Category archives: Building Questionnaires

Editable Required Fields and less Gnarly Wizards

Last update on March 2, 2017.

Whilst most development efforts are focusing on Chatwin some small changes continue to land in the legacy app:

Required Field + Cosmetic Edits

There are two modes available when building or editing questions: full and cosmetic. Cosmetic mode kicks in when a questionnaire has been published, or when re-using a question from another project. In either case Respondents (vendors) may have already begun saving answers against the questions.

Any changes that might affect the meaning or structure of the question are disallowed.

FAQ on Cosmetic Edits

Until this week it was impossible to change the 'Required' (Mandatory) flag on question elements ...

Continue reading

Transparent eTendering - Publishing Criteria Weightings

Last update on March 14, 2014.

SupplierSelect helps buyers ("contracting authorities") to comply with procurement regulations by providing a number of project settings which change the behaviour of the RFP. Many of these are driven by the European Union's directives on public sector contracting. We've now added a new setting - "Expose Weightings to Respondents".

SupplierSelect enables buyers to define a set of evaluation criteria, structure these into sections and sub-sections, and then assign weightings to any level of the resulting criteria questionnaire. Previously, it was possible for buyers using SupplierSelect to show criteria weightings to respondents by downloading the weightings into a spreadsheet, and ...

Continue reading

Writing Good RFP Questions

Last update on Nov. 10, 2015.


  1. The "best" vendor is the one most suited to your requirements
  2. The only "expert" is yourself - the buyer. Stay focused on your requirements
  3. Don't be afraid to let the vendors educate you about their products or services
  4. Closed questions (multiple choice) are better than open questions
  5. Fewer good questions are better than many questions of variable quality

Objective Bid Comparison

An RFP (Request For Proposal) doesn't have to involve questionnaires and surveys. At its most simple, an RFP can be just a letter or email to potential suppliers: "We intend to buy product/service X, please send ...

Continue reading

Embed Images in RFP Questionnaires

Last update on Oct. 14, 2013.

SupplierSelect now enables you to embed images within your RFP questions.

It's always been possible to associate an attachment with a question in SupplierSelect. For example, a typical question is:

"2.4.2. Please download, complete, and upload the attached spreadsheet 'pricingMatrix.xls'".

It's also been possible to attach images which are then referred to in the question:

"3.5.2. The attached file 'specification.gif' is a technical drawing of the solution we require. Please indicate timings and costs for the implementation of this specification"

It is now possible to embed an image inline with the question ...

Continue reading

RFP Answer Input Validation

Last update on March 12, 2014.

Sometimes you want to restrict the type of information that can be input in response to your RFP questions. For example, you may wish to perform further analysis on answers input by respondents to your RFP:

  • Price information, and you wish to compare prices between respondents
  • Financial background information
  • Technical details about the product or service being sourced

Previously SupplierSelect text boxes were entirely free from - the user could input any information. A new feature recently added is Input Validation. When applied to a text input field, this checks the data input by a respondent conforms to a given "validation ...

Continue reading

eSourcing software in Public Sector Tendering

Last update on March 14, 2014.

This describes some of the ways in which web based software can help public sector organisations comply with common regulations. This article draws upon our experience of working with public sector organisations in Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to provide some ideas for how to use eSourcing and eRFX software in public sector tenders.


Public sector organisations face unusual challenges when evaluating and selecting a vendor for a major contract. By definition, the number of "stakeholders" in a public sector tender is vast - potentially all taxpayers can claim to be an interested party. All these stakeholders want ...

Continue reading

Easier Ways to Create RFx Questionnaires and Surveys

Last update on March 12, 2014.

Running an RFP / RFx project through SupplierSelect involves evaluating vendors or suppliers through the use of surveys or questionnaires. Building a questionnaire for the first time - designing the questions, creating sections and subsections is perhaps the most time consuming aspect of using SupplierSelect. This article describes some of the features designed to make this process a little easier.

The Questionnaire Tree

The fundamental control for designing questionnaires is the questionnaire tree in edit mode, as seen when the Project is in Draft status. Links at the top of the tree provide functions to create, edit, move and delete questions or ...

Continue reading

Dynamic Questions

Last update on Oct. 14, 2013.

Dynamic Questions use a predefined set of "Topics" to generate large questions by repeating question rows for each Topic. To illustrate this feature, suppose your company ships its goods to many countries around the world. You wish to conduct an RFx to evaluate shipping companies. When building the question, you notice that you often need to collect information for each country you ship to:

  • Shipping fees by country

  • Delivery times by country

  • Insurance and indemnification by country

  • Number of deliveries currently sent by country

To take the first example (fees), you could create one question for each country:

Country Questions Screenshot

This is ...

Continue reading