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”
When I was working in customer services for Tenders Direct I was always getting asked about the loophole that is Part B Services. Whispers of a tender due to come out any day now, companies waiting patiently and BANG, before they know it, the Tender has been awarded to John Doe Ltd down the road. How does this happen, where was the tender published and why do some tenders disappear into a black hole of EU Laws?!
Continue reading “The Mystery Behind Part B Services”
Did you know: 1 University, 2 Housing Associations and 3 Councils are installing up to 15k Solar Panels over the next 3 years. And that is just the tenders for one week! Someone out there must be predicting a scorcher this summer!
It is so nice to see the Public Sector looking for alternative means of energy, after all it was in 1997 (Kyoto Protocol) the UK Government promised to reduce greenhouse gases by 12.5% by 2008 to 2012. Last year the UK Government vowed its ‘greenest year ever’ and promised central government would reduce its carbon emissions by 10% within 12 months 60.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases are created by the UK each year and the Public Sector is only responsible for 3%. That is any easy enough target to reduce, only 5.7 million tonnes!
See tips for suppliers after the jump…..>
The launch of specifications for sustainable procurement and collaborative working offers a powerful tool for suppliers and purchasers. Lord Jones, former director-general of the CBI, believes they should form part of any organisation’s strategic weaponry. UK businesses operate in a highly competitive global environment where agility, efficiency and innovation are the watchwords of success and standardisation weaponry.
Suppliers that comply with standards often have a competitive advantage as buyers will often use compliance to choose between comparable suppliers. Standardisation also promotes interoperability along the supply chain and provides the competitive edge that is necessary for effective worldwide trading.
BS 8903:2010 launched in Summer 2010 set out the principles and framework for sustainable procurement and also provides practical advice on the implementation of the framework practices. It has been developed by participants drawn from many sources including the private sector, pressure groups and the public sector.
BS 1100-1:2010, published October 2010, was developed with input from many industries and its longer term objective is to move to an ISO standard. It provides a strategic framework to improve collaborative relationships and explores partner selection, working together, value creation and relationship maturity.
With an increasing emphasis from buyers on this area, it is the wise supplier that will educate themselves on these standards to give themselves the competitive edge, that Lord Digby refers to.
Hands up who has heard of the Contract Award Notice (shortened to CAN for those with a particular love for procurement and tendering jargon like us)?
If you have heard of it, then you will know that the CAN is the official notification which must be published in OJEU by the contracting authority AFTER the contract has been awarded. It details the name of the winning bidder, duration of the contract and the value (if the authority has played ball and included that).
When you receive your tender alert emails, remember to look at the document type in the top left hand corner first to check what kind of notification you are dealing with. You don’t want to go asking the authority for contract documents for an opportunity which has already been awarded! The different notice types are automatically organised into separate folders on Tenders Direct to avoid any confusion.
Whether you have or haven’t heard of the CAN, you might be wondering at this point how it can be of any relevance to you unless it has your name down as the winning bidder!?
Well don’t dismiss the CAN straight away as it does have its uses.
Continue reading “Just what can you do with a CAN?”
I recently attended our latest training courses on completing PQQs and Bid Writing. One of the messages I picked up was that the public sectors’ evaluation of suppliers is a lot like a risk assessment exercise. Public sector authorities have to be scrupulous when spending tax-payers’ money. They have to balance various priorities, including quality, budget, delivery, timescales, policies on equality, sustainability, supporting SMES and local businesses, and abiding by the relevant regulations, while also avoiding the risk of anything going wrong during the course of the contract.
So, as a supplier going through the tendering process, your task is not only to demonstrate to the purchasing authority that you can provide the requirement (and more if possible), but also that you can mitigate any risks that might be involved.
Continue reading “Avoiding Risky Business”
Are you going for lots of tender opportunities but finding that you just can’t seem to get a look in? Could you be guilty of bidding “blind”?
I sometimes get the sense that businesses new to public sector tenders (or sometimes even those with years of experience) think that on submitting a PQQ or a Bid, as long as they’ve made some sort of submission, they’re in with as much chance as anyone at getting into the next round or winning the contract outright. A bit like hoping your lottery numbers come up on a Saturday night or sending out reams of speculative CV’s on the hunt for a new job.
Continue reading “Not winning any contracts?”
Is it your job to find that golden opportunity hidden amongst hundreds of vaguely related tender notices? How many tenders do you dismiss on title alone? Well, you might just be missing some valuable business opportunities.
Continue reading “Don’t Judge a Tender by its Title”
Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.
Today’s technology is high-speed and merciless; if you miss even one of the latest trends, you’ve practically fallen off the face of the earth. As purchasers move more and more into eProcurement and eTendering, are the suppliers, particularly SME’s feeling left behind?
Do not let eTendering pass you by! Keep reading and have a quick look at my checklist to help you with future eTenders… MORE
PQQs (Pre-Qualification Questionnaires) are issued by awarding authorities, as part of a restricted procedure, in order to short-list suitable suppliers before inviting them to tender. Suppliers are assessed according to pre-set criteria based around financial position, ability to deliver, quality standards, and the company’s policies on health and safety, sustainability and equal opportunities.
Continue reading “How to score with PQQs”