COVID-19: National Planning Framework 4 Call for Ideas closing tomorrow

 

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.

 

Glenigan Construction Industry Forecast 2020/22 released

 

During these uncertain times, the UK construction industry has been determined to get back to work, with industry’s leaders urging the Prime Minister to keep construction sites open for as long as responsibly justified during the coronavirus outbreak.

Although turnover and cashflow will remain a concern over the remainder of 2020 as construction sites, the latest Glenigan Construction Industry Forecast has revealed that by 2022, the value of underlying project starts in the UK is forecast to total £52.4 billion.

Are you a construction supplier? Learn more about how your business can win future opportunities below.

 

The construction sector will recover

According to Glenigan, the value of underlying project starts fell by an estimated 62% during the second quarter of 2020. However, a sharp rebound in construction output and project starts is forecast for the third quarter following the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Glenigan has stated within their report that:

“A more gradual, but sustained recovery is anticipated for the remainder of the forecast period. By 2022, the value of underlying project starts is forecast to total £52.4 billion, just 1% below 2019 levels.”

 

Areas of opportunity

Due to the disruption caused by Coronavirus pandemic, the pattern of UK construction activity is being reshaped.

Within Glenigan’s key recommendations, the market intelligence expert revealed that:

“The best performing sectors will differ from those prior to the outbreak. Increased government funding will drive growth in the education, health, civil engineering and community & amenity sectors.”

Glenigan also expect that structural changes due to social distancing will create new opportunities in warehousing & logistics, office refurbishment and the repurposing of redundant commercial premises.

Within the report, Glenigan also references the latest National Infrastructure and Construction Procurement Pipeline, which was released by the Government in June 2020.

The pipeline is made up of work packages, projects and programmes that are planned to go out to market for procurement throughout the 2020/21 financial year, and:

“The procurements contained within the pipeline have an estimated total contract value of between £29 billion and £37 billion.”

Glenigan anticipates that part of this funding will be directed at areas such as tackling the maintenance backlog on the nation’s roads, as the Infrastructure and Projects Authority has confirmed that procurements in this pipeline include a broad range of works across infrastructure and construction such as:

 

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

 

Prepare your business for the opportunities that lie ahead

Moving forward, suppliers will need to target these new emerging opportunities. To do this, they require the right intelligence which can increase their exposure to growing markets.

The secret to success with commercial opportunities is being proactive. If early engagement is achieved at the early stages of a project, it will improve your chances of winning work with the private sector.

The best way to find commercial opportunities within the markets mentioned above is by using a business intelligence tool.

Tracker’s Commercial Tenders tool gives users access to applications and decisions within 24 hours of publication as well as named contacts for key decision makers, influencers, and bidders.

Get started with Commercial Tenders

 

 

 

What is a framework agreement?

In the world of procurement, a framework agreement is a form of procurement used to create an “umbrella” agreement with supplier(s).

This framework sets out the terms and conditions under which goods, lots or services can be purchased throughout the period of the agreement.  This will include terms such as price, quality, quantities and timescales.

We explore what a framework agreement is below.

Framework agreements explained

A mentioned above, a framework is an agreement between buyers and suppliers which establishes the terms under which contracts that may be awarded during the contract’s lifecycle. A framework covers the provision of goods, works or services, or in some cases a combination. That said, for most procurements, a buyer is likely to have one ‘framework’ for each group.

Framework agreement not a guarantee of work

Keep in mind that a framework offers no guarantee of work to any supplier winning a place on it, as it is an agreement put in place by a buying organisation or group of organisations about the terms and conditions that would apply to any order placed during the duration of the framework agreement. Every time a buyer wants to procure a specific item or service under this framework agreement, a separate contract is established using a simplified ‘call off’ for which only suppliers on the framework may compete.

Why should suppliers bid for places on framework agreements?

For suppliers  that are already working with the public sector and would like to expand the opportunities available to them, winning a place on a framework agreement can help suppliers to participate in national and large collaborative procurements where the framework is often divided into specialist or geographical lots. Although winning a place on a framework agreement is no guarantee of work, it can significantly enhance a supplier’s reputation and prestige, and can bring smaller suppliers the opportunity to work with high-profile buyers.

Why do buyers use framework agreements?

