Tag: SME

December Round-up and Observations from 2020

5,129

3,438

1,691

Total UK & ROI
Tenders
Low-Value
Tenders
OJEU
Tenders

688

277

1,692

Frameworks
or DPS
Prior Information
Notices
OJEU
Award Notices
Tender notices published in the UK & ROI between 01.12.20 & 31.12.20

December 2020

5,129 notices published in the last month of the year is incredibly positive. With workplaces slowing down for seasonal time off work, the last few weeks of the year normally see significantly less notices getting published. Below we can see the December totals for the last 5 years, and it is clear that December 2020 broke this trend. 

What is interesting about these stats is the high number of low value notices. OJEU notices could have been a result of obligations created by EU funding, but a significant number of low value contracts is unexpected, and means we start 2021 with plenty of opportunities SMEs can bid for.

As of 15 January 2020 there are over 5,300 live tenders across the UK and ROI, a great start to 2021 and a clear sign of the significant effort being made by the public sector to recover from the impact of the pandemic.


Our Specialists’ Observations from 2020

Tenders Direct offers a unique service where all of the tenders on our site have been individually sourced and classified by our team of Specialists. This Peer Review Process allows us to provide you with full coverage of every single UK and ROI tender, as well as applicable high value notices from the OJEU.

With Brexit and Covid-19 causing much speculation around their impact on public procurement, we caught up Carol, our Head Classification Specialist, to gain some insight into any trends she may have observed in 2020.

The amount of tenders published by the OJEU and various other sites slowed down greatly for a couple of months due to COVID and the start of offices working from home which was very worrying for us.
Suddenly this pattern changed and the number of tenders published rapidly increased day by day and the numbers we are sending out to our customers is now greater than pre-Covid which is amazing.

Some observations worth mentioning are:
◆ Some tenders which were published pre-Covid have since been cancelled and republished again to allow the maximum time for everyone to prepare their bids.
◆ There have been a significant number of tenders published that are specifically Covid related e.g. masks, PPE, disinfectants, call centre services, testing services etc.
◆ There has been a significant increase in tenders for business consultants/economists to help companies through the crisis and assist them in the future.

So despite Covid and Brexit, the number of tenders being published continues to be high and the trend is certainly upwards, so hopefully 2021 will be a very positive year.

Carol Davidson, Head Classification Specialist

Find opportunities you can bid for

With so many opportunities for work available right now, you’ll want to know how many of them are relevant to you.

Market Overview

Our Market Overviews are free, and are incredibly useful for anyone considering bidding for public contracts.
We can supply you with the number of tender opportunities published for your industry, the search categories we recommend using, and links to all the contracts published in the last year.
This information can be used to better understand what the public sector is looking for, and help you plan how public contracts fit into your overall business strategy.
Request your free Market Overview by by clicking this link.


Tenders Direct is the UK’s most accurate tender alert service. We are the only service to guarantee that with us – you’ll never miss a tender.

For more information about we can help you find and win more work in the public sector, please visit www.tendersdirect.co.uk or call us on 0800 222 9009.

SME week – 6 SME resources we love

SME information

SME informationThe business world is ever changing. To keep on top of the latest trends, it’s important for SMEs to have a resource bank of insider tips and knowledge. We have compiled a list of our top five business resource websites so you have a go-to list of sources to help inform your business practices.

  1. Bdaily Business Blog

Bdaily was founded in 2009 and provides timely news, advice and opinion content useful for SMEs. What’s good about Bdaily is that you can target news stories for specific regions in England: North East, North West, Yorkshire and London as well as national and international coverage.

  1. Gov.uk

If you’re looking for a range of advice for your small business or startup, or even if you’re just in the planning phase, gov.uk has a range of resources: advice on writing a business plan, financial planning and support, and links to the various schemes the government runs.

  1. Smallbusiness.co.uk

With a dedicated Q&A section maintained by small business experts, smallbussiness.co.uk is the hub for start-ups and SMEs looking for insider knowledge. The site covers the most important topics and advice for SMEs covering finance, business management and technology.

  1. Federation of Small Businesses

Established 40 years ago, the FSB provide a wide range of business services to their members. What makes them stand out is their legal edge: online you can access fact-sheets, legal documents and read their blog to get into the nitty gritty of regulations.

  1. Startup Britain

A ‘national campaign by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs’: Startup Britain offers inspiration, resources and guidance to help people start and grow their own business. Startup Britain have local support centres and run events which you can find via their interactive map online.

  1. Tenders Direct – Things to help you

For guidance specific to public sector tendering, our ‘Things to help you’ section on Tenders Direct has guides, infographics and handy procurement links to help suppliers with their procurement exercises.

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Procurement terminology: what are ‘small’ lots?

