New to the tendering process?

Tender writing can make or break your chances of being successful in the public sector marketplace.

If you have found a great opportunity for your business, but do not know where to begin when it comes to tender writing, this blog is for you!

 

Tender writing for beginners

The fact is you must write a tender response before you win a contract.

As part of the tendering process, the bidder must put together a tender proposal. If you are new to procurement, this can be tricky as there is no tried and tested template to follow each time you bid for a contract.

That said, every tender is different, which means your response should be unique and tailored to the individual buyer’s requirements every time you bid for work with a public sector organisation.

 

What does a tender writer do?

A lot of work goes in to winning tenders.

Some SMEs have a tender writer or a bid writing team, that is focused on writing winning tenders. Realistically, however, many SMEs do not have the resources to have a dedicated team.

If your business does not have a bid writing team, it is important that your employees work together to submit a quality-controlled document that displays all the great things your business can offer the public sector and that answers all the questions asked by the buyer in any SQ or tender document.

A bid writer will not only write the bid but should carry out research on the client to understand their requirements.

In some cases, to gain a clearer understanding of a potential client’s requirements, a bid writer will arrange a meeting or have a telephone conversation with the buying authority before they begin work on the tender response.

Asking questions is an important part of the tender writing process. When bidding for tenders, you have every right to formally contact the buyer to fully understand the contract. You can ask:

  • The scope of the contract
  • How the tender will be scored
  • Confirm the tender procedure
  • What the value of the contract is over the full contract lifecycle

 

A bid writer should never be afraid to reach out to a contracting authority. Buyers want the best possible outcome for their procurements, so it is in their own interests to help every supplier submit the most accurate and well-informed bid.

 

How do you draft a tender?

Although there no one-size-fits-all template for tender writing, there are ways you can make sure that your tender response shows off what you can do and makes the buying authority really take notice.

Here are our tips for drafting tenders.

 

Start from scratch

Copy and paste may seem tempting but try to avoid using stock answers when applying for tenders, as an experienced buyer will be able to spot them from a mile away.

Tailoring your response will only benefit you. If you do not take time to read the questions and give a specific answer to them, then you have failed before you have started. Make sure that your responses answer the questions that the buyer is is asking, not the ones you wish they were asking, and that key information in each response is easily found and understood.

 

Be specific

When drafting a tender response, it is important that you give detail and confirm clearly how much the goods or services you are offering cost, the time scales involved, and how long the project will take.

This is where the research you did earlier comes in to play as you can talk about the benefit you can offer, focusing specifically on that client as you will understand what matters to them. Zone in on their needs and how the services or products your business can offer can solve their problems.

 

Stand out from the crowd

Rhyming off the benefits of working with your business is a good place to start but have a think about what differentiates your business from your competitors and what your solution can offer beyond the scope of the contract.

It is important that you always specify the add-ons which are included in your price, as the buyer may not have worked with your business before. Little things can add up: the small things could be a deciding factor in a buyer’s decision, so give them the full details of what your business can offer as part of your package.

“Added value” is an incredibly important part of the selection questionnaire but suppliers often ask, “what does that mean?”.

This section is the part where you can promote what your business does. For example, if your business supplies equipment, mention in the Added Value section if your business will fit it for free or offer a maintenance package.

What does the public sector look for?

If you want to win tenders, you must offer price and quality.

Public sector organisations want to achieve efficiency savings and invest in sustainable solutions that will offer real value to their organisation. That said, the The cheapest bid does not always win. Many organisations are moving towards which takes consideration of issues, other than just price.

The UK Public Procurement Regulations 2015 state that when buyers are scoring a tender, the focus is not just to be placed on price, but on the best value for money – the best price for the best quality, which increasingly includes life-cycle costs such as parts, maintenance and even disposal.

 

The tender process

The tendering process can be complex – we give you a quick overview below.

The first step in the tender process may often be to complete a questionnaire. This is designed to help the buyer shortlist the most suitable companies and invite them to submit a full tender. In other cases, you may go straight to the tender.

If you are selected, it is vital that you allow enough time to collate the necessary information and to write and submit the tender.

Writing a good tender may take longer than you think, so always make sure you leave enough time for your submission to be proofed by a colleague, who may have feedback to offer – and fresh eyes to see your typos!

