The Government calls for competition and diversity within the 5G supply chain

5g

 

The UK Government has ambitions to have most of the country covered by a 5G signal by 2027.

The latest publication from Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport: “UK Telecoms Supply Chain Review Report”, calls for competition and diversity within the supply chain to support this.

The report also gives details of how the UK Government is preparing for any potential risks posed by 5G and has concludes that policy and regulation surrounding the enforcement of network security need to be tightened.

 

Diverse supply chains

Within the “UK Telecoms Supply Chain Review Report”, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Jeremy Wright MP calls for competition and diversity within the supply chain. Mr Wright said this is needed “if we are to drive innovation and reduce the risk of dependency on individual suppliers.”

Moving forward, the UK Government will pursue “a targeted diversification strategy, supporting the growth of new players in the parts of the network that pose security and resilience risks,” Mr Wright added.

 

Cyber Essentials Certification

Tech Crunch has reported that the Government will “seek to attract trusted and established firms to the UK market,” to ensure that the future “vibrant and diverse telecoms market” is fit for purpose for both consumers and national security.

5G will create new challenges for security and resilience in the UK as the technology’s “technical characteristics create a greater surface for potential attacks.”

Suppliers should be able to show how they manage these risks when bidding for 5G contracts that will be coming out in the next few years  Since the 1 October 2014, the UK government has taken steps to reduce the levels of cyber security risk within its supply chain.

All suppliers must comply with Cyber Essentials controls if bidding for government contracts “which involve handling of sensitive and personal information and provision of certain technical products and services.”

 

Tendering with Tracker

Tracker’s business intelligence tools help suppliers win more opportunities with the public sector. Stay up to date with the latest news around public sector tendering by visiting the Tracker blog section.

Are you ready to start winning more tenders? Request your live Tracker demo.

Top 4 challenges in procurement

jig saw

 

If your business is already winning work with the public sector, then you will understand the challenges that come from within this marketplace.

That said, the benefits of having a public sector customer well outweigh the disadvantages and most often these challenges can be resolved if your business is using the right tools to support your search for public sector tenders.

We explore the top four challenges in procurement right now.

 

Inaccurate data

In the past we have written in great detail about how your business can beat big data with Business Intelligence.

In the modern world, an endless volume of data is produced daily, leaving suppliers to the public sector with endless amounts of content to search through.

That said, your business must also acknowledge that the data you are sourcing could be inaccurate. Inaccuracy is one of the main challenges buyers are facing as the procurement process moves towards automation.

How can suppliers tackle this? Tracker’s Market Intelligence tool allows suppliers to make informed business decisions based on fact.

Tracker’s in-house research team review business and government news daily from our database of more than 5,000 unique sources so that our users have the most up to date details on data that is relevant to them.

 

Visibility of frameworks

Many public sector organisations choose to procure through framework agreements. If your business is not on a framework it could be losing out on valuable opportunities.

Procurement frameworks are perfect for a business that is already winning work with the public sector and wants to expand its client base, while building long-term relationships with buyers.

Here’s the catch. Once a framework agreement closes, your business cannot join it, and they usually last for up to four years. That is why it is so important for your business to have visibility of thee opportunities when they arise.

Tracker’s Frameworks module can combat this as users can easily find new framework notices for application and research active and prior frameworks to better understand a buyer’s requirements.

 

Long process cycle

The procurement cycle includes several key steps buyers should take when procuring goods or services. In some cases, this process can be lengthy, and it could leave your business waiting on an opportunity it may not even win.

This is where early engagement comes into play. Early supplier engagement is a growing area of importance for around 65% of public sector buyers in the UK* and it could help put your business in a stronger position to win bids.

Rather than waiting around for opportunities to arise, make sure that the public sector is aware of your presence and expertise within the marketplace with early engagement. Buyers can learn more about the marketplace and gain insight by engaging with the suppliers who design the products or services they require.

Seek opportunities for early engagement by using Market Leads. This Tracker tool gives users instant visibility of new and pipeline opportunities long before contract notices are published, which means users can engage earlier with buyers and learn more about their needs.