Frameworks are also beneficial for the buying community; they can save contracting authorities from the need to issue repeated tenders for the same goods, works or services.  Often multiple buyers can use the same framework agreement, whether this is managed by one buying authority or by a specialist organisation such as YPO or Crown Commercial Service. This can lead to economies of scale, reduced administrative burden and consequent savings, as well as giving buyers a chance to expand their pool of potential tenderers. The Local Government Association believes that:

“Framework agreements continue to play a central role in public procurement including enabling councils to work together through central purchasing bodies.

 

Framework agreements vs Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS)

Public sector organisations use both framework agreements and dynamic purchasing systems to procure goods, works and services.

Both methods are similar, with the main difference being that once a framework has been closed at the end of the initial tendering process, suppliers cannot apply to join it until it reopens. In contrast, new suppliers can apply to join a DPS at any point.

As a framework usually runs for four years, winning a place on a public sector framework means that a  supplier can build a long-term relationship with the buying authority while missing out on a place on a framework reduces a supplier’s ability to win business, so tracking these increasingly common arrangements is now essential.

Grow your business with intelligence

Due to the growing number of purchasing bodies procuring services and goods through framework agreements, your business should be considering a business intelligence service that will support your search for framework opportunities.

Tracker users can access both the Framework Agreement and DPS modules to find opportunities in the public sector. The Frameworks module supports early engagement and has several core benefits. The tool can support your team to:

  • Find new framework notices for application
  • Research active and prior frameworks to better understand a buyer’s requirements
  • View call-off notices and awards within an active framework
  • Discover which of your competitors may be on an active framework
  • Identify any supply chain opportunities with private sector contractors
  • Access related documents to gain further insight into requirements

Gain insight with business intelligence. Using a tool like Tracker’s Framework Agreement module can prepare your organisation for when the framework will be tendered again and will allow your business to begin the early engagement process.

See first hand how Tracker can support your business in winning more opportunities in the public sector. Claim your free trial with one of our procurement experts today.

Win Framework Opportunities

 

 

 

 

 

National Grid investment connects sectors and power stations

 

The utilities sector is currently going through a period of radical transformation. The technologies and infrastructure the sector requires has made the world of procurement that supports it a lucrative, but competitive, place to win work.

We provide details about some of the latest National Grid projects that are happening within this sector below.

National Grid investment

The UK’s National Grid is the high-voltage electric power transmission network which connects power stations and major substations throughout the country. The National Grid was established to ensure that any electricity generated can be used to satisfy demands throughout the country.

The National Grid has been established to connect people living in the UK to the energy they use “safely, reliably and efficiently.” Over the years billions of pounds have been invested into the network and this is set to continue. According to a recent news report by Glenigan:

“A major investment programme by National Grid and other energy groups to update and expand the UK’s electricity connection capacity and other facilities in the sector is creating a significant source of new construction opportunities for civil engineering contractors.”

Several projects have begun in the opening months of 2020 after the National Grid signed a six-year contract worth around £400 million with Hochtief-Murphy JV in December 2019. This joint venture was established for the tunneling and shaft work for the second phase of the London Power Tunnel Phase 2 project. It is estimated that this project will span eight years and cost around £1 billion overall.

Glenigan has also revealed that the National Grid has longer-term plans for a 400kV transmission connection between Bramford substation in Suffolk, and Essex. This connection is forecast to reach a spend of £208 million and has been deemed a “nationally significant project.”

Contract awards are doubling

Work by Siemens and NKT is also extending out of the UK. The National Grid’s £1.1 billion Viking Link subsea cable interconnector, which links Jutland in Denmark with a site near Boston in Lincolnshire, is set to start in February 2020. Glenigan has reported that:

“The interconnector contracts were among recent major project awards which Glenigan Construction Data shows contributed to a more than doubling in the value of civil engineering contracts awarded in the fourth quarter – to a total of £4,940 million – compared to the period a year ago.”

Power up your procurement strategy

With the number of contract awards doubling within this vital and growing area of procurement, now is the time for your business to power up its procurement plans.

Recent figures from the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline point to utilities as the third largest sector by investment within infrastructure. In the latest Tracker Spotlight, the team at Construction Online look at the different aspects of this crucial sub-sector of construction, with a focus on market size and trends, sector analysis, current and future projects, and industry prospects.

The Spotlight is designed to provide a comprehensive overview showing where businesses can exploit arising opportunities. Tracker Intelligence helps you find, bid for and win more public and private sector contracts.