If you submit a late tender, your response will be disqualified immediately. To ensure that this does not happen, get your references and all supporting documents in place well in advance, including a covering letter that responds to the bid invitation.

After submitting a bid, it will be scored and evaluated by the buyer. At this point the buyer still might be uncertain about the supplier it wants to work with and may want to examine your bid in greater detail.

In some cases, they may want to check for themselves whether your business can meet their requirements. They may do this by setting up a site visit, interview, or meeting. When a public sector organisation is deciding on suppliers to work with, environmental and social impacts should always be taken into consideration.

As public sector organisations spend using the public purse, they must be open and transparent about the companies that they are spending with. To ensure that public funds are spent with businesses that benefit the community, organisations across the public sector include ethical sourcing policies in their operational standards and principles.

In due course, you will hear whether your bid has been successful or not. Even if you do not win the contract, ask for feedback. Every bidder is entitled to feedback from the buyer, and it may help you to succeed another time.

If you do succeed and are awarded the contract, then the work of fulfilling the contract begins.

 

How can Supply2Gov help?

Whether you are taking your first steps towards tendering, or just looking to brush up your skills before your next government contract bid, we have got a host of resources to help you every step of the way.

Our Tender Ready Toolkit, which is full of useful hints and tips, can help you get the most out of our tender alerts service as well as develop your tendering strategy.

Here is what you will get in the toolkit:

  • Top tendering tips on how to prepare for your next tender
  • Step by step guides that help you create a winning email alert profile
  • Checklists for completing important documents such as the Selection Questionnaire

 

Start winning work by registering on Supply2Gov for instant free access to your chosen local area and receive your tender ready toolkit today.

Finder tenders with Supply2Gov.

 

 

 

 

 

The UK government’s infrastructure and construction spending plans have been revealed.

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority has released the latest National Infrastructure and Construction Procurement Pipeline. This pipeline will be a central pillar for the UK’s National Infrastructure Strategy, as well as a full ten-year projection of spend, which is due to be published later this year.

We reveal the government’s main focuses for infrastructure and construction and its spending plans for 2020/21 below.

 

Investment into infrastructure

The Government’s March 2020 Budget revealed that it planned on allocating significantly more investment to public services and infrastructure to support the country’s growth in the long term.

The Budget document stated that “for too long the UK has under-invested in infrastructure, leaving many people stuck with delays and poor service”, and it revealed several spending plans:

 

  • The largest ever investment in English strategic roads, with over £27 billion planned spend between 2020 and 2025. This money will support the repair of 50 million potholes across the UK, and investment in urban transport, with £4.2 billion for five-year, integrated transport settlements for eight city regions.

 

  • Funding was also allocated to the Shared Rural Network agreement to radically improve mobile coverage in rural areas.

 

  • £5.2 billion was allocated for flood defences between 2021 and 2027.

 

  • A £10.9 billion increase was announced to support the commitment to build at least 1 million new homes by the end of the Parliament.

 

 

National Infrastructure and Construction Procurement Pipeline

Procurements contained within the latest National Infrastructure and Construction Procurement Pipeline have an estimated total contract value of between £29 billion and £37 billion.

Many of these opportunities will be awarded to larger contractors – but this doesn’t mean that your business can’t win work here. SMEs often win government work through another larger contractor via the supply chain – an excellent way for a company to get its foot in the public sector door. A large organisation may win the contract, but that does not mean they will deliver all aspects of it. SMEs can contact the main supplier to find out whether there are sub-contracting opportunities available. This is seen as a valuable way for smaller businesses to establish relationships, win public sector business and build credentials.

 

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority has confirmed that procurements in this pipeline include a broad range of works across infrastructure and construction such as:

  • construction work including building, design & build and civil engineering contracts
  • repair and maintenance services
  • architectural, construction, engineering, and inspection services
  • consultancy services

 

Find opportunities with Supply2Gov

This area of procurement is extremely varied. Whether you are looking for work in house building, infrastructure, or a specific trade, you will be able to find tenders for your business using our search tool.

Register for free today to start finding opportunities in your local area.

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The UK Government is a hugely desirable client for SME businesses.

Why? Organisations across the public sector (NHS, police UK Ministry of Defence, to name a few) require a huge volume of services to keep the country running and winning these contracts can be like hitting a gold mine!