In public procurement, lots, and in particular ‘small lots’ small lotare often an area of much confusion. What is a small lot and what does the small lot threshold mean?

Hopefully this SMALL blog entry will answer a LOT of your questions.

Continue reading “Procurement terminology: what are ‘small’ lots?”

Little fish in a bid pond? How SMEs can break into public sector procurement.

A lot of potential suppliers to the public sector are put off by the amount of work it takes to become tender ready and what seems to be a chicken and egg situation where you need references to pass the PQQ (selection) stage but can’t get references until you win a contract!

The changes to the procurement regulations this year have made in roads to this situation with the abolition of PQQs for below threshold contracts and the removal of the burden of proof for above threshold contracts but there are a number of steps SMEs (and all organisations new to public sector tendering) can take to get a foot in the door and start supplying to the public sector. Continue reading “Little fish in a bid pond? How SMEs can break into public sector procurement.”

Why are framework agreements important to SMEs?

Link to Tenders Direct homepage

In our blog about election manifestos one thing that was clear is that all the main parties feel that involvement of SMEs in procurement is the key to economic growth. The current Government set a target of 25% of all Central Governments spend to be with SMEs when it came to power in 2010 and it met this target in the 2013-2014 financial year. Framework agreements represent around 45% of procurements in the UK and compared to other EU nations the UK uses this type the most. The purpose of this blog is to explain how important framework agreements can be for SMEs.

Continue reading “Why are framework agreements important to SMEs?”

2015 Procurement Regulations – Changes to the PQQ Stage – What Suppliers need to know.

As part of our series of blogs on the 2015 Procurement Regulations, we are going to look at the main changes to the two common stages in procurement – the PQQ stage in this blog and in a couple of days we will look at the ITT stage. It is important to know what changes you can expect and how you need to prepare for them if you are a supplier to the public sector.

The most important changes to the PQQ stage in the new regulations are:   

A turnover cap has been introduced to facilitate SME participation. Contracting authorities will not be able to set company turnover requirements at more than two times the contract value, except where there is a specific justification. This will be of benefit to a lot of suppliers but given the point made in our previous blog about contracting authorities not being mandated to break contracts down into lots this means you must have a turn over circa £223K (unless the contract is being broken down into lots) which will still inhibit a lot of smaller or newly established companies from competing.  In any case, from today make sure all contracts you are applying for follow this rule to open up as many doors as possible. If the turn over requirement is more than two times the contract value then ask why – there may be justification but it might just be an error that the procurement team can rectify, giving you the opportunity to compete for the business. Continue reading “2015 Procurement Regulations – Changes to the PQQ Stage – What Suppliers need to know.”

New 2015 Procurement Regulations – Will SMEs benefit from the changes?

The official public contracts regulations which govern UK public sector procurement have been published and are coming in to force on the 26th February 2015.

One of the main aims of the regulations and their precursor strategies ( such as Europe 2020 and the Lord Young report) was to encourage more participation from SME companies in tendering exercises and ultimately to get more SMEs supplying to the public sector.

The current government set the lofty target of 25% of government spend going to SMEs by 2015, a target which is a long way from being met so the key questions for organisations looking to supply into the public sector in light of the new regulations are 1) What has changed? and, more importantly, 2) What does this actually mean for me?

What has changed?

Some of the more significant changes in the new regulations are:

 

  • Tendering documents have to be available from the date of OJEU advertisement – no more registering interest and chasing for updates from the contracting authority.

 

  • Reduced timescales for procurement – on average they have reduced timeframes by a third and have introduced the new Accelerated Open procedure for OJEU tenders and have prohibited the use of a PQQ stage for low value contracts.

Continue reading “New 2015 Procurement Regulations – Will SMEs benefit from the changes?”

Millstream offers key to SME success in securing public sector tenders

For many organisations, but particularly SMEs, public sector tendering opportunities are an important way of securing new business, with hundreds of local contracts in every industry published every week.

The key to winning public sector tenders lies in knowing where to find the best information, choosing the appropriate contract size and building good relationships, according to Aberdeen-based electronic tendering provider Millstream.

“A number of European governments and public authorities now handle procurement electronically in order to save money and time and to comply with the latest EU legislation so there are literally thousands of opportunities out there,” said managing director Tim Williams.

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

Tim Williams, MD at Millstream Associates

Continue reading “Millstream offers key to SME success in securing public sector tenders”

Does Size Matter? SMEs in Public Sector Procurement

The public sector is a potentially lucrative source of business, as the UK spends about £222 billion a year on procurement.  There are also certain advantages to working with public sector organisations; they are required by EU law to be transparent and fair in the way they choose suppliers, they are very stable and reputable, and usually make prompt payments.

Continue reading “Does Size Matter? SMEs in Public Sector Procurement”

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