The Pros and Cons of Using E-Tendering in Singapore Construction Industry

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THE PROS AND CONS OF USING E-TENDERING IN SINGAPORE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

First names YAP Last name YEE THARM

Abstract: E-tendering is a relatively new and modern technique of tending system. The transaction can be done from business-to-business, business-to-consumer or Business-to-government buy and sale of goods, works and services through the Internet or other networking systems. This paper examines the pros and cons of using E-tendering in the Singapore Construction Industry and the future trend of E-tendering in Singapore. Although E- tendering has been used by the various Singapore Government departments for many years on their procurement of materials and services for local and global with great success, however the private sector in Singapore is still slow in using it as a tendering system. As e-tendering is recognized as a state-of-the-art for procurement which is proven to be efficient by the local Government and other advanced countries (eg. US, UK, China, Hong Kong, Canada etc.), however the low usage by the private section in Singapore shows that there must be some limitation or disadvantages in using it. May be there are some problems on software and the user not competent to use it for this purpose. Or maybe in Singapore there is a need for the government or a private company to lead and provide a national wide scale of centralizes e-tendering system to cater for all the private tenders in Singapore Construction Industry. Whatever it is, the advantages of E-tendering are far exceeding the disadvantages and it has shown greater potential in the improvement of efficiency to replace the traditional tendering system. Therefore a study to look into the pros and cons of this tendering system is worth the effect. As eventually E-tendering has great potential in increasing efficiency in construction sector in Singapore-tendering by cutting down the-tendering cost and time and reduce the bureaucratic processes in the traditional tendering process.

Keywords: E-tender, Singapore’s GeBIZ, E Submission, Information Systems, Pros and cons, Cloud computer, construction.

1.0 Introduction

The use of computer technologies in the world today has revolutionized the processes in the construction industry. The construction industry in Singapore has also faced the same radical and speedy changes in the use of Information Technology (IT) in almost every part of the process of the construction (from pre-tender estimating, tendering, and construction to post tender analysis). Procurement and tendering are an important function for every organisation including construction industry. It is a vital and important activity for a company to gain profit and continue to survive. Especially in Construction Industry, every job is on contract basis, construction company need to secure jobs through tender in order to continue its business. The traditional tendering practices used by Construction Company are largely traditional and involve managing papers or using email to send and receive documents, addenda, correspondence, bid submissions and award notices. With the introduction of submission of tender electronically, time and effort has been shorten tremendously. Other part of the world however electronic tendering has been getting popular over the past few years and is now being commonly used in the United Kingdom, Australia, New South Wales, India, Hong Kong, United States and in China. (The PRC China has been using e-tender for more than 10 years. This year China is celebrating the 10th anniversary of E- procurement rule, their website is www.ccgp.gov.cn). Singapore is a developed country with very good coverage of wireless network and fibre optic cable. The use of computer is very much the common practice of government department and private company. However the use of e-tendering so far in Singapore has been limited to government department procurement. For private construction industry the usage of...
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