Upcoming Platform Change
Our current platform has performed well for over 10 years; however, we will be migrating to a new platform which will afford more features and capabilities, individual customization and greater “forward-compatibility.” Our new generation platform is the culmination of several years of development and incorporates many new features and functions requested by the PennBid community.
What’s Under the Hood?
The new platform is powered by ProcureWare, a Bentley Systems Inc. software program. Bentley Systems is a global leader dedicated to providing engineers, architects, geospatial professionals, constructors, and owner-operators with comprehensive software solutions for advancing infrastructure. Founded in 1984, Bentley Systems Inc. has more than 3,500 colleagues in over 50 countries, more than $700 million in annual revenues, and since 2011 has invested more than $1 billion in research, development, and acquisitions. As Bentley’s flagship partner in e-procurement, this relationship ensures PennBid has the deep bench of resources needed to maintain the performance, reliability and security of the platform.
This change in platform will mean that the link that many Users have included in their bidding documents (www.ebidexchange.com/pennbid) will no longer be valid. If your company includes this link, we recommend replacing it with www.pennbid.net, as the link to the active bidding site found there will be updated, regardless of the underlying platform.
Transition Details and Timing
Over the coming weeks and months, additional information will be released including timelines, webinars, and other training tutorial resources so that our Users have ample time to acquaint themselves with the new environment. Additionally, we are adding a page to our website specifically dedicated to resources associated with the new platform.
The transition and system outage is scheduled for 12/26/2019 through 1/1/2020 when bidding activities are at their lightest. We ask that no bids be due between these dates.
Although there are many questions, one of the most basic is “Will the previous bid history data be retained and available?” The short answer is yes. The volume of retained data and its migration is the primary reason for the outage duration.
Key Features & Changes
For Those who Post and Manage Bids
The look and feel of the new platform will be more modern, while the basic functions and concepts of the program remain the same. As with any software updates, there will be a “learning curve” associated with getting used to different layouts and features. However, the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience of learning some new tricks, and we will soon be releasing numerous training aids and resources geared at promoting a smooth transition. Here are just a few key features within the program that are new or significantly enhanced:
- Enhanced User Interface
- Enhanced Dashboard elements associated with key metrics requiring attention
- Enhanced usability on mobile devices
- (NEW) “Roll-over” information tips to help Users understand field functions and purpose
- Improved Calendar Management
- (NEW) Consolidated calendar, filterable by event type and other attributes
- (NEW) Attach automated alerts to any activity
- Powerful Data Grid Views
- (NEW) Hierarchical data grids can be collapsed, configured to show or hide specific data fields, columns can be reordered and sorted, and all data can be exported to Excel or PDF.
- Grid view configuration is retained the next time you visit.
- More Control of User Roles and Permission
- Greater Flexibility in Vendor Data Management
- Multiple company addresses.
- Events and activities associated with specific vendor accounts.
- Enhanced supplier diversity and insurance management features and expiration alerts.
- Enhanced Bid Management Tools and Functionality
- (NEW) Schedule bid publishing for a future date.
- (NEW) Countdown clock showing time remaining until bid closing.
- Create bid questions to receive responses using multiple data types.
- Centralized document library to contain your standard contract and specifications documents.
- (NEW) Assign evaluators to score specific parts of supplier bid responses.
- Streamlined ability to update Bid Forms
- (NEW) Pre-establish public displaying of bid results.
- (NEW) “Preview” button to instantly see Bid from Vendor perspective
- Enhanced Audit Log of System Changes
- In addition to document and message logs, access field level tracking of changes to system data.
NOTE: For clients who currently have PennBid’s Historical Unit Cost, this feature will be available within the new platform by Spring, 2020.
NEW For Vendors and Bidders
- Enhanced registration and account management
- Ability to easily follow specific bids
- Enhanced historical activity
- Ability to save work prior to submitting a bid
- Vendor activity calendar for each bid
- Live clock and bid count-down timer
We are very excited about these changes and are confident you will be too! Stay tuned for more information, as we will be updating this page regularly.