Another benefit is prompt payment. A public sector organisation must pay its suppliers and the wider supply chain on time – there is a legal requirement for invoices to be paid within 30 days.

Sounds great, but to win a contract (over £10,000) with a public sector organisation you must tender for it. We explain “what is a tender?” below and give expert advice on how to win opportunities below.

 

What actually is a tender?

Put simple, a tender means contract opportunity. Defined in BiP Solutions’ Ultimate Guide to Procurement:

A public sector contract can also be called a ‘tender’ and the procurement process is sometimes known as ‘tendering’, but it all comes down to the same thing: a public sector organisation buying goods, works or services.”

When the public sector decides to buy any goods, works or services, it publishes a contract notice (or tender notice). Some examples of public sector organisations that use the tendering process include: central government departments, local government, councils, the NHS, the police and other emergency services.

As the UK government makes these purchases using money raised from public taxes, procurement must be fair and transparent. Any public sector organisation publishing tenders over a certain value (or ‘threshold’) must advertise it in the ‘Official Journal of the European Union’ (OJEU).

 

Tendered meaning

If a business has “tendered” for a contract it means that it has placed a bid with a buying organisation for a specific tender.

 

How tendering works

First the buying authority will publish a contract notice or other request for tenders (RFT), detailing its requirement (what it wants to buy) together with a deadline by which suppliers need to request to participate or submit a tender and information about how a supplier can access documents with more information. Once this is published, the process is open to all qualified bidders.

The procurement marketplace is open to suppliers of all sizes, as tenders with the public sector range from stationary to cleaning services. Whether a public sector organisation is looking for a supplier to supply works, goods or services, buyers must follow a well-defined tendering process that ensures that the selection process is fair and transparent.

 

Tendering meaning

A “tender” is the actual bid that is submitted by a supplier to win work. The phrase “tendering” is often used to cover the whole process from the publication of the contract notice to the bidding on the contract itself.

 

Tender process

The tender process starts with a public sector buyer publishing a tender (for example an NHS organisation may publish a tender for a uniform supplier). By doing this they will generate competing offers. A winning tender will meet the specific requirements outlined in the contract notice and may offer some kind of “added value” to the organisation, which they will demonstrate throughout the tender documents below.

Learn more about how the tender process works.

 

What is a tender document?

A tender document is created at the beginning stages of the procurement process. It is a request written by buyers detailing the goods, works or services that they require and the criteria on which they will award the contract to a supplier or suppliers. Once the contract notice has been published and advertised, suppliers can obtain a copy of the tender document to get all the information they need to bid for the contract opportunity if it is relevant to them.

When reading a tender document, make sure that you are looking at the buyer’s requirements closely, as this will help you to write a bid that offers what they need as well as want.

 

Choosing a tender to bid for

The best advice for SMEs looking to work with the public sector is to choose your contracts carefully – be realistic.

If you think that your business lacks the capacity or resources to complete the task, then there is little point in going after that specific tender.

Don’t waste your time by bidding tenders that your business cannot commit to or can’t afford to spend its resources on. Principal PASS Consultant and procurement expert, Eddie Regan says that:

“Small businesses and micro businesses must identify markets that are suitable for them. It is important that you identify the market, find the niche and have something that buyers are looking for.”

 

Win tenders with Supply2Gov

Now you know a tenders meaning, it’s time to start winning.

At Supply2Gov we help new and existing suppliers find tenders that are right for their business, to help them grow in this lucrative market.

We help our customers get started with our Supply2Gov guides so that they can make the most of the opportunities that are available to then and learn more about public sector procurement.

When it comes to finding opportunities, our team can also help. We put all our contract information in one simple place for you. This tender database is the UK and Republic of Ireland’s largest and is researched from over 3,000 sources (we publish more opportunities than even the Government’s own national contract services).

Registration is free and easy, and we can help you to find tenders relevant to your business right away.

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New to procurement?

Procurement processes and jargon can often confuse beginners. Public sector procurement is governed by regulations and rules. Although they may be hard to remember at first, they have been created to make sure that the procurement process is fair for all those involved.

Getting to grips with it all can take a long time and even those who have been working within public sector procurement for years can get confused.

If you learn one thing about procurement today, OJEU procurement is a great place to start.

 

What does OJEU stand for?

OJEU is an abbreviation for the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

What is OJEU?

