Category: suppliers

Top Contract Award Notices this week 29/05/2020

In the last week, over 400 contract award notices were published across the UK. Below you will find our top three notices from the last 7 days. 


Title: United Kingdom-Liverpool: Construction work
Short description: Refurbishment of the Seacombe landing stage and booms, and replacement of both passenger and vehicle linkspan bridges.
Published By: Merseytravel
Date Published: 25 May 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £ 5,935,960.70
Number of tenders received: 5
Contractors: John Sisk and Son Ltd

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Title: UK-Stirling: Castleview Low Carbon Hub
Short description: To develop the current Castleview Park and Ride site into a Low Carbon Hub.
Published By: Stirling Council
Date Published: 28 May 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £1,299,077.18
Number of tenders received: 4
Contractors: FES Support Services

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Title: United Kingdom-Liverpool: Fire-prevention services
Short description: The scope of the contract is for the provision of: compartmentation surveys, active works, passive works, follow on and remedial works.
Published By: Onward Group Ltd
Date Published: 28 May 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £1,299,077.18
Number of tenders received, lot 1: 6
Number of tenders received, lot 2: 5
Number of tenders received, lot 3: 8
Number of tenders received, lot 4: 7
Number of tenders received, lot 5: 8
Number of tenders received, lot 6: 10
Number of tenders received, lot 7: 7
Number of tenders received, lot 8: 6
Number of tenders received, lot 9: 6
Number of tenders received, lot 10: 9
Contractors: Fieldway Supplies Ltd | Flame Hold Ltd | Openview Security Solutions Ltd | Frank Rogers Building Contractor Ltd | EFT Systems Ltd | Novus Property Solutions Ltd | TF Jones Property Services Ltd | Neo Property Solutions Ltd | Jackson Jackson and Sons Ltd

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Are your competitors listed above? Would you like to know their public sector success rate, market share and the types of opportunities they’re targeting? 
With our Competitor Tracking Alerts, you can view their past wins with our five year archive of award notices, and receive alerts when any organisation(s) you choose are announced as winners of above threshold public contracts. 
For more information, please contact us on 0800 222 9009 to discuss further.

Top 5 bid writing mistakes: Not knowing how your pricing fits into your strategy

In this series of posts, I am addressing the common errors that occur time and time again when writing bids. Below is our 3rd post and will address the following mistake: 

Not knowing how your pricing fits into your strategy 

Often businesses, or the individual in charge of tenders, will focus on pricing for a tender, but there is a need for a more comprehensive decision-making process of which price is only a part, albeit an important one. In other words, agreeing one number is not a strategy. A price should be agreed upon following the implementation of an overall bid strategy and not the other way around, or in isolation from the bid strategy.  These are the main issues we see, where pricing is either decided on its own, or looked at too late and not aligned to the offer as a whole. Either approach isn’t fit for purpose as there is always a need to understand the drivers behind your prices.  
 
For example, you should ask yourself: 

  • What is the context of your chosen prices in regard to your entire offer? 
  • Are you able to offer unique value adding services or are your competitors able to offer exactly the same? 

Knowing the competitive environment and the key drivers for the customer are paramount to making good decisions.  The prices need to balance your chances of success with the value derived for the contract, which won’t be possible if you don’t give your pricing the time and contemplation it deserves. 

There are ways to look at this in more detail. For example, from our contract award database we could provide you with information about who specific contracts were awarded to and their values going back five years. From here it would be possible, by looking at the spend reports from individual public sector authorities, to start estimating how much incumbent suppliers are charging for their services. This type of analysis can help prevent your pricing strategy from being a shot in the dark.  
 
If you are interested in using contract award data to inform your pricing strategies, you might be interested in our Competitor Tracking Alerts. Not only do we offer a five year archive of contract awards, you can also track an unlimited number of competitors and receive alerts whenever they win high value public contracts.


For my next post, we’ll look at the the issues associated with leaving things to the last moment.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for specific help with your bid, please get in touch. Every week I help clients with their tendering, from bid writing to leading on bid responses. Use the details below to view the range of services we offer or to contact me directly. 