 

Missed opportunities

Is your business being strategic when it comes to finding tender opportunities? Many businesses often find opportunities when it’s too late. One way to combat this is by subscribing to a tender alerts solution.

This kind of tool eliminates manual search and is perfect for any business that wants to spend more time bidding for and winning public sector business than searching for it.

Tracker’s Tenders Plus includes Tender Alerts and Market Intelligence alongside several other modules that can help you find both public sector contract opportunities and private supply chain opportunities.

 

Grow your customer base with Tracker

Would you like more information about what we do and how Tracker can support business growth through rich market intelligence?

Speak to one of our Business Development Managers right now by calling us on 0845 270 706 or request a demo here.

 

*Source: iGov Survey in partnership with BiP Solutions, Nov 18.

Procurement in a digital world

 

Digital transformation is driving public sector business forward and creating new opportunities for suppliers within the marketplace.

Read more about the public sector’s digital journey and the current challenges it is facing below.

 

Procurement in a digital world

Our parent company, BiP Solutions, released its “Challenges and Opportunities for Local Government Procurement in a Digital World” report in spring 2019.

The report considers the impact digital transformation is having on the public sector’s journey, revealing that between September and December 2018, local government in England spent £1.3 billion with the IT sector.

It argues that:

“Digital transformation remains a major priority for local government, as it does for virtually all areas of both the public and private sectors.”

One of the opportunities the report highlighted was nine councils in England sharing £700,000 to test technology-led social care projects, with funding going towards design and development.

 

Current challenges for procurement professionals

Although many public sector organisations are moving forward with digital, 17% of procurement leaders do not yet have a digital procurement strategy in place, according to a new survey from Deloitte.

And despite the majority of those surveyed stating they have a digital procurement strategy in place, only 16% of procurement leaders surveyed were focused on enhancing digital skills.

These organisations are at risk of being left behind; digital technologies offer many benefits to procurement teams as they help not only to manage risk but also to increase visibility.

Michael Daher, US leader of sourcing and procurement at Deloitte, has said “there’s no doubt that digital is a game-changer in procurement,” adding that “chief procurement officers should define a clear strategy and vision for digital transformation that is action-oriented”.

 

Get ahead in procurement

The public sector’s digital transformation journey leaves huge opportunity out there for organisations of all sizes.

Our solution is specifically designed with early engagement in mind, to support suppliers in their search for public procurement opportunities.

As a strategic tool providing intelligence such as public sector spend data, previous contract information, the latest industry insight and business leads on upcoming contracts, Tracker allows you not only to research what has gone on in the market before, but also to ensure you are going after the right future opportunities, getting ahead of your competitors and educating buyers earlier to help shape contracts.

 

Gain access to Europe’s largest database

Tracker provides access to the largest UK and European database of contract notices and awards, allowing you to couple insight with relevant opportunities to give you a stronger chance of winning.

Gain access to this now by registering for a three-day free access pass to our most popular package, Tracker Premier – ideal for businesses looking to grow their current share of the public sector market.

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Suppliers must “deliver on social value” when bidding for public sector contracts

 

Our parent company BiP Solutions has released its latest market report, “Is Procurement Good Business?”.

The report delves into the importance of social value, supply chain management, legislation and innovation in the current procurement landscape.

Social value has been a hot topic among public sector professionals in recent years, making this report extremely relevant in terms of the challenges faced by the community.

If you would like to learn more about social value in procurement, we provide a sneak peak into “Is Procurement Good Business?” below.

 

Social value is impacting on procurement strategy

In the past Tracker has written about why social value is important in procurement and how social value is becoming more important than ever before to public sector organisations. This is something that the latest BiP Solutions report now explores in greater detail.

The report offers insight into the latest discussions around procurement at Procurex National 2019, referencing speeches from key figures across UK procurement, including Malcolm Harrison, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS); Simon Tse, CEO of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS); and Mark Roberts, Continuous Commercial Improvement Director at the Cabinet Office.