Our database is the largest public sector tenders and awards database in Europe, delivering private and public sector contract opportunities and awards, market intelligence, spend analysis and market leads at the click of a button.

To learn more about this sector and how you can use business intelligence to stay one step ahead of your competitors, download Tracker’s latest Spotlight on Utilities report.

 

The benefits of offsite construction methods

 

Tracker are leading experts on public and private sector procurement. Not only do we deliver the latest construction news and trends to new and established construction suppliers alike, we host a range of business intelligence tools to help organisations win construction tenders.

In recent years, the construction industry has been faced with obstacles surrounding efficiency, lack of skilled workers, poor productivity and sustainability. The objective of construction going forward is to address the skills shortage while building quicker and cheaper and reducing industry CO2 emissions.

As one of the largest industry sectors in the UK, contributing some 9% to the annual UK economy, these are huge issues for construction to tackle. Offsite construction has long been hailed as a solution to these challenges – but are organisations doing enough to reap the benefits?

 

Offsite construction in context

What is offsite construction?

Offsite construction refers to structures or components built at a different location than the location of use. Offsite construction usually occurs in a factory that is specifically designed for this type of process. Individual modules or components of the building will be constructed in the factory and then later transported to the site.

Some typical offsite construction methods are:

  • Volumetric/Modular systems – in this process the whole building or parts of the building are built offsite and transported to the site. Minor finishing works are completed onsite, such as joining, wall finishes and completing roof joints.
  • Structural insulated panels – these are high-performance building systems for residential and commercial construction. The panels consist of a core thermal insulation embedded between two structural facings. SIPs are manufactured under factory-controlled conditions and vary from standard panel sizes to bespoke units for larger properties. Usually this process ensures that weatherproof buildings can be completed in a few days.
  • Pre-engineered M&E services – this entails whole rooms being constructed offsite and installed as a completed unit in the building. This is a particularly effective type of offsite construction as it allows less construction time onsite.
  • Pre-assembled components – this method consists of taking materials that would ordinarily be installed individually onsite, and transporting them for pre-assembly in a factory environment to form a larger-scale unit that can make site installation quicker.

More and more construction projects are adopting offsite construction methods and incorporating offsite assembled components into the project design from the outset. This method will continue to grow, particularly with the rising impact of digital transformation that the construction industry has hitherto been slower to adopt than other industries. Offsite construction, now more than ever, will drive construction techniques that are cost-efficient and champion innovation.

 

The benefits of offsite construction methods

The benefits of using offsite construction methods are huge for suppliers and buyers alike.

 

Speed

  • Less time is needed onsite due to elements having been pre-made in the factory. This leads to faster installation when it is transported and smoother progress on the project.
  • Less dependency on good weather. In most contracts where all construction is completed onsite, the supplier will be entitled to an extension of time for completion of the works if weather disrupts activity. However, they are not entitled to any payment for any loss of materials or expense suffered as a result of stoppage caused by bad weather. With offsite construction, of course, weather has no effect on work in the factory.

Quality

  • Quality is typically far better when work is produced in factories, and often as much as 70-80% more efficient, given factory-controlled QC systems.
  • Reduced need for a skilled workforce to be continually onsite.

Safety

  • Fewer overall site deliveries.
  • Less time spent onsite reduces the risk of working at heights.

Cost

  • Early return on capital.
  • Significant cash flow advantages over traditional build.
  • Typically, lightweight solutions offer savings to foundation and structural design.
  • Cost certainty – usually a fixed price in the factory, and less chance of costly delays.

Environment

  • Significantly lower amounts of CO2 due to fewer site deliveries.
  • Factory work can be located to other factories far more easily, providing greater sustainability of materials. A construction site is difficult and wasteful to move.
  • Less waste goes to the landfill.

 

The UK Government supports offsite construction

Considering these overwhelming benefits of offsite construction, the UK Government has also expressed its support of offsite, developing plans to encourage active use of the method.

In 2017, the Government announced an offsite presumption – a budget document that would develop offsite build projects from 2019. Five government agencies – the Departments for Transport, Health and Education and the Ministries of Justice and Defence – signed up to the offsite presumption. According to one of the key partners in the policy, Infrastructure Projects Authority (IPA) Chief Tony Meggs, the presumption means that “all projects should have at least one option that includes the substantial use of offsite manufacture.”

