This week saw the publication of Sir Philip Green’s ‘Efficiency Review.’ My favourite response, apparently made by a Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman was ‘Most of it, to use Greenspeak, is a statement of the bleeding obvious.’
As Nick Timmins commented in the Financial Times this week:
‘We have been here before. They all found the same. And it must be said, much of their analysis, and some of their prescriptions, were a good deal more profound than Sir Philip’s somewhat glib 33-page PowerPoint-style presentation. Same analysis. Great headlines. Not a lot of detail on how to tackle it all.
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?”
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
Continue reading “Public contracts after the General Election”
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”
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.
Continue reading “How well do you know your buyer?”
Recommendations 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.
Continue reading “Flying the Flag for Small Businesses”
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”