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Tendering for a new subscription system for Aller Media

When Aller Media – The largest publisher of magazines and newspapers in the Nordic Region – had to renew it’s subscription system they needed an efficient way to evaluate the expected complex proposals. As a private company Aller Media is not obliged to follow the EU procurement directive, but because of the complexity of the tender they choose to apply ETHICS for managing the tender and evaluate the proposals.

Is the largest publisher of magazines and newspapers in the Nordic region with a weekly circulation of 3.2 million copies. In Denmark alone, the weekly circulation is more than 700.000 copies, and more than 2 million out of the 5 million Danes read one of Aller’s publications each week.

The backbone for this entire operation is the Subscription System, a complicated mission critical system, which had to be renewed completely. For the selection of supplier of this complex solution, Aller applied ETHICS based on the capability to handle and evaluate multiple criteria simultaneously.

Due to the complexity of a modern subscription system, the specification of the requirements took up more than 300 pages but in ETHICS, using qDesigner tool, it was converted this into an intelligent PDF-questionnaire, where a number of different response types could be specified: radio Buttons, lists, text fields, numeric fields. By specifying mandatory fields as well as maximum and minimum values the suppliers would be guided through the questionnaire and finally validated before being uploaded. The suppliers worked off line with the questionnaire. In the case of Aller all questions were stated in English as the list of suppliers contained a number of international potential bidders and because the evaluators came from all of Aller’s Nordic affiliates.

The process went as planned – the suppliers signed up to participate, downloaded questionnaires and documentation and a company specific digital certificate to be used to sign the final documents and encrypt the responses.

Only when the point of closing was reached, the tender box was closed, the content transferred to the intranet of Aller and decrypted. The questionnaires were then merged and shown in an excel format, where each sub criteria were presented, so the evaluators had a very clear overview of the difference between the suppliers.

Susanne Karll, Project Manager at Aller Media, expressed that:

  • The tendering process was easy and straightforward, and no supplier had any problem in answering an electronic tender
  • It was an advantage that all documentation is stored in one location
  • It was an easy task to evaluate the responses because all data/responses were stored in one place and also because we could be sure that no errors or misinterpretations could occur as it could in a traditional manuel process
  • We surely think it would be an advantage to use this system in new projects of similar complexity