Tendering and Procurement Articles
Essex Wildlife Trust Business Breakfast 18th March 2013
It started with a very chilly early start on Monday morning but as the sun came up (yes the sun!!!) I realised what a beautiful frosty morning it was. Arriving at the Thameside Visitor Centre and looking out across the estuary all I could hear was the sound of skylarks…
Looking forward to a full English cooked breakfast (such a treat) we started to prepare for the ‘How to find contracts and grow your business’ breakfast organized by the Essex Wildlife Trust. Over 40 corporate members attended with presentations from BIZphit and Thurrock Council. The backdrop of the estuary, the Coryton Refinery and DP World is amazing and really shouldn’t be missed.
Questions during the presentation came thick and fast, “Why cant local businesses supply locally?” “What are the Council doing to help supply locally?”
Tim Rignall - Principal Regeneration Officer (Prosperity) at Thurrock informed businesses that he is speaking to the procurement team at the Council to help address this issue more information can be found at www.thurrock.gov.uk/business/suppliers or the government office at https://gps.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/i-am-supplier/find-opportunity
BIZphit are proud to be Corporate Members of EWT supporting the fantastic work of the county’s leading conservation charity. It has more than 32,000 members, manages and protects over 7,250 acres of land on 87 nature reserves and 2 nature parks and runs 8 visitor centres.
The aim of Essex Wildlife Trust is to Protect Wildlife for the Future. www.essexwt.org.uk
Public Procurement Savings not Captured…. no surprise there then.
A new way of doing procurement, including greater and more effective collaboration is needed across the public sector to drive further efficiency savings, London’s Managing Public Sector Procurement: Driving Innovation conference has heard’.
So now we know that the Government know what we knew a long long time ago. Our work at BizphIT leads us to the doors of many Micro and Small to Medium businesses who have decided that they would like to have a stab at gaining a piece of the cake from Public Sector procurement. But, the process has not been an easy one and not surprisingly they need help.
The difficulties of public procurement are hard to imagine, as my business partner Susan likes to remind me ‘it’s like walking through treacle whilst walking in a circle’. It’s always been a lonely place in business but in the public procurement world it’s even lonelier.
We have a tried and tested methodology for helping business to get ‘procurement fit’ because for small business without help it seems like you have to jump through so many hoops just to keep in the game let alone actually be invited to Tender.
A realisation for Government that it’s not as easy as it seems is slowly but surely sinking in, if the Government see the SME sector as being so crucial in getting the economy back on its feet why has it not done more to ease the financial burdens and to open up public procurement?
Then we hear in November that Cabinet Office Secretary Francis Maude was to announce plans to put over £50bn worth of public works and services tenders online in what is being billed as a major shake-up of central government procurement.
The idea is to make it easier and faster to bid for government work, especially for smaller companies who often lose out when pitching for public projects. Government departments will be instructed to break contracts into bite-sized chunks to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises to get involved.
I’m not sure we have seen the start of that yet; the breaking up of large contracts would certainly put a further strain on reduced local authority budgets and who is going to administer this easier and faster bid process anyway?
At BIZphIT we are optimistic that we continue to work hard for our clients and that eventually when the Government decides what the priorities are for small business engagement our clients will be readily placed to put their products and services up for tender as they will certainly be ahead of their competitors and be ‘procurement fit’.