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Alastair Caithness

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”

New website launched to rival eTenders portal

Leading e-tendering services provider Millstream has launched a new website as an alternative to the Irish Government’s revamped national eTenders portal, which has attracted well-documented criticism from users since it moved to a new operator last week.

Millstream had operated the eTenders portal on behalf of the Government since 2003, and its success was widely acknowledged. The contract was re-tendered and moved to a new provider this month.

It has now launched its own myTenders Ireland website, at www.mytenders.ie, to offer public authorities an alternative option when publishing tender notices and crucially to make it easy for Irish companies to find and win public contracts.

Continue reading “New website launched to rival eTenders portal”

Procurement opens up opportunities for construction companies

Leading e-procurement services provider Millstream has reported a rise in the number of low value construction tenders over the past 12 months, which it believes is opening up opportunities for UK companies to secure work from the public sector.

Millstream operates 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, Ireland and Norway.

Around 70% of the 14,000 construction tenders published by Millstream over the past year have been below the EU threshold of £4.3million, which means they do not need to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

Continue reading “Procurement opens up opportunities for construction companies”

Millstream secures contract extensions for Scottish and Irish procurement portals

Millstream, a leading provider of European procurement services, is to continue running Scotland and Ireland’s national e-procurement databases after winning two contract extensions.

The additional work from the Scottish Government and Irish Government’s National Procurement Service comes just weeks after the Aberdeen-based company won a £4.8million deal to run a similar portal in Norway for the next seven years.

Millstream is the only company providing national public procurement websites for several European member states and has recently taken on 12 new staff to drive growth within the business. Continue reading “Millstream secures contract extensions for Scottish and Irish procurement portals”

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