The report also presents statistics from a 2018 survey conducted by iGov. One of the standout figures is that 85% of procurement professionals stated that “social value had a ‘high’ or ‘medium’ impact on their strategy”.

 

Why suppliers must consider social value

Aside from the fact that social value currently has a major impact on procurement strategy, industry leaders are encouraging suppliers to review their social value strategies.

BiP Solutions has over 35 years’ experience in procurement. Susan Staley, Head of Digital Marketing at BiP, gives her take on social value within the report. She recommends that suppliers should:

“ … ensure they are set up to deliver on demonstrating social value in their bid responses to remain relevant, stand out, and therefore gain potential competitive advantage.”

 

Get your copy

If you are looking to win more work within the public sector marketplace, the report offers firm advice on how your business can get ahead in procurement by supporting you to stand out in terms of social value.

You can download the full report here.

 

 

Suppliers could lose out on public contracts if they fail to pay on time

time running out

 

On 17 July 2019 the UK Government announced that suppliers winning public contracts could lose out in the future if they fail to pay their supply chain on time.

Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden CBE, has also urged public sector organisations to lead by example by paying their suppliers within 30 days.

 

Suppliers MUST pay their supply chain on time

After it was revealed that more than £2.5m in late payments from the public sector had been unblocked over the past year, Mr Dowden has said:

“We are being very clear with government suppliers that they must pay their supply chain on time or face losing future government contracts.

“So, it’s only right that we say to the public sector that they must lead by example and make sure their suppliers are paid on time.”

The latest warning from the Government states that suppliers must pay 95% of their invoices within 60 days. If they fail to do this, they run the risk of being prevented from securing future government contracts.

The Government’s new Crown Representative for Small Business, Martin Traynor OBE, is backing the latest announcement. Mr Traynor said:

“Making sure companies in the government supply chain are paid on time is very important – particularly for small businesses.

“The difference between waiting 60 days and having to wait 90 days can be make-or-break for many small companies, so it’s vital that both the private and public sector work better in this area.”

 

Public sector contracts

Public sector organisations including schools, hospitals and government departments have been reminded of the need to pay their suppliers on time.

The UK Government also wants private suppliers to be more organised moving forward, and will be carrying out spot checks to make sure payments are made on time.

If your business is already winning work with the public sector and is interested in expanding its reach with Tracker Intelligence, learn more on our Public Contracts page.

 

P4H England: Exciting opportunities in healthcare procurement

 

It has been one week since P4H England! The event, which supports innovation and education within healthcare procurement, hosted over 1400 delegates at the NEC, Birmingham.

The Tracker team attended the event, giving attendees procurement and tendering advice at the Market Support and Engagement Zone.

If you missed this year’s P4H England event, find out more below.

 

Healthcare Opportunities

Michael Pace, Managing Director, Corporate Services, NHS London Procurement Partnership, was one of many great speakers who presented in the Keynote Arena.

During his session ‘Applying Collaborative Thinking to the NHS Procurement Network’, Mr Pace acknowledged both the changes that have been implemented throughout NHS procurement over the last 12 months and that there are still improvements to be made. However, he left the P4H Keynote Arena on a positive note, saying:

 “I’m more excited by the opportunities in front of me than I ever have been as an NHS procurement professional before.” 

Although Mr Pace packed the Keynote Arena, Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ lecture proved to be one of the day’s biggest success with delegates queueing to pack into the explorer’s session to learn more about his experiences.

Healthcare procurement professionals thoroughly enjoyed his session and many were tough enough to look at the screens when he revealed several graphic photos detailing the after-effects of severe frostbite!

 

 

Market Support and Engagement Zone

Delegates piled out of the Keynote Arena into the Market Support and Engagement Zone where the Tracker team were handing out fresh fruit smoothies from our TruuJJuice bar, as well as advice on how to leverage business intelligence tools to identify strategic business opportunities earlier.

Many suppliers on the day were keen to understand how they could best engage earlier with buyers across the NHS and beyond.