Tel: 07384818704
E-mail: andrew.watson@proactis.com  
Web: View our training and consultancy services 

What are my chances of winning a tender?

A lot of people seem to have doubts about their chances of winning, and this is a very common question. 

Q: Is there any chance of winning at all? 
 
Of course there is! Bidding is not like the lottery, where winning is purely down to luck, it’s usually a very fair process. Your chance of winning depends on the quality of your submission and how it compares to your competition.  
 
The psychology of bidding is a quite complex and expansive topic.  It’s natural to get down on the process if you are consistently getting unsuccessful letters. The reality is that tenders are nearly always published in good faith and are designed to identify the best suppliers to then award the work to. If your results are consistently not what you would hope for then you need to reflect on what is going wrong, rather than just blaming the process.   

At the risk of giving away trade secrets, proposals measure two things; 

  1. Your capability to meet the buyer’s requirements
  2. Your capability to complete tenders to a high standard. 

You normally need both to be successful. Being great at one and terrible at the other won’t work. It’s worth reflecting on where you think you have issues:  
 
Are you not winning work that you feel is absolutely perfect for you and you have a great track record of delivering? It’s probably your tendering that’s letting you down.  
 
Are you bidding for things speculatively that you don’t really have experience delivering?  Then it’s probably your organisational capability. 

Always ask (and ask again if required!) for feedback from each and every unsuccessful tender.  Use this feedback, and do an internal debrief (lessons learned) after each submission. This should help you identify where the issues lie and drive improvements for future submissions. Don’t despair, just be honest and the ways to improve should be clear. 


If you have your own questions or are looking for specific help with your bid, please get in touch. Every week I help clients with their tendering, from bid writing to leading on bid responses. Use the details below to view the range of services we offer or to contact me directly.  

Tel: 07384818704
E-mail: andrew.watson@proactis.com  
Web: View our training and consultancy services 

Top 5 bid writing mistakes: Biting off more than you can chew

In this series of posts, I’m addressing the common errors that occur time and time again when writing bids. Below is our 2nd post and will address the following mistake: 

Biting off more than you can chew 

Bid submissions can often be handled like a hot coal, with just one person eventually assigned to handle a submission in isolation. This inevitably leads to issues, misunderstandings or an underestimation of the time and resource required. You need to have the right people engaged and contributing to the bid from the beginning, and across the breadth of a business, in order to fully represent its capabilities. 

Too often we also see organisations respond half-heartedly to too many bids. You need a robust process in place for deciding whether to bid and then for the opportunities you do pursue, ensure that you give the bid your best effort. 

We consistently find a direct correlation between the level of resource employed in preparing proposals and success rate.  In short, bids should be a collective business effort, the more effort you put in, the better the outcomes. 

Responding to bids is a group effort, and as the person responsible for the bid, you will need to effectively manage your team to deliver the best results. To achieve this, you should consider: 

Choosing the right people – do you have the support of the key people needed to write this bid? 
Check your resources – do you have access to all the information and documents you will need, are they stored centrally for easy access? 
Setting clear goals – does your team know what they have to achieve and by when? 
Managing relationships – does your team know how their work impacts their colleagues and on time submission? 
Keeping everyone engaged – you may be keeping them informed, but are you doing it in a way that keeps them motivated and engaged? 
Tracking multiple projects – have you delegated responsibilities or utilised some form of bid management software to track progress?  
 
If you can answer these questions with a positive yes, you’ll be set-up well for tackling your submissions. If you are feeling swamped, it could be because you have taken on too much and your organisation needs to look more closely at how they are resourcing bids. If it’s because you are struggling to track the progress of multiple bids from start to finish, you need a system to support you – and I would strongly recommend Opportunity Manager. 

Opportunity Manager is available to all Tenders Direct subscribers, and is an incredibly simple yet efficient bid management tool. It’s designed to bring all of your notices into a single, customisable pipeline view – allowing you to check the status of all your bids at a glance, schedule tasks and reminders and centralise all of your bid documents. If this sounds like something you need, you can request a free demo of Opportunity Manager.


