- Missing a specific feature  in your environment?

Administrators can have features activated or modified by getting in touch with their account manager at Mercell.

- Mercell Source-to-Contract has two tender management modules.

12 may 2023

Tender management – Randomizer on Invite

The randomizer could be seen as a step to reduce the big pool of approved suppliers to a smaller number of randum selected suppliers. This functionality works only in mini competitions. With this release, you can select the number of selected suppliers and attempts when inviting the suppliers. 

In the BPM, there is a new setting called Enable Randomizer when inviting suppliers. This new setting can be found in BPM >Workflow > Round > Round Settings > Suppliers. To enable the randomizer, the default setting should be on Yes

Note: This BPM should be created with the purpose of a Mini-competition. 

When enabled, these additional fields will become visible: 

  • Number of selected suppliers

  • Number of attempts 

Important to note is that your company admin can allow you to overwrite the number of suppliers and/or attempts. 

How to use the Randomizer on Invite in a regular Mini-competition

  1. In the menu Suppliers, the Pre-selected suppliers card, there is a new button called Run randomizer.

  1. After clicking on the Run randomizer-button, you will see a new window in which you can fill in the number of selected suppliers. 

  1. Click on Randomize. The execution of the randomizer takes some seconds before the end result is shown. 

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  1. The randomly selected suppliers are indicated with additional dice appended to the organization name. You can mouse over the dice to see the tooltip about who and when ran the randomizer on the selected supplier. 

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 The Mini-competition does not start immediately after the randomizer is executed and supplier(s) are randomly selected. You could start the Mini-competition by clicking on the button Start mini competition

❗Users who have the company admin’s permission or in BPM, are allowed to re-launch the randomizer. The Run randomizer button will still be visible. When you click on this button, you can pick from the following options: 

  • Add new randomly selected suppliers to the current randomization result.

  • Start from scratch (the current randomization will be lost).

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If we pick the first option, the end result will be the additional randomly selected supplier (with different timestamp of the execution date).

How to use the Randomizer on Invite in Mini-competition with “Add admitted suppliers” option

It is also possible to combine the Randomizer and Add admitted suppliers option (if enabled in BPM).

In the inner page, the supplier has a possibility to pick suppliers they want to work with and run the randomizer on the rest of suppliers. The buyer can as well simply run the randomizer over the entire list of suppliers, as mentioned above.

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In the image, you can see one manually selected supplier and one supplier randomly selected by the system (as indicated with the dice icon). Both manually selected and randomly selected suppliers appear in the list of prepared suppliers for the Mini-competition. 

? If the randomizer has to be run again, already selected suppliers are not included in the backlog for the randomizer. 

?Suppliers who are already selected by the randomizer cannot be removed from the list. However, manually selected suppliers can be removed via the 3-dots menu. 

20 april 2023

User Groups in Requirement Templates

In Source-to-Contract, you already can assign User Groups to BPMs and now with this functionality, you can assign User Groups to Questionnaire & Question Templates. This functionality helps buyers in saving time and reducing the chance of making mistakes when creating a new tender. 

Prior to this release, Questionnaires Templates and Single Question templates (aka Snippets) can be used by “All users” within the organization. For larger organizations, this could be a problem, since department A is not allowed to use templates from department B, for example. Now, you can choose which user groups can use the Questionnaire & Question Templates. 

How to assign user groups to Questionnaires Templates

In Organization > Tender management > Templates > Requirements > Questionnaires tab: there is a new column called “Assign to”. By default, all existing Questionnaire templates are assigned to all users. In order to assign the user group to a selected questionnaire, there are two ways of doing this. 

  1. The first option is to mouse over the questionnaire template until the “Assign” button appears ?Afbeelding met tekst 
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  2. The other option is to assign user groups via the 3-dots menu. Click on the 3-dots menu and select “Assign”. ? 

It does not matter which option you choose. Both options will open a user group selector, so the admin can decide which user group to assign. 

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The assigned user groups will appear in the dedicated "Assigned to" column. ?

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With this release, only assigned user groups can use the Questionnaire Template. In the example below, only members of the user group “EU Tenders Department” will see and can use the “EU Tenders Template” during the creation of the tender or when attempting to import a template when on the tender’s Requirements page. ?

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How to assign user groups to Questions Templates

Assigning the user group to a question template is similar to the above explained case for Questionnaires. In Organization > Tender management > Templates > Requirements > Questions tab: You will find the newly added column “Assigned to”, which is by default assigned to “All users”. Here, you also have two options:

  1. Mouse over the questionnaire template and the “Assign” button appears. 

  2. Or you can click on the 3-dots menu. 

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When a group is assigned to the question template, only the members will see and can use it. For example, only the members of the “NL National Tenders Department” group see and can use the “General terms and conditions” question template when preparing for a questionnaire template. ?

