eBid Systems Serves Up Solicitations

Nov 6, 1999 by Dani Stoehr

For Civic.com

eBid Systems has created an off-the-shelf solution for state and local agencies
that want to bid online, basing the product on the expertise and experience gained
in federal procurement shops.

BidServer automates some of the most common elements of the contracting process.
The application provides an upload utility that automatically creates World Wide
Web pages that contain features such as solicitations and contracts awards and builds
links to appropriate specification documents.

The details of the vendors that register online are automatically captured in a
database that can be used to notify those vendors of new solicitations according
to areas of interest.

“That’s a key extension [of the application] that goes beyond simple bulletin board
systems,” said Keith Jones, president of eBid Systems, Bainbridge Island, Wash.
“The application drives potential bidders through the online registration so that
the vendors themselves do all of the legwork in creating this database.”

BidServer is the result of the experience that Jones gained during 15 years in the
engineering consulting business, several of which he spent working on large federal
contracts. It was there, Jones said, that he saw how the federal government put
teeth into the reorganization if its procurement processes and how that know-how
could be repackaged for use by state and local organizations.

Jones claims that BidServer provides as much as 80 percent of government agencies’
procurement needs, with the rest taken up by the necessary customization needed
to fit BidServer to agencies’ particular processes. EBid Systems will work with
agencies on that issue and provide continuing technical support, Jones said.

“From the time we sit down with the agency and develop its…specifications for
this, it could be as little as two weeks to getting the bid solicitation site up
and working,” Jones said. “Knowing what they want out of this, and eliminating what
they don’t want, is really the biggest part of the whole process.”

BidServer is a platform-independent solution, based on the Common Gateway Interface,
which can run on both Unix and Microsoft Corp.’s Windows NT.

Developing a site will cost $10,000 to $15,000, depending on the level of customization
needed, Jones said.

About eBid Systems – eBid Systems provides an integrated suite of contract sourcing
and management solutions to industry and public agencies.