Public procurement is different from when private companies do business. As public sector organisations are financed by public money raised from taxes, procurement must be fair, transparent and offer value of money to the taxpayer.

When a public sector body within the European Union wants to buy any goods, works, or services over a certain value (“threshold”) it must advertise in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). This advertisement takes the form of a contract notice, also known as a tender notice.

The OJEU is the online journal in which all these tenders are published daily in every EU official language.

The UK stopped being a member of the European Union on 31 January 2020 and entered a transition period – which is currently expected to end no sooner than 31 December 2020. During the transition period, buyers in the UK continue to have to send their contract notices for publication in the OJEU.

During the transition periodno significant change in public procurement process. The UK continues to be governed by the same procurement rules as the EU because these rules became part of UK law as the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and Public Contracts Regulations (Scotland) Regulations 2015.

When the transition period ends, changes to the rules and processes governing public procurement are possible – though the core principles of transparency, market engagement and SME involvement are likely to be amplified rather than reduced.

 

What is OJEU procurement?

OJEU procurement is governed by an elaborate set of regulations, all designed to create a fair, standard and transparent set of rules applicable to every country in the EU, and to the UK at least until the end of the transition period. Public sector buyers are legally required to comply with these regulations.

All public sector contracts worth over a specified value threshold must be sent to the OJEU. These OJEU thresholds apply to all contracting authorities, as defined by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, including all central government departments, their Executive Agencies, Non-Departmental Public Bodies, Executive Agencies, and the wider public sector.

 

What is the OJEU process?

When a buyer decides to undertake a procurement (buy something) that has to be advertised in the OJEU, they have to follow one of a set of procurement procedures. The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 set out the procedures, each of which consists of a set of steps that must be followed by both buyers and suppliers.

Each procedure has a different process. We list each of the five most common OJEU procedure below and how they work.

 

Open Procedure 

Great for beginners, the open procedure is the only one stage process. Bidders are expected to complete the selection criteria and the tender at the same time and submit them by the required time and date as specified in the documentation.

Our parent company, BiP Solutions, has stated in its Ultimate Guide to Procurement that:

“The Open Procedure offers SMEs a better chance of success as all the parties who successfully meet the selection criteria will have their tender evaluated, whereas in the Restricted Procedure the buyer need only invite five bids and in the other procedures they need only invite three bids.

After the evaluation stage of an open procedure, the contract awarded to the successful bidder.

 

Restricted Procedure

The restricted procedure has two stages. The first stage is the Selection Stage (SQ), which is identical to the selection stage in the Open Procedure.

This time the SQs are evaluated first,after which the buyer will invite a minimum of five contractors to respond to the Invitation to Tender (ITT) by submitting a full tender by a set deadline.

After the ITT stage, the buying authority will evaluate the responses and the contract will be awarded to the successful bidder.

 

Competitive Procedure with Negotiation 

This procedure is often used for the procurement of innovative solutions, or where customisation may be required, or where a detailed specification cannot be easily produced or there is a need for negotiation with bidders.

Where negotiation is required, this will take place after the return and evaluation of tenders and before an award decision is made. Bidders engaged in the negotiation stage can be required to submit revised or new tenders following the conclusion of negotiations.

 

Competitive Dialogue 

The competitive dialogue procedure also has two stages and is used in the same fashion as the Competitive Procedure with Negotiation.

Following the SQ stage, there is a stage titled ‘Invitation to Participate in Dialogue’ (ITPD). At the ITPD stage, buyers will discuss with those successful at SQ the outline of the solutions they are proposing and may undertake mini bidding rounds to narrow down the number of bidders to take to the next stage.

Following conclusion of the ITPD stage, the buying authority will move to the full Dialogue stage of the procedure and will work closely with those invited to this stage, to test and assess the solutions being put forward.

Only once the authority determines that they have exhausted the dialogue and can proceed to tender will they issue the ITT, evaluate responses, and award the contract.

 

Innovation Partnership

If your organisation offers cutting-edge innovative solutions – pay attention to this procedure.

This procedure was invested for the procurement of goods, works or services which cannot be met by any solution currently available in the market.

Great for SMEs, an innovation partnership encourages new suppliers to bring new solutions into the public procurement arena,

The procedure for this kind of procurement mirrors the Competitive Procedure with Negotiation in its structure and allows the buyer to undertake research and development with the aim to delivering an outcome.