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Add “Mandatory” option to SRM meta fields

This release will make it possible to modify which fields become mandatory by the admin. You can find this new functionality in the SRM admin menu, beneath the tab Fields > Meta fields. In this subtab, you can view all the fields that can be filled upon the creation of the supplier. Prior to this release, the only possible action that could be done was to modify the setting “Read-only”. Now there is a new checkbox added called “Mandatory”. ?

How to add the “Mandatory” option 

When the admin goes to the sub-tab Meta fields, he/she is able to click on the button “Edit”, which is visible on hover. The user will see a new checkbox called “Mandatory”, which he/she can (un)select. ?

This functionality allows users to modify the behavior of the fields that are needed to create a supplier. ?

❗ There is one exception, and that is the field “Company name”. This field is always mandatory and cannot be modified by the admin.  

? Note that for our current users, nothing will change. That means that the default setting will be similar to the earlier hard-coded settings.


Additional Notes

In this release, the following small changes have been implemented: 

Portal TM:

We implemented an addition of a new feature set called “disable_tm” which prevents users from creating a new tender but allows them to view all past tenders (Internal use only).

Contract Management:

  • We have implemented a new formula outcome: Currency.

  • We have added a character limitation to Contract Name and Contract ID. 

Intake Management:

  • You can now manually close rejected forms.

In addition to these small changes, we also resolved a few bugs. These are the two noteworthy bugs fixed: 

  • In SRM the bug to not being able to import vendor managers is fixed (‘group’-column).

  • In the Intake Management module, we fixed the questions with the type ‘Table’. This means, no longer extra enters after saving. 

  • When you click on “Cancel” while creating a new contract, it no longer ends up in an error screen. 

09 march 2023

User Groups in Business Process Management (BPM)

Prior to this release, you could create user groups in Source-to-Contract for specific elements, such as tenders and templates. Now it is also possible to add user groups to specific BPMs. 

This functionality could be quite useful if your organization has different procedures for different departments. You could assign one or more user groups to a specific BPM. You could see this new “Assign” functionality in the Organization Profile > Modules > Tender Management > Business Process Management. ?

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Creating User Groups in BPM

You could find the BPM’s overview page in the Organization settings. In this overview you will find a new column; “Assigned to”. This column shows the following options:  

  • User Group Name: The name of the specific group assigned to this BPM.

  • All users: The default case for all existing BPMs, i.e. all buyers may use this BPM.

  • User Groups: In case the BPM is assigned to more than one user group.  

When you want to assign a user groups in BPM, you can find the “Assing” option in two ways: 

  1. Click on the 3-dots in the menu on each BPM. Choose the option “Assign” ?

  1. Or hover your mouse over the BPM and the button “Assign” appears. ?

It does not matter which option you have chosen. With both options, a new window will appear in which you can assign the user groups. In other words, the “Assign” functionality happens inside this window. ?

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After creating a user group, only members from the assigned groups will be able to use that BPM-process when creating a new tender. 


Linear Price Scale Formula

When you have used Negometrix3, this function probably sounds familiar to you. The Linear Price Scale Formula, in Negometrix3 known as the Weighted Factor-method, allows you to determine the range of prices the suppliers can submit. 

In Source-to-Contract, the formula works similarly to Negometrix3, where the weighted price is added to the weighted quality. The only difference is that the P/Q ratio is not set at the highest level but is determined by the points that are assigned to both quality and price. 

How to use linear price scale formula

For the buyer there are 3 ways to select the linear price scale formula:

  1. The buyer can set this formula by default in the BPM.

  2. The buyer can select this formula in the tenderassistant.  (when you start a tender)

  3. The buyer can select this formula in the round settings. 

When the linear price scale formula is chosen, there will always be an additional field that the buyer needs to fill out. These include the range of prices, and whether we allow the supplier to submit a price outside the range.

? Note: It is also possible to click on the arrows-icon.
This will switch the highest price score with the lowest. This could be useful in the rare case of a higher price being ‘better’ and should therefore receive more points. 

? This blue box can be found in the round settings, but it can also be found in the price element. It does not matter where you change the settings, these blue boxes in the round settings and in the price element should always be similar. 

If (one of) these checkboxes are checked , it means that the supplier is able to submit a higher and/or lower price than set. This will change the range accordingly. For example: If the range was first set from €250 to €600, and a supplier submits €700, the formula will calculate with the range €250 to €700.