In my next post, I will cover the issues associated with not creating a proper pricing strategy.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for specific help with your bid, please get in touch. Every week I help clients with their tendering, from bid writing to leading on bid responses. Use the details below to view the range of services we offer or to contact me directly. 

Tel: 07384818704
E-mail: andrew.watson@proactis.com  
Web: View our training and consultancy services 

Changes to procurement policy: Use of Procurement Cards

The Government has been very responsive in making changes to procurement policy to help protect suppliers, their workforce and their supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their latest PPN: Use of Procurement Cards, is aimed at maintaining cashflow to suppliers, while also ensuring the public sector is able to access goods and services quickly.

What has been introduced with this PPN?
Procurement Cards are being highlighted as the preferred method for purchasing goods and services, and the key points from this document are:

  • Single transaction limit increased to £20,000 for key card holders
  • Monthly limit on procurement card spend set to £100,000
  • Monthly procurement card spend in excess of £100,000 is permissible to meet business needs.
  • Opening up of more purchase categories providing access to a greater range of goods and services.
  • Above points apply to all Central Government Departments, their Executive Agencies and Non Departmental Public Bodies.
  • Effective immediately as of 6 April 2020

What are procurement cards?
Procurement Cards are essentially charge cards used to purchase goods and services directly. These cards allow for instant payment and avoid the need to go through any forms of purchasing processes.

What is the benefit of using Procurement Cards?
The instant transactions are the major benefit to suppliers, receiving prompt will help them to protect their business, their employees and their supply chains.

By making Procurement cards the preferred payment method and increasing their spending limits, the Government is helping contracting authorities follow the instructions set out in previous PPN: Supplier relief due to COVID-19 – which focuses on prompt payment to support businesses and protect jobs during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Where can I view the full PPN: Use of Procurement Cards?
Click here to read the full PPN on GOV.uk


Top Contract Award Notices this week 10/04/2020

In the last week, over 550 contract award notices were published across the UK – below you will find three of the top notices from the last 7 days. 


Title: United Kingdom-Caerphilly: Tyres for heavy/light-duty vehicles
Published By: National Procurement Service (Welsh Government)
Date Published: 03 April 2020
Framework/DPS: Yes
Value excluding VAT: £64,000,000.00
Number of tenders received: 9
Contractors: Vaculug Technologies, Tructyre Fleet Management Ltd, Direct Tyre Management Ltd, Exhaust,Tyres and Batteries (Worcester)Ltd, Inn Tyres Ltd, Kp Tyres, Tuf Treads, Protyre-Celtic Tyres

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Title: United Kingdom-Runcorn: Pharmaceutical products
Published By: The NHS Commissioning Board (Operating Under the Name of NHS England)
Date Published: 07 April 2020
Framework/DPS: Yes
Value excluding VAT: £445,000,000.00
Number of tenders received: 6
Contractors: AbbVie Ltd, Amgen Ltd, Biogen Ltd, Fresenius Kabi Ltd.

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Title: United Kingdom-Bedford: Construction work for highways, roads
Published By: Bedford Borough Council
Date Published: 09 April 2020
Framework/DPS: No
Value excluding VAT: £20,000,000.00
Number of tenders received: 4
Contractors: Hanson Quarry Products Europe Ltd

Access the full tender notice with your Tenders Direct login details HERE


Are your competitors listed above? Would you like to know their public sector success rate, market share and the types of opportunities they’re targeting? 
With our Competitor Tracking Alerts, you can view their past wins with our five year archive of award notices, and receive alerts when any organisation(s) you choose are announced as winners of above threshold public contracts. 
For more information, please contact us on 0800 222 9009 to discuss further. 

Public sector contracts are still being published

While things may seem a little uncertain, we can assure you that there are still plenty of public sector contracts being published. We are keeping track of the number of  tenders we source, categorise and publish each day, and we have to say it’s looking good.

