Public Buyers

Experiences with Mercell CTM "All in One Place"

Interview with Maili Nugent, UK Atomic Energy Authority


I work for UKAEA (United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority) as a Procurement Officer.

UKAEA undertakes research into fusion energy and related technologies, with the aim of positioning the UK as a leader in sustainable nuclear energy.

I’ve been with the procurement team for 2.5 years now and the team has grown over the last two years in excess of 40. Our team operates around support to departments with some category management elements covering IT and Construction.

The procurement team has always been in place supporting, we have a secure, stable team with individuals covering a breadth of experience and knowledge.

We’ve been using CTM (Complete Tender Management) for 2 years.


As we’re a non-departmental public body, we must ensure compliance with Public Contract Regulations. We have to demonstrate a clear audit trail of all our procurement processes covering all communications and documentation.

Prior to CTM our process was a manual process using excel and email to record communications and in house portal for sharing tender opportunities. Transparency and visibility proved challenging along with extraction of MI data.


When you ask people to switch from an old system to a new, many can feel stuck in their old routines. I liked the idea of Super Users. To help with the adoption we had Super Users trained on CTM first and everyone received the essential training.

The Super Users, like me, helped others with their questions and we had access to the Mercell implementation team that helped answering questions, sometimes the same ones, patiently.

The system was easy to follow once the processes were defined and hence people got it quickly.

Mercell CTM allows you to go through the whole tender process in one place so all communications, documents, document updates can be found easily and quickly.


I’m a Procurement Officer and so I am involved/ lead many tender exercises. Additionally when I first started my role in UKAEA I was an apprentice which made using your platform useful as all the steps I had done were recorded so if a mistake was made I could find out when which meant I could learn quicker and avoid doing that the next time.

I find it very easy to use, specifically because of the checklist that is provided and which helps not to get side-tracked. You can change the ticks and crosses to remind yourself where you are. The order in which each task is presented is really good as it is seems the further the way you go down the list the more important the actions are.

My favourite feature is being able to see how many suppliers have downloaded the information because although not everyone who has downloaded it will bid, it gives a rough idea and what outcome we can expect.

I also like the process bar which gives you an at a glance overview of suppliers and where they are in the bidding process: are they interested or not, have they responded, etc.

I would call out the messaging functionality, especially the broadcast function and the tracking which saves a lot of time and is also very handy as other suppliers cannot see who else got it, keeping the process competitive.

Managing people’s access helps to avoid people from different departments accidentally deleting something important.

Last but not least, the collaborative aspect: a lot of people change teams and CTM allows collaboration across the various departments. This also enables apprentices to study previous tenders and learn to see how other tenders look like.

CTM was developed by procurement experts. Is this evident?

Yes I believe it is as there are clear steps that you need to follow that someone who may be new to procurement would not know what to do. Another example for that would be that it is very convenient how you can search within the system, e.g. CPV-codes and don’t have to Google them outside the system.