What is social value?
The purpose of social value in public procurement is to maximise the reach of public expenditure by ensuring that local communities, economies, and the environment benefit in some way from any given contract.
The requirements were introduced in part to address a perception that taxpayers were often not benefiting in any tangible way from public spending in their local area.
While cost remains the single most important metric in the award of a public contract, social value considerations can be scored with a weighting of up to 20%.
This has served to redefine the concept of value for money in publicly funded projects, placing more emphasis on going the extra mile than simply offering the lowest quote.
Continue reading “The Significance of Social Value”
What are framework agreements?
Frameworks are “umbrella agreements” that sets out the terms – particularly relating to price, quality and quantity – under which individual contracts (call-offs) can be awarded throughout the period of the agreement (normally a maximum of 4 years). They are typically used when the buyer(s) identify a need for specific products or services but are unsure of the scope or time-frame.
Continue reading “Framework Agreements: What You Need to Know”
If you’ve read the two previous blogs in this series – The Challenge and The Fix – you’ll understand the problem suppliers face in sourcing suitable public contracts and the mechanics of the Tenders Direct solution. In the final part, we look at how we help our customers complete the journey from finding a promising contract to winning it…
Continue reading “A Closer Look: The Solution”
In our last blog we outlined the challenge faced by suppliers when attempting to find suitable public sector contracts. Missing out on just one opportunity – particularly a framework agreement which can encompass many invitations to tender – is a nightmare scenario for any company. In this post we focus on how Tenders Direct prevents lucrative public work from passing our customers by.
Continue reading “A Closer Look: The Fix”
All businesses exist to overcome some sort of challenge on behalf of their clients. At Tenders Direct, we specialise in helping suppliers find – and win – public sector contracts. But aren’t public contract notices in the public domain? Surely this information is easy to find? Well, much like a needle in a haystack, relevant tenders for your business are out there but locating them is another matter.
Continue reading “A Closer Look: The Challenge”
The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has announced a new version of the public sector contract with revised terms and conditions designed to make public work more accessible to smaller companies. Crown Representative for Small Business Emma Jones was quoted as saying:
“The new CCS contract is shorter and easier to understand and takes a more standardised approach. This should save SMEs time and money when deciding to bid for CCS deals and I welcome the approach.”
Continue reading “Update: Revised Public Sector Contract”
Bridgeway receives The Queen‘s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development – 2017
In this case study we speak to Business Development Specialist Tom Foster to find out more about Bridgeway Consulting Ltd and their experience of using Tenders Direct.
Continue reading “Case Study: Bridgeway Consulting Ltd”
Looking to learn but too pushed for time? With our free webinars you can join us on your lunch break or watch previous recordings at your leisure. Lasting no longer than an hour, we cover a variety of topics relevant to suppliers. Our next live sessions explore different types of tenders, why they are important, and how to find and win them.
Finding and Winning Low Value Tenders – Tuesday 17th July 1.00pm – 1.45pm
Low value tenders can be of huge value to suppliers of any size, but are not subject to the full raft of regulatory requirements and can be difficult to find. This webinar provides:
- An explanation of what low value tenders are
- Advice on why they are useful for suppliers
- An explanation of how to access them
- An outline of what rules and regulations govern low value tenders
Book your place!
Frameworks and DPS – Wednesday 18th July 1.00pm – 2pm
The use of Frameworks and Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) is on the rise, but many suppliers are unsure of exactly what they are and how they work. This webinar provides:
- A description of what a framework is and how it operates
- A description of a DPS and how it differs from a framework
- An explanation of how to find these opportunities
- Examples of ‘call-off’ mini competitions from frameworks and DPS
Book your place!
View details of our full day training courses
In his poem Calmly We Walk Through This April’s Day, Delmore Schwartz observed that “Time is the fire in which we burn”. Anyone familiar with tender submissions will probably have sympathy with this sentiment. After finding a promising contract, it can be quite a struggle to prepare a bid within a limited time-frame while staying on top of existing commitments.
Many suppliers tell us that racing to meet tight deadlines while wading through piles of bid documents only to be rebuffed after all their efforts makes them less inclined to bother bidding at all. This kind of “reactive tendering” can be both exhausting and futile, so what can you do differently?
Try giving yourself a head start by scoping out your targets in advance. Is there a particular buyer you’d like to contract for? If you can build even the most modest relationship with them you can gain useful intelligence about their specific needs and procurement strategy. When they go out to tender, this can help you make your bid as bespoke as possible.
Is there an existing contract that you missed out on or are now in a position to go for? If you establish when it is due for renewal and start your preparations months ahead, you’ll have much more time to perfect your pitch without feeling pressurised. This will leave competitors who only became aware of it when the tender notice was published rushing around while you calmly put the finishing touches on your submission.
Explore our free resources for suppliers
Learn how Advance Tender Alerts can give you a head start
Most of us are familiar with this quote widely attributed to Albert Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” It transpires that there is no record of Mr Einstein saying this, but there is truth to it regardless.
Suppliers struggling to win public contracts should keep this maxim in mind when considering their next move. If your bid has been knocked back, it is crucial that you find out why and take corrective action. Where did you fall down? What were you unaware of? How can you improve?
We find that one of the more common missteps made by aspiring contractors after unsuccessful bids is failing to seek as much feedback as possible from buyers and not conducting a detailed assessment of what they could have done better. Instead of allowing your efforts to be wasted, why not use them to your advantage?
Once a contract is awarded, suppliers are entitled to feedback from buyers including a breakdown of their scores and the characteristics and advantages of the winning bid. Conducting a thorough review of your submission with the information available can provide a wealth of applicable knowledge about your strengths and weaknesses.
Persisting with the same stale strategy may not be insanity, but it is certainly not sensible. If you learn lessons, hone your skills, and adjust your approach, you’ll be a much more powerful presence in the next competition.
Click here to explore our free resources for suppliers
Click here to learn about our bid review service