answers along with any supporting documents bidders have uploaded.

You then evaluate the submissions in line with whatever evaluation matrix you have in place.

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Is it auditable?

The CirrusTenders system is fully auditable, with bidder and buyer activity on system logged to a central database. A full breakdown of activity is available upon request, providing more transparency than standard paper-based tender processes.

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Can I have multiple users?

There are no restrictions on the number of users an organisation can have with CirrusTenders. However, initial free registration only provides access as a potential bidder, allowing visibility of all active tenders.

Once your organisation has subscribed to CirrusTenders, you can send your tenders to the Cirrus team who will place your tenders online as part of the managed service.

Organisations that have subscribed to the service can have access to the system via a ‘buyer’ account. This account allows buyers to view audit reports and download submissions once the tender deadline has passed. It is possible for an organisation to have multiple buyer accounts at no additional cost.

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Can I upload my own tender/contract documents?

All tender questions and any specific documentation you require to be uploaded as part of a tender will be done on your behalf by the Cirrus team as part of the CirrusTenders managed service, simply email us at tenders@cirruspurchasing.co.uk

At this time we do not provide access for subscribers to directly upload your own tenders.

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Can I use e-auctions on CirrusTenders?

Currently CirrusTenders does not have any e-auction functionality. However, dependent on the process and provider used this should not exclude you from using CirrusTenders in conjunction with a third-party e-auction tool.

We are planning to develop e-auction functionality as part of the CirrusTenders service in the future.

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Can I have hard copies of tender responses?

CirrusTenders is designed to remove paper from the tendering process and we estimate that each tender run on the system will save on average 5,000 sheets of A4 paper.
However, PDF versions of bidder submissions can be generated and you can then print them if required.


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