Supply2Gov explains more about the public sector procurement process in the ‘How to Apply for Public Sector Tenders’ blog.

 

What is the Current OJEU Threshold?

What is “OJEU threshold” ?

Every two years, the public sector procurement thresholds are updated by the European Commission. Supply2Gov provides the updated public sector OJEU thresholds of 2020/2021 here.

These thresholds will help potential new suppliers better understand the value of the UK tenders that are sent to them every day in Supply2Gov’s tender alerts.

 

How long does the OJEU process take?

Each procedure is different, so there is no one timescale for how long a procurement will take.

That said, the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 set out specific procedures which may be used for contracting and the subsequent minimum timescales that may be applied. You can access these timescales here.

 

What is non-OJEU procurement?

EU regulations requiring a contract to be published in the OJEU kick in when the value of a public sector contract may or will exceed certain specified financial thresholds.

Non-OJEU tenders are tenders that are below than the threshold value.

 

Find OJEU tenders with Supply2Gov

Find OJEU tenders with Supply2Gov.

Supply2Gov users will continue to benefit from access to the most comprehensive and up to date source of contract opportunities in the UK and in Ireland throughout the “transition period”.

The UK public sector is a vibrant, diverse, and positive marketplace for suppliers of all sizes and specialisms. While Brexit creates challenges and change, the overall opportunity – aligned to increased investment into areas such as health, defence, education, and infrastructure – remains vast.

At Supply2Gov we help new and existing suppliers find contracts that are right for their business, to help them grow in this lucrative market.

Find the right OJEU tender for your business. Sign up to Supply2Gov tender alerts and start receiving tender opportunities straight to your inbox. You will gain access to one free geographical location of your choice to help get you started.

 

Register for free

 

If you liked this blog, read our “How do I apply for a tender in the UK?” blog next.

 

At Supply2Gov we love to share the success stories of small businesses winning work with the public sector!

We were delighted to hear that a small firm from Edinburgh, IHF Ltd, has won the contract to fit trams with alarms that can prevent potential disasters.

Read more about this exciting contract opportunity below…

 

IHF Ltd contract win

IHF Ltd beat stiff competition to win the Driver Innovation Safety Challenge (DISC) contract. More than 113 businesses applied, including several larger companies.

For the £168,000 Driver Innovation Safety Challenge (DISC) contract, IHF Ltd will implement systems that are designed to monitor tram drivers and give early warning if they fall asleep, black out or lose focus.

Although many of Edinburgh trams have similar systems in place, this new technology will pick up subtle indicators faster, monitoring drivers’ heart rate, sweat, and breathing.

The public sector has been looking to work with suppliers in this area in recent years after high-profile disasters such as the Croydon tram crash in 2016 when a tram derailed on a bend killing seven people, and the Glasgow bin lorry crash in 2014 which killed six people.

Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News, IHF’s CEO Neil Clark said:

“It was really nice to come out on top as a small Edinburgh company working with such a big Edinburgh project.”

 

Local government opportunities are on the rise

Inspired by this latest SME win? Start looking for local government opportunities for your industry.

As stated in BiP Solutions’ latest market trends report, local government procurement has been the busiest area of procurement for three months running, with the sector publishing 354 notices in one week at the beginning of May.

Many local government opportunities are eminently suitable for SMEs, making local government an ideal area for businesses looking to start working with the public sector. The ongoing scale of local government procurement can be seen in BiP’s market report, which states that the value of local government sector contract notices is over £1 billion a week, hitting £ 1,767,095,859 earlier in May 2020. This figure is more remarkable, given that over 50% of local government contract notices do not state a contract value.

The fact that such sums are being spent in one week by one sector indicates the strength of the public sector procurement marketplace and its importance as a source of opportunity for business.

 

Win local tender opportunities

With Supply2Gov, it is easier than you think to find local authority tendering opportunities. Our users can access local council tenders from across the UK with our tender alerts tool.

We publish local council tenders from throughout the UK and the whole of Ireland and give our customers the choice of the area/country that suits their business.

Get started by registering for free local tender alerts with Supply2Gov.

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The rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak has left many SMEs feeling uncertain about their future.

Information and advice from Government can change quickly, which is why Supply2Gov is committed to supporting its customers and the supplier market through this challenging time.

