The 5 hazards of tender Q&A

Managing tender Q&A via email or spreadsheets puts your project at risk. With up to 70% of the total procurement process spent running external Q&A, companies and advisors have long endured unnecessary risks and inefficiencies associated with this outdated process.

By CCWThu Aug 15 2019Tenders, Q&A and collaboration

Between receiving expressions of interest and providing sensitive details to tenderers, you need a safe, efficient way to manage the sheer volume of confidential information and complex questions that you can expect. And that’s where Ansarada's two-way Q&A comes in.

We’ve listed the top five risks associated with running external Q&A to facilitate your tender process – and more importantly, how our purpose-built two-way Q&A can help you avoid them.

1. Inefficiencies across systems

Using emails to facilitate complex Q&A has always been a messy process, fraught with admin burden. 38% of all actions in the Q&A process involve getting answers reviewed and approved before disclosure, and 90% of all questions take up to six interactions to answer – that’s a lot of individual emails across multiple guests.

With Ansarada’s platform, you can approve and answer questions directly through our integrated two-way Q&A system. The assigned participants receive an email notification when a new question, or answer, has been allocated; they can then forward the question to the appropriate team member, answer and disclose or approve an answer submitted by an advisor. It’s a game-changer for senior procurement professionals.

2. Lack of visibility

Without a single source of truth, the full picture of how the Q&A process is progressing will always be unclear. Departments operate and communicate in silos, creating multiple conversation threads and leading to critical details getting missed. Taking the time to check and review responses from different departments, to ensure answers are aligned, eats up significant resources.
With all Q&A occurring inside the platform, this isn’t necessary. Questions and answers are clearly viewable and accessible - in one place and synced in real-time - to those who have the relevant permissions.

3. Duplicated work

These same silos and multiple conversation threads can result in the same questions being asked repeatedly, and immense frustration for the person doing the answering for the fifth, sixth, seventh time. This is a huge waste of resources and energy at a time when everyone is already stretched thin.
With all questions and answers tracked in a single place, you never run the risk of double up. Q&A workflows run seamlessly, with everything tracked at the back end for a clear audit trail that can be exported to Excel in an instant to bring to the board meeting.

4. Human error

It’s not realistic to expect anyone to stay on top of version control across thousands of email chains and spreadsheets in various drives. The information needs to be integrated and synced from all the systems it's being conducted in or it simply won’t be accurate.
Managing a tender using our two-way Q&A system automates the process to eliminate the potential for human error that arises out of multiple conversation threads, duplicated work, or breaches of security or confidentiality, increasing confidence and reducing your workload.

5. Issues of security and confidentiality

The biggest risk of running external Q&A, outside a structured system? Simply stated, it puts your project, your reputation and your organisations reputation at stake with the risk of accidental disclosure ever present.
Without clear tracking of who has asked/answered, using systems that allow anyone and everyone to send and receive answers, there are bound to be unwanted discoveries.
After you’ve set up Q&A roles within the data room, subject security rules ensure that questions can only be forwarded to those with the permission to answer them. Once set up, the entire Q&A process runs automatically, eliminating the risk of accidentally forwarding a question or disclosing answers to the wrong people.
Control who can see the answers to protect your reputation, your company and the project at hand, and reduce stress for all those involved.

Get the right Q&A tools for your tender

Learn more about Ansarada’s purpose-built two-way Q&A system for tender lifecycle management
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