Avoiding Risky Business

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.

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Not winning any contracts?

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.

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Public contracts after the General Election

UK Party Leaders

Despite the three election debates, none of us are any the wiser precisely how the next Government will cut expenditure in order to pay off the financial deficit. We know that change is (hopefully) coming that will reduce the size of ‘Big Government’ and while change often brings threats, it also brings opportunities.

UK Party Leaders

UK Party Leaders

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Don’t Judge a Tender by its Title

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.

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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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eTendering – The Final Frontier or Just the Beginning…?

Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.
Bill Gates

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

How to score with PQQs

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.

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Gordon’s EU Compact for Jobs & Growth

Gordon Brown & Herman van Rompuy

In yet another sign of the growing political significance of public procurement the UK Government today published a compact designed to reinvigorate EU economies and build “strong, sustainable and balanced” growth. Gordon Brown met EU President Herman van Rompuy at Downing Street this morning to discuss the economic strategy, as well as climate change, security and the situation in Haiti.  

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Financial thresholds for contracts published in the Official Journal (OJEU)

Euro notesI’m a bit late with this blog post, what with Christmas and New Year and then all the snow, but better late than never.

On January 1st 2010  new financial thresholds, which govern whether or not a contract must be published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), came into force. There’s often a lot of confusion about these thresholds, so I’ll try and explain a bit of the background as well as the actual values of the new thresholds.

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