Find out the latest information around the support SME businesses can receive during the Coronavirus pandemic below.

 

New loan scheme available in May

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced a new 100% government backed loan scheme for small business at the end of April.

Small businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within a matter of days. These loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online.

Those in need of financial support can apply through a short, standardised online application. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

“Our smallest businesses are the backbone of our economy and play a vital role in their communities. This new rapid loan scheme will help ensure they get the finance they need quickly to help survive this crisis.

This is in addition to business grants, tax deferrals, and the job retention scheme, which are already helping to support hundreds of thousands of small businesses.”

 

Businesses will be able to apply for a loan from Monday 4 May. The government is working with lenders to ensure loans delivered through this scheme are advanced as quickly as possible. Lenders will also agree with businesses on a low standardised level of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

UK Government supporting small businesses

The UK government has provided over £15 billion for business since its coronavirus response launched. Funding has been allocated to the following areas:

  • Job retention scheme – more than 500,000 claims have already been made to the value of £4.5billion
  • Business grants – half a million business properties have benefited from £6 billion of business grants
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – with over 20,000 loans
  • The Covid Corporate Financing Facility, which has provided over £14 billion for larger firms
  • VAT deferrals worth billions of pounds
  • Scrapped businesses rates
  • The government is also covering the cost of statutory sick pay

We are here to help

Within public sector supply chains, COVID-19 is impacting both what the public sector buys and how it buys. Our experience, expertise and insight are fully at your disposal, ensuring you can navigate through this period successfully, and prepare for opportunities now and in the future.

We are proud to own the largest database of contract and award data in the UK, coupled with the core insight that you need to improve your win rate with the public sector.

Find public sector contracts with Supply2Gov.

Get Started

 

 

* All information provided in this article is given in good faith. However, to the extent that any actions taken in relation to matters concerning procurement, the above article does not constitute legal advice to you. The contents of these articles are not to be construed as legal advice or a substitute for such advice, which you should obtain from your own legal advisors if required. We are not and shall not be held responsible for anything done or not done by you as a result of the information provided.

 

 

The Scottish Government extended the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) Call for Ideas from 31 March to 30 April, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Closing tomorrow, this includes the housing technical discussion paper and the invitation to submit projects for consideration as national developments.

 

What is the National Planning Framework?

Scotland’s NPF is a long-term spatial plan that sets out where development and infrastructure is needed in the country, to support sustainable and inclusive growth.

NPF4 will guide spatial development, set out Scotland’s national policies, designate national developments and reflect regional spatial priorities.

The Scottish Government believes that NPF4 has a huge part to play in how the country shapes its development between now and 2050. On the government website it states:

 

“It will be a long-term development plan for Scotland, setting out where development and infrastructure will be needed to support sustainable and inclusive growth while facing up to some domestic and global challenges. This is to be Scotland’s fourth National Planning Framework, and we need people from across sectors and from across Scotland to help us design it.”

 

How to get involved?

All suppliers are asked to watch a short PowerPoint which provides the context to NPF4.

They must then think about what they can deliver around NPF4’s 5 themes of climate change, people, work, place, and delivery.

This must be demonstrated as outlined on the Scottish Government’s website. All Ideas can be submitted to scotplan@gov.scot.

If you are unable to get involved before early engagement period closes, the Scottish Government insists that there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved at other stages, including the formal consultation period on the draft NPF4 in the autumn.

 

As the coronavirus crisis rages on, the construction industry is still adjusting to the ‘lockdown’ way of life.

New research from Glenigan has confirmed that “3,000 on-site projects have been impacted by COVID-19”, with work halting on 29% of UK construction sites at the beginning of April 2019.

 

COVID-19 and the impact on the UK construction sector

Although the Government has given formal approval for work on HS2 to commence its construction phase, many other construction projects have been interrupted.

Devolved authorities across the country have suspended works due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Glenigan has reported that:

“Northern Ireland has been the hardest hit, following the decision by the Northern Ireland Executive to suspend work on almost all construction sites.”

“Non-essential” sites have also been told to close by the Scottish government, which will have a significant impact upon private housing and non-residential sites. It is believed that 79% of Scottish sites are now currently suspended.

