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%.