Susan Staley, Head of Digital Marketing at our parent company BiP Solutions, has thanked delegates for visiting the Market Support and Engagement Zone and encourages suppliers to reach out to Tracker and the other BiP Solutions brands if they require support after the event:

“We had some really insightful conversations with suppliers looking to increase their visibility in the public sector market, and we hope that each of them left the stand with actionable information that helps them grow their business in this market.”

 

Early Engagement

Forty free training sessions, 8 keynote sessions and 5 networking and collaboration zones were held on the day of the event and Early Engagement was one of the key themes that ran throughout these.

Health Online’s Soafyaan Zia held a session for delegates in the Bid Support Zone on ‘Procurement in Healthcare’, during which he said:

“Early engagement is viewed as crucial for healthcare professionals today.”

He noted that one the biggest barrier to successful procurement is the lack of communication between buyers and suppliers.

 

 

Win more work in the healthcare marketplace

If you missed P4H England and would like to find out more about how early engagement can help your business find more opportunities, get in touch with a member of Tracker’s expert procurement team.

Our Business Development Managers can tailor your demo to focus on healthcare opportunities, letting you see first hand how quick and easy it is to find new business opportunities and grow your business.

Learn more

 

 

 

 

The benefits of networking

 

Never overlook the value of networking.

If you are looking for ways to boost your public procurement profile, networking gives suppliers the chance to interact with the buyers with whom they want to win work and learn more first-hand about how they can offer solutions that are valuable to these buyers.

There are many ways your business can use networking strategically in public procurement; we give advice on how suppliers working with the public sector can do this.

 

Engage with the right buyers

You’ll read many blogs that will advise your business to put itself out there by attending networking and industry events. This is good advice. However, the trick to success at events is attending the right ones.

If you want to win more opportunities with the public sector, make sure that you are considering events where public sector organisations are exhibiting or attending.

Events like Procurex have sessions across the UK, which are public sector procurement focused. Suppliers can attend these events and gain specific insights about the regions that they want to work in and engage with buying organisations (Crown Commercial Service, Ministry of Defence, NHS, local authorities) face to face.

 

Gain a social media presence

If you have missed a procurement event or plan on attending next year, it’s never too early or late to make connections and gain the attention of buyers through social media.

Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn give suppliers the opportunity to expand their networks wherever they are based; whether they are looking to network with buyers in the UK or the rest of the world.

That said, it’s not all about finding buyers. Our parent company BiP Solutions recommends getting involved with procurement discussions via social media to gain insights from the wider procurement community. BiP Solutions’ ‘How to use networking strategically in public’ blog argues that:

“Twitter is a great way to participate in these industry-wide discussions and to follow the pulse of public procurement by connecting with others who are asking the same questions and have similar priorities.

“LinkedIn is also a great platform to expand your knowledge on public procurement by joining relevant groups.”

 

Reaching out to buyers

One of the myths around networking is that suppliers cannot reach out to buyers, when that’s not the case.

Tracker’s Market Leads tool can support suppliers that want to engage earlier, as it gives users access to named buyer contacts, before they have officially tendered for goods, works or services.

Don’t be afraid to reach out! It’s important to build strategic relationships with those working in the public sector as this can help your business to understand their needs better and puts your business in a good place to make any adaptations to your product or services before any future opportunities arise.

 

Find more opportunities through networking

If you would like to learn more about how our business intelligence tool can support your networking efforts, get in touch with a member of our expert procurement team to find out more.

 

How does Market Intelligence support product innovation?

 

Tracker’s Market intelligence tool is much more than just a news feed. It supports business growth and product innovation.

Knowledge is power and if your business wants to expand and identify new business opportunities early, learn more about how Market Intelligence can benefit your business.

 

Embracing technology

During this year’s Spring Statement (2019) Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond encouraged businesses “to embrace the technologies” and in return “entrepreneurs, creators and innovators, inventors and discoverers” will have the government’s full support.

Having the knowledge of what the public sector is looking for in terms of innovation can help your business to understand how it fits into that marketplace and how it can better meet the public sector’s needs.