The Scottish government has released a new Construction Policy Note (CPN) 1/2020 which complements Scottish Procurement Policy Notes 4/2020 and 5/2020. The policy note states:

“Scottish Government’s objective for the construction sector during the COVID-19 pandemic is to help ensure that Scotland as a whole takes a responsible approach to the containment of COVID-19 while being in a position to respond to both critical and longer term recovery requirements.”

 

When will sites reopen?

It is unclear when life will go back to normal for the construction industry. However, some sites have begun to reopen.

It has been confirmed that Bouygues UK is to reopen some of their sites week commencing 20 April 2020, after a three-week shutdown to review safe working practices. A spokesman for the organisation has said:

“Safety remains our priority. We have been working in close collaboration with our staff, supply chain and clients to ensure work can continue safely.”

 

How can Supply2Gov help?

Supply2Gov is committed to supporting its customers and the supplier market through this challenging time. Within public sector supply chains, COVID-19 is impacting both what the public sector buys and how it buys. Our experience, expertise and insight are fully at your disposal, ensuring you can navigate through this period successfully, and prepare for opportunities now and in the future.

We are proud to own the largest database of contract and award data in the UK, coupled with the core insight that you need to improve your win rate with the public sector.

Learn more about how you can find construction tenders with Supply2Gov.

Find Construction Tenders

 

 

* All information provided in this article is given in good faith. However, to the extent that any actions taken in relation to matters concerning procurement, the above article does not constitute legal advice to you. The contents of these articles are not to be construed as legal advice or a substitute for such advice, which you should obtain from your own legal advisors if required. We are not and shall not be held responsible for anything done or not done by you as a result of the information provided.

 

 

When the public and private sectors come together, both parties can benefit.

The UK government wants businesses to grow and succeed, and in recent years has made several promises to open the public sector procurement market to new suppliers and those from SME backgrounds.

With the public sector always looking to improve its service delivery and identify new, innovative suppliers, it may be worthwhile to start looking for new opportunities within this thriving marketplace.

 

Is government contracting right for your business?

There is a high chance your business could find work with the public sector as it procures a diverse range of goods, works and services. The public sector needs everything from pencils to buildings, all of which need to be purchased via the public procurement process.

The UK Government spends around £284 billion on goods, works  and services each year and thousands of suppliers are getting a piece of the action.

That said, your business should weigh up the pros and cons of entering this market before it gets started. We weigh up the pros and cons of government contracting below.

 

Pros

 

  • Government contracts can guarantee a small business ongoing revenue and stable cash flow which in turn will support their businesses development.
  • The public sector marketplace is a fair playing field. Transparency in the public sector is a must, so government bodies have to be honest and professional in the way they choose suppliers.
  • Unlike private sector contracts, the public sector is never a bad debt risk. The public sector must pay promptly. Accounts must be paid within 30 days of receiving a valid bill or invoice.
  • Even if your business fails to win a contract, you are entitled to ask for a debrief. This feedback will help your business to grow and understand where you went wrong this time. If you do decide to go back to the drawing board and bid for another tender, make sure you use this information to your advantage and learn from your mistakes.
  • Having a public sector client on your books will look great to other potential clients and will help you to build references for future procurements.

 

Cons

  • If you think that your business will get rich quick through government contracting, then think again. The procurement process is intricate and lengthy. Your business will invest a lot of time bidding for contracts – some that it may not win.
  • It can be difficult for beginners to get their head around the public sector procurement process. If you are new to the process, there are lots of great resources you can use to help you get started. Supply2Gov customers are given top tendering tips when they join which give users the knowledge necessary to tackle procurement in the right way to succeed.
  • If you are bidding for work with the public sector, your business will need to afford the short-term costs of fulfilling the contract. Even if your business is successful, there may be costs as you may have to travel after winning the contract or pay additional staff to fulfil the specification.

 

We take the hard part out of government tendering

The benefits of government contracting outweigh the cons and we are here to help get you through the process.

At Supply2Gov we help new and existing suppliers find contracts that are right for their business, to help them grow in this lucrative market.

We help our customers get started with our Supply2Gov guides so that they can make the most of the opportunities that are available to then and learn more about public sector procurement.

When it comes to finding opportunities, our team can also help. We put all our contract information in one simple to use place for you. This tender database is the UK and Republic of Ireland’s largest and is researched from over 3,000 sources (we publish more opportunities than even the Government’s own national contract services).

Registration is free and easy, and we can help you to find opportunities relevant to your business right away.

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