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No way to keep track of business opportunities without online system, Millstream warns

Public sector tendering opportunities are a valuable way to secure new business, with hundreds of local contracts published every week in every sector, from healthcare and IT to construction and transport.

Many local authorities, NHS trusts and government departments now handle procurement electronically to save money and time as well as ensuring compliance with the latest regulations.

It is therefore vital for businesses to ensure they do not miss out on any potential opportunities in their own local area, throughout the UK or mainland Europe, according to Tim Williams, managing director of electronic tendering specialist Millstream, which runs the Tenders Direct and myTenders websites.

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

“The days of the printed version of the Official Journal of European Union are long gone and there is no effective way to keep track of all the opportunities without using an online system, particularly in today’s fast-paced world of business,” said Tim, whose company recently won a contract to run the national procurement portal for the Welsh Government.

“Procurement processes will all be conducted entirely online in the near future and the Government’s target is for procurement to be completely electronic by 2016, so it’s vital that companies make sure they don’t miss anything.

“We aim to make it as easy as possible for purchasers in the public sector to advertise their tenders and to help small and medium sized companies to identify new business opportunities and crucially, to give them the best chance of winning that work.”

Tenders Direct was established by Tim in 1992, to make it easy for subscribers to find information on public contracts.

Continue reading “No way to keep track of business opportunities without online system, Millstream warns”

Millstream to exhibit at national NHS Confederation Conference in Liverpool

Reform and financial challenges on the agenda

Leading e-procurement services provider Millstream is to exhibit at the NHS Confederation annual conference next week, when NHS reform and its financial challenges will be on the agenda.

The NHS Confederation is the membership body for all organisations that commission and provide NHS services and its annual conference and exhibition is being held at the ACC Liverpool from June 5-7.

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Millstream runs the mytenders and Tenders Direct websites, which allow public sector organisations to publish tenders and private sector companies to bid for new business, as well as national procurement portals for Scotland, Wales and Norway.

Like local authorities, transport operators and other public bodies, NHS trusts are bound by strict rules on procurement, which affect every purchasing decision made in the public sector.

A growing number of UK public authorities now handle tendering electronically in order to comply with the latest European Union legislation – and save both money and time – and the EU is proposing to make electronic tendering compulsory in the next few years. Continue reading “Millstream to exhibit at national NHS Confederation Conference in Liverpool”

Millstream to provide public sector procurement portal for Wales

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

Leading electronic tendering provider Millstream has been awarded a contract to run Wales’ national e-procurement database, which handles tenders worth around £4.3billion annually.

The Welsh Government (Llywodraeth Cymru) has appointed Millstream to design and run a new-look portal for all public sector tenders, ranging from construction and transport to IT and healthcare.

A number of European governments and public authorities now handle procurement electronically in order to save money and time and to comply with the latest EU legislation.

As the only company providing national public procurement websites for several European member states, Millstream has operated the national procurement portal for Norway for the past seven years and the Public Contracts Scotland portal for the past five years, on behalf of the Scottish Government. Millstream also provided the Irish Government’s eTenders website from 2003 until 2012.

The new look portal will be released in June.

Managing director Tim Williams said: “We are delighted to be able to bring the experience we have gained in Ireland, Norway and Scotland to deliver an effective and fully road-tested service for Wales. The Welsh Government has a very innovative and practically focused approach to procurement and we look forward to contributing to its further success.

“This is a key contract for us, which comes on the back of extensions to our existing contracts with Public Contracts Scotland and the Doffin portal in Norway and underlines our ability to deliver a simple to use system that is reliable and effective.

“The national portals have helped to standardise tendering processes into one online system for both purchasers in the public sector and private sector suppliers, which opens up opportunities for companies while saving both time and public money.”

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

EU legislation means that contracting authorities must adhere to transparent, non-discriminatory and proportional principles when purchasing goods and services. They must also advertise all contracts above a certain value in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

Millstream’s portals simplify the creation and management of the tender documentation required by EU and UK regulations.

The company has managed Public Contracts Scotland since 2006 and has provided the Doffin portal for the Norwegian Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) since 2005.

As well as operating procurement portals for national governments, Millstream runs the Tenders Direct website, which provides private companies with comprehensive information on new business opportunities from the public sector, such as the government, local authorities, emergency services, NHS trusts and the armed forces.

It also runs myTenders, a tender publication and management service used by more than 700 public organisations in the UK to submit fully compliant contract notices to the OJEU and Contracts Finder, as well as publicising them on the organisation’s own website.