In March 2020 we saw: 

  • 2,938 new UK public sector tenders for March 2020 
  • 1003 new ROI public sector tenders for March 2020 
  • 20537 new EU public sector tenders for March 2020 

At the time of writing, on Tenders Direct we have: 

  • 2397 live UK tenders 
  • 885 live ROI tenders 
  • 20513 Live EU tenders 

These numbers mean there are an incredible number of opportunities for you to secure business now and in the future.

If you supply the public sector with goods or services that are in high demand right now, please keep an eye out for notices with accelerated timescales. Recent UK policy changes allow public sector buyers to speed up tendering procedures in order to secure resources as a ‘matter of urgency’.  

There may be increased competition for tenders with companies exploring new options of securing future business. If you have any doubts about the quality of your submissions, and would like some assistance, we do offer a range of virtual consultancy services.
Our experts can review your bids and highlight where you are going wrong or even take a more active role in the preparation of your submissions. 
If you would like any support, please get in touch on 0800 222 9009 or at support@tendersdirect.co.uk 

Changes to procurement policy: Responding to Covid-19

On March 18th, the government acknowledged the strain on the public sector by making changes to procurement policy, and ensuring resources can be sourced as a matter of urgency.

These policy changes allow for the following:

  1. direct award due to extreme urgency;
  2. direct award due to absence of competition or protection of exclusive rights;
  3. call off from an existing framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system;
  4. call for competition using a standard procedure with accelerated timescales;
  5. extending or modifying a contract during its term.

What does this mean for suppliers?

If buyers can demonstrate that they have an ‘extreme urgency’ for goods, services or works, and/or there are no other suitable suppliers, they can enter into contracts without competing or advertising as long as they have satisfied several criteria categories. On top of this, buyers also have the ability to make changes or extend existing agreements.

For accelerated timescales, you will have to pay very close attention to tender notices:

  • Check your tender alerts thoroughly.
  • Make sure you have the people and resources needed to complete your bid.
  • Ensure your pricing strategy works for your business.
  • Check you have addressed all the key criteria.  

For suppliers providing ‘non-urgent’ goods and services

Despite uncertainty with other industries, the public sector will always have a requirement for goods and services. In the last week, the number of tender notices published for the UK was 1613, which is not far off the weekly average of 1664 seen in 2019. Looking across the UK, ROI and EU, there are around 25,000 live notices.

There is reassurance in knowing that there is still a drive to maintain normality during such unprecedented circumstances. We will be keeping a close eye on these figures and letting you know if there are significant changes and providing you with more insight into the sectors that may be affected.


We hope your workplace has not been affected too dramatically by the unprecedented situations caused by COVID-19.

Wishing you the best of health.


Budget 2020: What suppliers need to know

The UK’s first Budget as a non-EU state was announced on 11th March 2020 by Chancellor Rishi Sunak – who had only 4 weeks preparation time, after the surprise resignation of his predecessor Sajid Javid.

There were plenty of predictions for what we could expect to see within the budget, including tampon tax, tuition fees and inheritance tax (all of which were covered). However, for this post we will look at the announcements that are significant to suppliers seeking public sector contracts.

Heathcare

Coronavirus is a big issue as it can, and likely will, affect most businesses across the UK.
The Chancellor mentioned that there will be ‘significant impact on the UK economy,’ but this will be short lived and ‘life will return to normal’.
To combat the risk of 1/5 of the working age population being off work, the NHS will receive the funding it needs ‘whether it’s millions of pounds or billions of pounds’, to combat this virus.
The three point Coronavirus outbreak plan has a value of £30bn – but will receive further funding if necessary.

An extra £6bn will be spent on the NHS to pay for 40 new hospitals, 50,000 nurses, and 50 million more GP surgery appointments.
This is in addition to the £34bn which has already been promised to the NHS over the next 5 years.

Construction

£5.2bn was announced to help protect over 300,000 properties across England from flooding over the next 6 years.

The biggest investment in infrastructure since 1955 was announced with a budget of £600bn – this will be divided as follows:

  • £790m for England
  • £640m for Scotland
  • £360m for Wales
  • £210 for Northern Ireland

A significant £2.5bn pothole fund was announced to tackle an estimated 50m potholes across England over the next 5 years.

