Public Buyers

Norway's best municipality in digital procurement

Møre og Romsdal Municipality has developed into a frontrunner in digital procurement. Their journey with Mercell started way back in 2010.


A decade of collaboration with Mercell

When Møre og Romsdal County Municipality felt the need to streamline and digitise the procurement processes in its administration back in 2010, this became the start of a long and fruitful collaboration with Mercell. In the autumn of 2010, the procurement department in Møre og Romsdal held a sourcing competition for a new procurement platform, and it was Mercell's solution that got the best reception by the county municipality. They also helped us get started, so we could easily understand which modules we needed to know, explains Torgeir Riksfjord from the purchasing section in Møre og Romsdal.

Our buyer department went from two to three employees in the autumn of 2010, and we saw that there would slowly, but surely be a need to conduct more competitions, but with the same resources. To achieve this, we had to have our digital tools in place, as well as integration with our cases-and-archive system. This has made everyday work more efficient for us buyers, he says."

Torgeir Riksfjord

Digitisation benefits the entire community and its citizens

For Møre og Romsdal County Municipality, the time spent on procurement became so extensive that they were forced to find ways to streamline the execution of tenders, including opening, evaluating, and archiving incoming bids. They also saw the need to increase the quality of the tender management and competitions. Few are aware of the opportunities that actually open up if you take full advantage of a well-functioning tender evaluation tool.

Modern day sourcing tools help to streamline the evaluation process, ensure that all relevant information is stored securely and provide a basis for collecting statistics, to name a few. When public procurement becomes cloud-based and gathered into a single system, administration costs are reduced and spend tracking becomes easier. This ultimately results in better service for your taxes.

Digital innovation makes each buyer and tender manager more efficient, but can make them better at evaluating bids with consistency and scanning the market for higher quality products, and services.

Alignment in sourcing saves time and resources

Today, most public clients use digital sourcing in order to meet public requirements for electronic communication and compliance. The main rule in Norway is that all communication regarding public procurement must take place electronically. This means, among other things, that digital submission of tenders is mandatory.

To Møre og Romsdal county municipality, this was the start of a completely new era. Nevertheless, they were aware that if they were to be the best in class within the contract mangement and sourcing solutions, they had to invest some time on the onboarding.

"We accepted that in the beginning, we would spend a little more time per competition to learn the system. We received good training in February 2011, as well as good follow-up and assistance from Mercell after the solution was implemented. We received a quick response to our questions and inquiries, too. In addition, we have set requirements. Since day one, we have been a demanding, but factual customer, where we have challenged Mercell on improvements related to both the sourcing and the contract management systems", Riksfjord explains.

In addition, Riksfjord mentions the following reasons for their success with digital procurement:

  • The importance of establishing integration between Mercell and the case/archive at an early stage, so that everything that is to be archived is transferred automatically. All cases are in one place, safely stored, and exists in one version only.
  • The county municipality decided that all acquisitions above NOK 100,000, - ex. VAT had to pass through the Mercell platform.

Do you use cloud contract mangement?

With the cloud contract mangement solution from Mercell, you get an overview of all existing agreements, supplier information and relevant feedback. The agreements are available to the user at all times on a safely encrypted platform.

With cloud contract management, all authorised employees can view and search for relevant contracts. The search criteria are tailored to suit your business' specific needs, and you can assign contracts and tasks to specific individuals.

The buyer department in Møre og Romsdal county municipality points to several reasons why they have managed to make good business agreements over the years. The versatility of the needs notification module, which means that it is used in the majority of competitions to get information about what is to be procured, the value of the procurement, and when it is desired to be delivered.

The fact that both the ESPD form and the e-certificate are implemented directly into the system is a great advantage. Implementation of mini-competitions from the contract management system on parallel framework agreements, with logging of which agreements have received many assignments. The opportunities to extend the agreements - and that this is logged in the contract management system, have been useful. The same applies to the notification of when agreements are approaching their expiry date.

How to succeed with digital sourcing

With long-term work and a strong focus on learning all the features our platform provides, Møre og Romsdal County Municipality has managed to streamline its purchases. Riksfjord believes that similar organisations can benefit greatly from the service, if you really support it.

Among other things, Riksfjord believes that by using the solutions and making an active assessment of the various modules, they will experience great progress.

"The most important thing for us has been to take the solution actively into use from day one, but also that we both assessed and tested whether other modules in Mercell gave us more utility value. The fact that one can, for example, "design" the content of the notifications we get from the system, has been very useful in that we receive the relevant information in the planning process."