Millstream offers key to SME success in securing public sector tenders

For many organisations, but particularly SMEs, public sector tendering opportunities are an important way of securing new business, with hundreds of local contracts in every industry published every week.

The key to winning public sector tenders lies in knowing where to find the best information, choosing the appropriate contract size and building good relationships, according to Aberdeen-based electronic tendering provider Millstream.

“A number of European governments and public authorities now handle procurement electronically in order to save money and time and to comply with the latest EU legislation so there are literally thousands of opportunities out there,” said managing director Tim Williams.

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

Continue reading “Millstream offers key to SME success in securing public sector tenders”

More Scottish companies winning public contracts

Nicola Sturgeon

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today that more small businesses than ever before are securing public contracts through Public Contracts Scotland (PCS), the national advertising portal, operated by Millstream, the parent company of Tenders Direct.

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon

PCS figures show that 80 per cent of 13,308 suppliers awarded contracts through the online portal in 2012 were based in Scotland.

The statistics also demonstrate that 68 per cent of contracts were awarded to Scottish based small or medium sized companies (SMEs), a rise of 12 per cent since 2010. Continue reading “More Scottish companies winning public contracts”

Millstream to lead seminar on how to win public sector contracts

The art and science of bidding to win public contracts for goods and services will be explored at an Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce seminar this week.

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

Bidding for public contracts is a massive business opportunity, worth over £225 billion each year in the UK and £9 billion in Scotland alone.

Successive governments continue to encourage small and medium sized companies to participate in the market and public contracts continue to represent reliable and consistent business. However, the procurement process can appear arduous and off-putting, deterring many businesses from pursuing the available opportunities. Continue reading “Millstream to lead seminar on how to win public sector contracts”

Key highlights of the Chancellor’s March 2013 Budget Statement

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, today made his statement on the UK Budget 2013, saying it was a “Budget for people aspiring to work hard and get on”.

The Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast growth for 2013 of 0.6%, a downgrade from 1.2% in December, but predicts the UK will avoid recession this year.

For 2014 predicted growth is 1.8%, increasing to 2.8% by 2017. Borrowing for this year has increased from the previous forecast of £108bn to £114bn but is expected to fall in subsequent years, with borrowing as a share of GDP excepted to fall from 7.4% in 2013-14 to 5% in 2015-16.

The Chancellor announced help for small firms, saying: “We’ll increase by fivefold the value of government procurement budgets spent through the Small Business Research Initiative.”

Other key announcements included: Continue reading “Key highlights of the Chancellor’s March 2013 Budget Statement”

Be in it to win it, Millstream advises companies looking for public sector work

For many organisations, particularly SMEs, public sector tendering opportunities are an important way of securing new business, with hundreds of local contracts published every week in every sector from cleaning and office supplies to security and major construction projects.

Nearly all local authorities, NHS trusts and government departments now handle procurement electronically to save money and time and ensure compliance with the latest contracts regulations.

It is therefore vital for businesses to ensure they have their finger on the pulse and do not miss out on any potential opportunities in their own local area, throughout the UK or mainland Europe, says Tim Williams, managing director of electronic tendering specialist Millstream, which runs the Tenders Direct and myTenders websites.

“The days of the printed version of the Official Journal of European Union are long gone and there is no effective way to keep track of all the opportunities without using an online system, particularly in today’s fast-paced world of business.

“Procurement processes will all be conducted entirely online in the near future and the Government’s target is for procurement to be completely electronic by 2016, so it’s vital that companies make sure they don’t miss anything. Continue reading “Be in it to win it, Millstream advises companies looking for public sector work”

Tendering expert fuels new business wins

Sitting in a university library in the early 1990s, trawling through a copy of the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in search of potential business, Tim Williams realised the information on tender opportunities was valuable not only to his own company, but to thousands of others.

Having turned his back on his plans to become a natural history filmmaker in favour of a global career as a diver and then project manager in the 80s oil boom, Tim set up Millstream, now a leading electronic tendering specialist which runs myTenders and Tenders Direct.

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

Continue reading “Tendering expert fuels new business wins”

One-stop solution for public sector procurement

It goes without saying that ensuring best value for money is vital for any public sector organisation – but particularly in times of recession.

Local authorities, NHS trusts, transport operators and other public bodies are also bound by strict rules on procurement, which affect every purchasing decision made in the public sector.

Public procurement regulations apply to all public sector contracts over threshold values – starting at £113,000 – and are designed to ensure free and fair access to, and competition for, public sector contracts.

Continue reading “One-stop solution for public sector procurement”

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