The start-up taking on the $9.5 trillion dollar competitive bidding industry

10 September 2019

Software start-up Bidhive is on a mission to modernise the global USD 9.5 trillion1 procurement industry by helping companies tender more efficiently for contracts through the competitive bidding process.

The bid management platform uses a combination of eLearning, collaboration and data analytics technology to break down the complexity of the process with a seamless project management tool.

The platform works similarly to how Atlassian’s Jira software is used for managing software development projects, in the way that it helps to manage the many requirements of the bidding and tender process, which becomes especially complex when working across dispersed teams.

Bidhive founder and CEO Nyree McKenzie says the procurement industry is inefficient and stuck in old and irrelevant practices.

“Most tenders are based on physical paper trails and poor data sources. This takes many months as proposals get bogged down in cumbersome, time-consuming paperwork and the suppliers bear the brunt of the inefficiency,” Ms McKenzie said.

“We’re seeing huge stress levels in the industry, and it’s not limited to public sector bidding either. Corporate governance reform has sent a ripple effect through the commercial sector too.

“Suppliers have been largely neglected by procurement when it comes to technology tools, training and education, so we’re focusing on this market first.”

Bidhive’s end-to-end platform helps suppliers change the way they work by centralising their content, and analysing the flow of data within the system to provide valuable insights back to them.

By guiding users through a repeatable process, companies are able to scale their bidding and tender activity to achieve improved compliance and bidding success.

Users can also find out what factors led to their bid’s success or failure, and they can continue to build their data sets to understand and shape a winning bid in the context of each new opportunity.

“Winning or losing a major contract can greatly impact the success or failure of a company’s future. Through the use of data analytics companies can make better decisions about the opportunities they pursue by breaking down the time, cost, resources and potential return on investment to their business. This is game changing for them,” Ms McKenzie said.

Bidhive trialled its technology with QUT for 12 months before rolling out the platform commercially, and has customers in Australia, US and the UK including Independent Clinical Services, a workforce management company with 23 brands across the globe.

“We’re finding that as customers come on board the value is quickly realised, so additional business units are approaching us.”

Ms McKenzie also says the low cost of Bidhive’s platform will help open up the market to improve participation rates for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and importantly, minority businesses.

“With the Australian Government committed to sourcing 35 percent of contracts worth up to $20 million from SMEs, businesses need to be ready to take advantage of these opportunities”, she said.

Ms McKenzie also said a three percent Indigenous procurement policy target had also been set by government and business leaders need to be aware of what it takes to make it through tendering qualification stages.

To enable businesses to upskill, Bidhive has developed Bidhive Academy – an eLearning platform to help companies navigate the complexities of competitive bid management.

“As we were developing the platform and engaging with users we discovered that companies wanted resources to help them prepare in advance so they could learn how to compete for government and commercial share of spend. We used our deep industry experience, scanned thousands of tenders, consulted the industry globally and then developed the curriculum.

“We can set the targets and provide the technology, but if people aren’t submitting compliant bids then the market still doesn’t benefit. Participation rates will improve only when we build capability, and with that will bring improved compliance and economic benefits all round.”

Based in Brisbane, the Bidhive team members come from strong industry backgrounds. Nyree McKenzie has 25 years experience in bid management.

The product development team includes engineers, designers, digital marketers and data analysts. Each of the team members were selected to participate in Steve Baxter’s River City Labs’ Accelerator program where they initially joined as separate teams but later merged during the program when they saw the enormous potential of their complementary skills.

Bidhive is already on the lookout for experienced robotics processing automation, machine learning and AI engineers to help the team scale with demand.




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