Author Archives

Neil Thompson

How well do you know your buyer?

If you’re looking for new markets and have stumbled upon the public sector option – do not be misled into thinking it will be exactly the same as selling to a private sector client.

The private sector purchaser can largely suit themselves when it comes to what they buy, who they buy from and how much they pay.  But the public sector purchaser has a lot of different factors to take into consideration, not least that they are spending public money and have to comply with set processes and legislation.

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Flying the Flag for Small Businesses

Flagging Contracts to SMEs

Flagging Contracts to SMEsRecommendations first outlined in the Glover Report to help small businesses identify contract opportunities are now coming to fruition.

The Glover Report – Accelerating the SME Economic Engine states…

“Tendering opportunities thought especially suitable for SMEs or consortia of SMEs should be flagged by the procurer during the advertising process.”

Although this idea has been around for a while, the OGC have recently published a paper entitled  Small supplier big opportunity, Flagging your contracts to SMEs which follows on from the Glover Report’s recommendations and outlines the procedure to be adopted by purchasers in highlighting suitable opportunities for SMEs.

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Public sector tendering – lost in translation..?

Have you ever come across a tender that looks interesting but you just don’t have a clue what it’s talking about?

Buyers, often with the best intentions, sometimes include terminology that is quite frankly harder to understand than ‘The Theory of Everything’ by Stephen Hawkings. If you’re new to public sector tendering, here’s a simple jargon buster of some of the most commonly used terms that may just save your PC from being thrown out the window…!

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To Bid or Not to Bid

Selecting the right contracts to go for is critical to the growth of your business. So often we waste a huge amount of time responding to tenders we are destined never to win. It can be due to a lack of resources, limited experience or it simply just doesn’t fit with your core business.

Here’s a quick and effective checklist for deciding whether you should go for a contract or not.

Step 1
Rank your response from 1 to 5, with 1 as the most negative and 5 as the most positive answer. If the total score is below 20, you should seriously consider whether it is worth proceeding to Step 2.

1. Were we aware of the opportunity before it was advertised?
2. Do we know the decision-maker(s)?
3. Do we have a significant technical or other competitive advantage?
4. Have we done an effective job of pre-selling for this project?
5. Do we have a champion in-house who is motivated to win?
6. Have we allowed enough time for preparing the proposal?

Step 2
Answer yes or no to the following Qualitative Factors:

1. Will our price be competitive?
2. Does the opportunity match our target market area and services?
3. Does the project present us with an unusual opportunity to break into a new market?
4. Will the submittal effort be proportional with the expected fee?
5. Is the project consistent with our minimum/maximum project size objectives?
6. Can we make a profit doing this project?
7. If we cannot make a profit, are there any prevailing reasons to want the project?
8. Do we have qualified staff available to perform the work?
9. Do we have the staff and time available to prepare a quality proposal?
10. Do we have the track record/experience for the project?

If you have answered ‘no’ to more than two of these questions, you should seriously consider whether this is the right contract for you.

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