BidTable Columns

BidTable columns are a critical element of the BidTable creation process, as they identify what information is required of Vendors, and in what format it needs to be presented. Columns have different purposes and intentions; all can be used to meet the needs of the Purchasing Organization.

Purchaser Columns

Purchaser Columns represent information that the Project Owner or other Procurement Professionals present that Vendors must in turn respond to. Each BidTable includes the following Purchaser Columns by default:

  • #
  • Item
  • Quantity Required

However, these columns can be edited to meet the needs of the Purchasing Organization. Purchaser Columns can represent the specific criteria that each Proponent must meet in order to complete the BidTable. 

Vendor Columns

The following Vendor column is created in each BidTable by default:

  • Unit Price

Vendor columns will be where your vendors can input their proposed data. For example, Vendor columns can be used to request information such as: Unit Cost, Lead Time, Manufacturers' SKU, Expected Start Dates, and much more!

Note: Each BidTable must contain at least one Vendor column. If you need to change the Column Type and you currently have one Vendor column, please create the new Vendor column first, then delete the incorrect column.

Calculated Columns

Calculated columns contain formulas that the Project Owner has set up for ease of scoring or cost totalling. These columns automatically calculate based on the formula created by the Project Owner and the data inputted in the BidTable. To read more about Calculated Columns, please check out the article, Calculated BidTable Columns.

Note: Calculated Columns cannot be nested or used within other Calculated Columns.

All of the above are represented in the following sample Vendor Template.


In the above sample, the Project Owner had created a BidTable with a Bid/No Bid option, as well as the following Purchaser Columns:

  • Item
  • Packaging
  • Quantity Required

There are also three Vendor columns, indicating where Vendors can fill out their responses. These are:

  • Brand (Text)
  • Quantity Provided (Numeric)
  • Unit Price (Numeric)

Finally, there is also a Calculated Column. For this BidTable, this column automatically calculates the total cost by multiplying the Quantity Provided against the Unit Price. 

Hidden Columns

Hidden Columns are a special category of columns that are visible to the evaluation team during the Evaluation phase. These columns are not visible to the Vendors during the BidTable completion. 

From our Creating a BidTable article,

"Hidden BidTable Columns can be used for analysis with values you do not want your Vendors to have access to.

Hidden BidTable Columns can come in handy in instances like using a hidden Purchaser Column to input the price you recently paid for a line item. This will allow for pricing analysis to be completed which could compare the price you paid last year versus the unit prices submitted by your Vendors.

As you're adding in columns you'll notice that Hidden Purchaser Columns and Purchaser Columns share the same heading and are ordered together. Hidden Calculated columns and Calculated columns are also grouped and ordered together in the table and share the same heading. Vendor Columns do not share the same heading as Vendor Value columns.

Hidden Vendor Value Columns are valuable if you need to apply discounts, administration fees, freight and import tax, etc, on a set of items. These values are hidden from vendors and contribute to the final cost of the project pricing."

Further Reading

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