Housing

A safety fund of £1bn will be used to remove unsafe cladding from buildings above 18 metres tall in response to the Grenfell fire.

Affordable homes programme extended, with £1.1bn allocated to create 70,000 new homes in high demand areas. 

£650m will be used to tackle homelessness, with the aim of providing an extra 6,000 places for rough sleepers.

Environment

The government are keen to promote greener transport and have allocated £500m towards creating new electric car charging points.

A £270m Green Heat Networks scheme will encourage the adoption of low carbon heat sources.

£640m Nature for Climate Fund will plant over 40 million trees and restore 35,000 hectares of peatland across England.

£9.2 million funding package to introduce smart waste tracking and schemes to tackle fly-tipping more effectively

Innovation

By 2024, the government wishes to invest £22bn a year into innovation. This is £4bn more than previously promised, and is claimed to be ‘the fastest and largest increase in R&D spend ever’.

‘The government will invest that money in the people, ideas and industries that will cement the UK’s world-leading position in science and technologies ranging from nuclear fusion to electric vehicles and life sciences.’

With such a significant investment, many exciting opportunities will open up for a range of organisations, helping the UK hold a leading position in science Post-Brexit.

What impact will this have on public procurement?

The impact of Corona virus will be unavoidable, but the measures the government are willing to take are reassuring. The significant investment in prevention and treatment will limit the impact this virus has on the workforce and business as a whole.

Overall, the substantial investment in health and infrastructure can only result in more contract opportunities for suppliers. The public sector will need companies to build hospitals, fix roads and develop housing.

Most interesting is the investment in ‘Innovation’. This funding will give suppliers scope to help the UK hold world-leading positions across numerous sectors – creating opportunities where there might have been none previously.

Now that the budget has been announced, contracts will be getting drawn up and issued promptly. Ensure you get notified of these opportunities first with www.tendersdirect.co.uk

If you have any questions or thoughts on the budget, leave them in the comments below.

New Public Procurement thresholds 2020/2021

New Thresholds

The European Commission published the updated procurement thresholds for 2020/2021 on the 31st of October 2019.

There is still much uncertainty about what will happen next with a confirmed Brexit delay until 31st of January. Much will depend of the results of the upcoming election on the 12th of December 2019.

For now, United Kingdom remains a part of European Union and the new thresholds will therefore apply from 1st of January 2020.

Regulation

The Regulations set out detailed procedures for the award of contracts whose value equals or exceeds the procurement thresholds. Details of the Regulations are given below.

England, Wales and Northern IrelandScotland
The Public Contracts Regulations 2015The Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015
The Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016The Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016
The Concession Contracts Regulations 2016The Concession Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016
The Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011

Social and other specific services are subject to the ‘light touch regime’ as described in a previous blog.

Public Contracts

Thresholds are exclusive of VAT.

 Supply, Services and Design ContractsWorks ContractsSocial and other specific services
Central Government

£122,976

€139,000

£4,733,252

€5,350,000

£663,540

€750,000

Other Contracting Authorities

£189,330

€214,000

£4,733,252

€5,350,000

£663,540

€750,000

Small Lots

£70,778

€80,000

£884,720

€1,000,000

n/a

Small lot is a contract, or part of a contract, that is exempt from the public procurement rules. You can read more about it here.

Utility Contracts

Thresholds are exclusive of VAT.

 Supply, Services and Design ContractsWorks ContractsSocial and other specific services
Utility Authorities

£378,660

€428,000

£4,733,252

€5,350,000

£884,720

€1,000,000

Concession Contracts

Thresholds are exclusive of VAT.

 Concession Contracts
Authorities

£4,733,252

€5,350,000

Defence and Security Contracts

Thresholds are exclusive of VAT.

 Supply, Services and Design ContractsWorks ContractsSocial and other specific services
Defence and Security Authorities

£378,660

€428,000

£4,733,252

€5,350,000

n/a

 

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