Public Buyers

Procurement made easy

Interview with Julie Mahoney, Procurement Manager at Winchester City Council


Tell us about you, your team and how long you have been using Mercell CTM.

I am a Procurement Manager at Winchester City Council since September 2019. Although our procurement team is relatively small in size and new (only 18 months in being) we recognised early on that we required an e-tendering system. We have been using Mercell CTM since April 2020 and the support has always been very good and there is always someone to talk to directly.


What made you choose Mercell?

At the time our team was established, there was nothing in place and we were utilising procurement services from Hampshire County Council including their e-tendering portal. After completing a soft market testing exercise we had a better idea of what we were looking for. Test Valley Borough Council had already been using Mercell CTM and they agreed to show us how it worked; which was very useful. The quote received from Mercell was competitive in terms of cost and provision of services.


What makes the platform so useful to you?

I’ve been using the platform for 12 months now and it just saves so much time! With the process templates predefined as per our needs it manages the process for us and helps eliminate user errors. The auditing facility is powerful and gives me a monitoring and overarching view of procurement activities throughout the organisation.

How do you remember the implementation process and training?

Bear in mind that it all happened during the onset of COVID-19, everything was done online which was a pretty new thing for all of us. Because of all the circumstances, it was challenging but all things considered, I’d say it went very well. The training was also delivered virtually. It was all very well thought out and planned which made the process very supportive.

What's your favourite feature? Why?

Mercell CTM is easy to use and truly user friendly; simply put it just does what it says. I like the checklists with the ticks most as they guide the user through the process with ease and gives you at a glance an overview of where you are with the related tasks. The messaging system which is used for managing clarifications both from the Council and Suppliers is also very straight forward and easy to use.

"Mercell CTM is easy to use an truly user friendly; simply put it just does what it says."

Is the interface intuitive?

Yes, especially due to having direct links into Contracts Finder and ‘Find-a-Tender’ notices which enables us to issue these notices without having to leave the system.

CTM was developed with procurement experts. Is this evident?

I haven’t thought about this but yes, I’d say it does and it keeps us compliant with regulations. I like the fact that it is not full of jargon and people are not baffled by the language.

Are there any other benefits of CTM that make your/your team's jobs easier?

Yes, we find the DPS (Dynamic Purchasing System) and Contract Management modules very interesting and something we may consider with time.

As a finishing thought I’d like to repeat that the technical support is very good and how user friendly the system is. All in all, it suits both procurement and non- procurement personnel.