The Government eMarketplace or GeM portal is a platform for government departments, ministries and agencies to procure goods as registered buyers of the marketplace. Over 50,000 government establishments have signed up as buyers on GeM portal after realising the benefits of the platform. Easy digital procurement and quality assurance are the main reasons why to buy on GeM for government establishments.
GeM is a technology driven platform that makes procurement completely digital. This connects government institutions to sellers across the country, which means quality products at competitive prices. There are multiple other GeM portal advantages for buyers which we will explore in this article.
The GeM portal is merged with the Central Public Procurement Portal (CPPP) to create a Unified Procurement System, that gives users the opportunity to find and explore government tenders as well.
Why should you buy products/services on GeM?
Here are ten reasons why government establishments should source their requirements from the Government eMarketplace portal.
1. A large pool of sellers
GeM features a large variety of businesses from across the country. MSMEs, big Indian corporations and even multinational entities are present on the platform as sellers. Many sellers will have a GeM rating and their product/service will be marked as verified.
These sellers have participated in the vendor assessment process and have been evaluated based on technical/financial capacity and experience including manufacturing/testing facilities/quality. Vendor assessment will also determine the quality of a product or service.
Additionally, sellers competing to win government tenders on GeM portal will ensure competitive prices and better-quality products for buyers.
2. Wide variety of products
GeM portal has over 10,000 categories and 48 lakh products. Sellers registered on the portal can upload all their products and services on the portal. These products have clear specifications as it is compulsory for the seller to fill in a template of the product specifications. This brings more clarity about products listed for the buyer.
GeM also provides buyers with multiple tools to help the buyer determine whether the prices quoted by sellers are reasonable. This includes the comparison of prices across other e-Commerce sites, discount over MRP, Last Purchase Price on GeM and the prices at which transactions have been conducted on GeM for similar items in the recent past.
3. User friendly interface
GeM portal’s main objective is to bring convenience to public procurement. The GeM portal features a dashboard that is easy to navigate and understand. You can use the dashboard for monitoring supplies, payments and keeping a track on open bids. Even less technically savvy users can easily learn to use the portal. The website is very well organised with the list of active bids, search for contracts, category search, etc., displayed on the homepage in an orderly fashion.
4. Free of cost registration
All government entities who wish to procure from GeM should possess a GeM registration. GeM registration fee is zero for buyers who want to register on the platform.
Buyers and sellers have different forms for registration. Clicking on the signup option on the homepage will take you to two options: ‘Buyer organisation’ and ‘Seller’. Choose buyer organisation and then click on either ‘HOD’ (Head of organisation/Primary User) or ‘VA’ (Verifying Authority). This will take you to the form which must be filled in and submitted. All the supporting documents specified must be attached as well during registration of buyers on GeM.
Documents required for buyer registration
- PAN card (to prove personal identity and serves as a verification of your address)
- Aadhaar card (proof of your real name, age, address, and Indian nationality)
- The registration certification of the organisation
- Another set of identity and address proof (for security reasons)
- A Government-based email ID which ends with gov.in
5. Completely digital bidding process
If you have a requirement in your establishment, you can log into GeM portal and create a bid. While you create the bid you will be asked to fill in a template which will help you to list your requirement. It is a completely paperless process with bid creation to announcement of winning bid done completely online.
6. Three buying modes
There are three purchase modes on GeM that buyer organisations can make use of.
- Direct purchase
Buyers can directly procure products, from any available seller on GeM, that meets the requisite quality, specification and delivery period. Buyers can place direct purchase orders for low value transactions up to ₹25000 by simply searching for the product required and clicking on ‘Place order’.
- Direct purchase with L1
The Direct purchase with L1 mode or L1 purchase or L1 procurement is for mid value transactions between ₹25000 to ₹500000. This allows the buyer to compare all available sellers on the platform and select a seller with products that meet the requisite quality, specifications and delivery period. The comparison must be made between goods/services of at least three different sellers. The buyer can directly buy products from the chosen seller.
e-Bid/Reverse Auction mode allows buyers to conduct an electronic bid for the goods and services on the platform. Buyers have the option to customise the bid by selecting specifications from the given filters. They can further customise the terms and conditions at a later date as well keeping in mind the terms and conditions.
9. Short bidding and delivery duration
Buyers can create and publish a bid on GeM in a matter of minutes considering they have all the specifications and requisites for the product requirement listed down. If the buyer wants fast delivery, he/she can select the delivery duration as well. During the pandemic GeM had reduced the bid and delivery duration period for COVID-19 products like oxygen kits, cylinders, concentrators etc.
10. Auto generation of contracts
GeM platform has the capability to auto-generate contracts based on the specified technical parameters and the details given by the buyer such as delivery period and delivery terms. If the contract needs changes, buyers can edit the auto populated terms and conditions. Buyers can also update the contract along with version control and audit trail.
11.Quick to respond customer care
The GeM portal has a chatbot GeMmy, available 24×7, to help you with queries including how to register on the portal, raise a ticket or product/service offerings. You can also connect through their social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Koo. GeM customer care is quick to respond to queries and has fast redressals.
The government has initiated a programme to encourage the buyers registered on the GeM portal. It recognises the largest orders procured by buyers with recognition on the GeM platform as well as social media through digital certificates.
As an online system for procurement, GeM’s goal is maximum efficiency when it comes to public procurement. The features of GeM portal clearly signify that the government has made the bidding process easy. It has also added the feature of direct purchase similar to e-Commerce websites to make public procurement easier than ever.