Suppliers will always see the range that is set by the buyer.  In this example below, the supplier will not be able to submit outside this range. 

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Excel export of all the answers to an offer

Prior to this update, you could only compare the evaluation of the offers. It is now also possible to compare the offer answers. Our research showed that this comparison is mainly done outside our platform. For this reason, we provide you to create an Excel export directly. In this way, you can immediately go ahead with comparing all offers answers.  

How to create an export of all the answers to an offer?  

In the Offer menu, we have created a new button called “Export all answers”. This button makes it possible to create an Excel export directly. 

In this Excel export, you will see a tab per questionnaire of the tender. The answers to all offers are put on the same row, so they can be easily compared. 

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For each question type, we show the answer that the supplier provided. However, there are 3 exceptions:

1️⃣ For the question type “Document question” and “ESPD”: we show the document names of all uploaded documents, comma separated. 

2️⃣For the question type “Evaluation criterion”: we show a placeholder that no answer was required.

3️⃣Conditional questions are shown as an additional row with the same question number + if YES/NO. If the question was not relevant for that supplier, we show a placeholder that the question was not applicable for this offer. 


MFA: Don’t ask me again

Each time you log into Mercell Source-to-Contract, you are asked to authenticate with a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Now you can mark the checkbox to skip MFA for the next 30 days.  

In this way, the amount of required re-authentications will be lowered and makes MFA more user friendly. 

15 February 2023

Tender Bin

From now on, the bin is here to remove a tender after it has been published. Prior to this update, deleting a tender was an irreversible action which could only be performed during the preparation, but the introduction of the tender bin solves this issue.

The Function of the Bin

On the main Tender page, you will find a button on the top right which gives access to the bin. Before, a tender could only be removed during the preparation. Now, you can remove published tenders to the bin. A tender cannot be deleted straight away, it will always be moved to the bin first. In this way, you create a clear overview of your current tenders while you can see expired tenders in the bin.

Did you accidentally move a tender to the tender bin? No worries, you can restore your own tender from the bin by using the “Restore” functionality. Tenders can only be permanently deleted from the tender bin by an Admin, a Leadbuyer or a user with the “Edit Tender” rights.

If a tender is already published or if there are suppliers in the tender, a window will appear in which you can enter the reason for the removal of the tender. Afterwards, the tender will be moved to the bin.

This window will be visible when suppliers open the in-app notification, or when they open a direct URL to the published tender page of this tender. The tender itself can no longer be found on the published tender page. However, the direct URL to the tender remains accessible.

Restore or Permanently Delete a Tender

With the introduction of the bin, only Admins, Leadbuyers and Users with the appropriate rights are able to delete tenders permanently. When you open the tender bin, you will see a grey bar indicating this.

 You can, however, restore tenders as a User, if you have the proper permissions for that tender. By using ”Restore”, the tender will be retrieved from the bin and put back into the Tenders List. In the overview, a log will indicate when the tender was removed and by whom.

User Groups

This release makes it possible to control user groups in Source-to-Contract for specific elements in Source-to-Contract. You can assign user groups to tenders and folders. The ability to connect user groups to BPMs and templates will be added soon.

 Create User Groups

In order to create user groups, you have to go to your organization’s settings.

 Then, simply click “New user groups” and follow the steps.

Finally, you can give your user group a name and add members to the group. In just a few steps, you have created your user group.

Assign User Groups to Tenders

It is only possible to add user groups to tenders with a Viewer role. In the interface, the card “Add Colleague” has been upgraded to “Add Colleague/User group”. In this way, you can now not only assign colleagues, but also assign user groups to a tender. 

Assign User Groups to Folders

Besides assigning user groups to tenders, you can also assign user groups to a folder with multiple tenders.

When opening the folder content, you will see a new button “Share Folder”. As soon as the user group is assigned to a folder, the contents of the shared folder will be available to all users from the added user group.

Additional note:

With the release of this update, Admins are able to create exports of all colleagues in the organization from Source-to-Contract. This can be used to perform some filtering, grouping and user analysis outside the system.


6 Januari 2023

Improved overview of communication

Communication in a tender is incredibly important. As a buyer, you want suppliers to be informed about everything. Control and overview on this provides just that little extra peace of mind.

Therefore, in addition to the messages that you have sent yourself as a buyer, you can now read back the history of system messages. It's a simple button in the Messages menu on the right, above the last message.

This way you know exactly what communications all participants in a tender received via both messages and system notifications: