In these uncertain times, we’ve had several contacts ask us how they can win more public sector work. Public sector contracts generally offer more contract and payment security than the private sector especially since new government initiatives to ensure on-time payments to suppliers continue (see Action Note PPN 02/20).
The government have also updated procurement policy, to allow key goods, services and works to be procured quickly (see Action Note PPN 01/20). Rather than using the traditional procurement procedure, the public sector buyer (i.e. central government, public bodies, local authorities, NHS organisations, educational bodies etc.) can now award work through shortened/accelerated procurement procedures, allowing bidders to secure public sector contracts quickly. Below, we’ve set out the key changes and, crucially, what you should do to take advantage:
Direct award – Without going through a tender process, the contract is awarded directly to a provider who can demonstrate value for money. Buyers can also use existing suppliers to provide additional services, or extend current contracts.
- Proactively contact buyers you could provide to
- Make sure your website is up to date in case they’re looking for suppliers
- Make current clients aware of your full service offering
- Confirm your willingness to participate in a contract extension if required.
Framework or DPS call-off – Many buyers will be encouraged to make use of current frameworks and DPSs to speed up the procurement process. Call-off procedures will still be followed.
- Get in touch with your framework/DPS manager and make sure your contact details, prices, and service offerings are up to date
- Ensure you’re set up to receive an alert if you’re selected to participate in a call-off
- Ask for a list of buyers who use the framework/DPS and proactively contact them
- If you’re not on a framework/DPS, search for ones that match your offering and apply! DPSs can be applied to at any time and are usually straightforward.
Short deadline tenders – For high-value tenders, the required 30 days to respond can be reduced to 14 days. For low-value tenders, the response time doesn’t change (i.e. any time the buyer chooses!). Expect a lot of short notice tenders, especially for goods, service and works such as healthcare products and temporary centres, remote working/cloud-based solutions, consultancy, and to fill gaps in the supply chain.
- With short notice tenders you need as much time as possible to respond, so finding opportunities early is key; check portals and tender alerts daily.
- If you’re too busy to look every day, try a search service like ours, where someone else will do the legwork
- Bid smart – don’t bid for everything and anything. Qualify your bid decision and once committed, give it 100%.
We’re delighted that our Quality Management System is now certified to ISO9001:2015 international standards.
When we started this journey, our priority wasn’t getting a certificate, it was building a Quality Management System that would allow us to deliver the best service to our clients. Now, our clients benefit from:
- Assurance that our management systems are externally assessed and certified.
- A continuously improving service; our customer satisfaction is currently 100%.
- A consistent, customer focused approach, no matter who you deal with.
- Having all your expectations met, with a ‘right first time’ delivery.
- A better chance of success; our win rate is an enviable 80%.
- Efficient, speedy resolutions to complaints
- Better value for money; we’ve refined our systems to ensure maximum efficiency across our services.
Achieving this certification hasn’t been easy, especially as we’ve done this alongside writing hundreds of bids over the last year! However, the experience has really allowed us to relate to our clients who are beginning their route to certification. In a competitive market, especially in the public sector, having ISO certifications are often the difference between winning or losing a contract.
We’re so proud of our achievement. To see the benefits it has brought, and continues to bring, has made all the hard work worth it. Thank you to our team, and to everyone who has provided guidance and support along the way!