Public Buyers

Easier procurement collaboration with Mercell

Interview with Antonio Ramirez, Senior Category Manager at LUPC



I have worked in procurement, largely in the public sector, since 2004 and as a Category Manager since 2007. Having used various e-procurement systems in the past, I am now using Mercell CTM (Complete Tender Management).As consortia, it is critical for us to use and offer a procurement solution to our members that enables them to work in an easy and efficient way. With Mercell CTM, we have achieved a simpler and more efficient way of conducting the tendering process.


Previously, the procurement team was challenged in the day-to-day work by the complicated layout of the other system and found it difficult to get from one step to the next, especially when we were under time pressure.

"The implementation was smoother than expected and the system is intuitive. I like the checklists most as they follow the natural procurement process as we defined them for our users via templates. Publishing is quick and easy, too. "

What made you choose Mercell?

We tendered the requirement through the compliant OJEU process. We wanted to offer our users and member organisations a solution that makes it easier to go through the tender process, which was reflected in the specification and criteria. The Mercell CTM system had a quality score that was 21% higher than the nearest one, and was the most technically advantageous system of all options. We switched to Mercell CTM in 2019 and the team has been using it confidently and efficiently since then.

What was your experience of the technical implementation process?

The implementation was a lot smoother than expected in every aspect. Mercell CTM has a modern architecture that makes it more intuitive than other systems I used. The team from Mercell was very helpful throughout the whole transition and it has always been very quick and easy to get help from their support team when needed. It is clear that the implementation team is very experienced and understands the nuances of public procurement processes - they were proactive in their approach and could answer even complex technical questions during the training which proved to be very useful.

What is your favourite feature? Why?

My favourite CTM feature is the checklist. You have total control over the design of the checklists which makes it easy to use even for people who do not use the system frequently. The checklists allow users to simply follow the natural flow of the procurement process and to pick up at any time where they left off.

Another favourite feature is the broadcasting messaging function. I like how easy it is to sort the messages by time, subject, and supplier, as well as the word search function. You can quickly view who has read your message and when, which allows you to monitor the suppliers’ interest closely on the screen.

Publishing to Contracts Finder, Find a Tender Service (FTS) or even Tenders Electronic Daily (TED), (where applicable) is super easy. In other systems, I found the language quite ambiguous in comparison to Mercell CTM. To give you an example, due to COVID-19 I had to publish a few contract modifications for the very first time and found it a lot easier than other systems I have used. The way the forms are set up guides the user in an intuitive way, which is helpful, and more importantly, reassuring, particularly when one is remote working from home.

How is CTM helping you achieve your business goals?

First and foremost, it enables us to stay compliant with changing laws and regulations while working more efficiently, either individually or as a team. The implementation team was very proactive when preparing for Brexit and the switch from TED to FTS.

Because of all the above, the Mercell CTM system allows us to set a good example to the whole sector and, in particular, to our member organisations, which is important to us due to our position as a framework operator as well.

If you could have one measure to support your story, what would it be?

That would definitely be the ease of use of the system. The layout of the screens, the font size, and the on screen help text proves that the system was designed with procurement people in mind. I also have to mention the great service desk where I have always been able to quickly get through and speak to a real person in no time.

"As the framework representative of an IT system, it is easier to champion and promote a solution that I find genuinely more intuitive to use than other platforms which take more time and effort to figure out. "