 

Product Innovation

‘Product innovation’ covers several areas. An example of product innovation may be that your business has decided to change its product so that it is more sustainable. This change will not only benefit your business as it will enhance your product, but it could also tick a box for a buyer that has sustainability targets to meet.

Buyers’ needs are constantly changing and this is where Market Intelligence comes into play.

Your business must have sight of any news about legislation and government policy, as well as relevant regional and local stories. Having this intelligence tailored and sent to your business will help it become more aware of and understand changes in procurement. This knowledge can be used when considering changes to your products or services, ensuring that your business is one step ahead of competitors within the public sector marketplace.

 

Why market intelligence?

Product innovation is not the only benefit of market intelligence. It also provides users with crucial contract information that, when used strategically, can help suppliers stay one step ahead of the competition.

If you are interested in discovering new markets and in gaining competitive intelligence that can help your business stay ahead of public sector trends, learn more about Market Intelligence.

 

Tech industry receives major boost from UK Government

 

The UK tech industry is only getting stronger, according to the Government – as its latest investment announcement makes way for IT procurement opportunities not just in the UK but across Europe.

As London Tech Week kicks off, learn more about the strength of the UK tech industry below.

 

London Tech Week

Monday 10 June 2019 marks the start of ‘London Tech Week’.

The Prime Minister is attending London Tech Week, while ahead of the event the Government listed a number of “ambitious commitments that will ensure the UK remains the largest tech hub in Europe”.

Investments include:

  • £153 million in government funding, with an additional £205 million pledged by industry. This money will be invested in a number of areas including quantum technology.
  • 2500 places will soon be available for the first time for AI and data conversion courses, starting in 2020. The goal of this initiative is to equip tech-driven businesses and people across the UK with the skills they need. As part of this, 1000 government-funded scholarships will be open to applicants “from all backgrounds”.
  • An industry-led study will also be launched to identify opportunities and support for digital businesses. The Government hopes that this will promote the UK as “one of the most attractive places to build a tech business”.

At the event the Prime Minister is expected to say:

“Already we are one of the best places in the world to start and grow a tech business. British Tech is growing over one and a half times faster than the rest of the economy, adding more than £130 billion to our economy every year…

“But if we are going to maintain our position as a global leader, our challenge is how we develop British Tech and make it even better. We want this to be the place everyone thinks of – and comes to – first when they want to develop their world-changing tech ideas. This is a challenge shared between industry and government…”

IT procurement

Interested in the investments mentioned above? Learn more about how Tracker’s business intelligence tool can help you find and win IT procurement opportunities.

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Local authorities are failing to switch to renewable energy

 

According to LocalGov UK, local authorities are spending more than £863m with the Big Six energy companies every year.

It has since been revealed that “no local authority in Britain has switched to a fully renewable energy supplier”.

 

Is there a renewable future for local authorities?

It was reported that “nine out of ten local authorities are supplied by one of the major oil and gas companies” after energy supplier Bulb submitted a freedom of information request to the UK Government.

It was also found that there are large variations in what councils are currently paying for energy, something that could be reduced if councils swapped suppliers.

This information suggests that there are opportunities for renewable energy suppliers to work with local authorities across the country to build a more renewable future.

With regard to the findings, Bulb co-founder Hayden Wood said:

“Sadly, our research reveals that councils – including some who have expressed vocal support for renewables – are currently missing out on the chance to go green. A change would benefit the environment.”

Local authority leader Councillor Ron Woodley, Deputy Chair of the Local Government Association (LGA), has acknowledged that “energy is one of the largest controllable overheads in many council buildings”.

Within the LGA’s ‘Energising procurement’ document, it is argued that:

“Councils must look to gain greater control over their energy spend, to insulate them from wider trends and benefit from the huge opportunities presented by new energy technologies and business models.”

 

New opportunity

As we have previously reported, renewable energy is something that the wider public sector is investing in.

This challenge for local authorities creates an opportunity for energy suppliers working with the public sector.

If you are interested in winning contracts with local authorities, learn more about local authority tenders on our website.