Nearly two years after the policy was published, the consensus among industry leaders is that not enough progress has been made to prepare the sector for this new type of work. Procurement, therefore, is in a unique position to drive change within the construction industry through new and existing suppliers implementing modern methods of construction (MMC).

 

Find more construction contracts  

The construction industry is set to grow by 2% in 2020 and by a further 5% in 2021, according to Glenigan’s 2020-21 Construction Industry Forecast. The main areas expected to grow significantly are private and affordable housing, education, health, and civil engineering work. Offsite construction will play an instrumental role in the completion of these projects, and it is important that suppliers implement this method to reap the benefits for all parties involved.

To be in with a chance of winning construction tenders in these areas, your business needs to ensure you are aware of the construction opportunities ahead and write your tender bid in time.

Do this with the support of Tracker, who host the largest tenders and awards database in Europe. Our business intelligence tool Commercial Projects is designed to support suppliers working in construction and looking to win construction tenders. Your organisation will have exclusive access to more than 400,000 construction projects each year, from the early planning stage, as well as 10,000 non-planning projects a year.

Access to Commercial Projects will give your organisation a huge advantage over your competitors and additional insight into the construction market as the trends outlined above evolve.

Try Tracker for free for three days and see how Tracker can work for your business.

Learn More

How to apply for tenders

 

With over 35 years’ experience behind us, we know a thing or two about finding and winning public sector tenders.

Over 250,000 public authorities across Europe spend around €2 trillion per year on the purchase of services, works and supplies, which makes public sector procurement a lucrative marketplace for buyers in the UK and beyond.

With so much competition out there, it is vital that you get the tender application process right. Whether you are brushing up your procurement knowledge or want to prepare the perfect bid, here’s Tracker’s guide on how to apply for tenders.

 

Back to the basics

If you want to apply for tenders in Europe, it is important that you understand the process. Let’s recap how public sector procurement works.

Any public sector organisation in Europe that is publishing a contract opportunity over a certain specified value threshold must advertise it in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) – an online portal.

The OJEU hosts these contracts and it can be viewed through services such as Tracker as we collect and collate not only all contract opportunities and awards published in the OJEU but also tenders from thousands of other sites, putting them into one searchable database.

 

Applying for tenders within any sector

Suppliers of all sizes, in all sectors, no matter what they offer or where they do it, want to be successful. Whether you are bidding for tenders in health, construction, education, transport, IT, waste management or social protection, the same rules usually apply when tendering.

Whether you have years of experience or not, the process can be time consuming. Before you put pen to paper, make sure your business can tick all the boxes when it comes to requirements.

  • Can your business meet ALL the technical skills and experience required to successfully fulfil the tender?
  • Is the work required relevant to the strategy and positioning of your business?
  • Can your business afford to invest the necessary time and resource into preparing a bid, whether you win or lose out on the opportunity?
  • Will this tender support your business’s growth strategy?

If the answer these questions is YES, then you should seriously consider applying for the opportunity.

When applying for any tender opportunity:

  • Read the documents carefully, taking note of deadlines and requirements
  • Answer the questions that the buyer is asking, not the questions you wish they had asked
  • Make sure you provide supporting evidence wherever it is asked for
  • Offer value-adds and extras but first make it clear how you will fulfil the core requirement
  • Complete your documents in good time, so a pair of fresh eyes can read the whole application and spot any mistakes
  • Submit on time and exactly as asked.

 

EU tendering procedures

Tendering procedures in Europe are governed by the EU and transposed into UK law by the Public Procurement Regulations 2015. As the Regulations are part of UK law, allthough the UK left the EU on 31 January, these procedures are still relevant to UK suppliers. Buyers submitting contract notices to the OJEU must select whichever procedure is most appropriate to the tender and follow it throughout the procurement process.

 

Open Procedure

The open procedure has one stage. Suppliers must submit the selection criteria and the full tender at the same time. Tenders should always be submitted complete and on time. Once all tenders have been evaluated, the buyer can then award the contract to the successful supplier.

 

Restricted Procedure

The restricted procedure has two-stages, a Selection Stage (SQ) and an Invitation to Tender (ITT). All interested suppliers must complete the SQ first and submit it to the awarding authority by the specified deadline.

After the SQs have been evaluated, the buying authority will then invite a minimum of five contractors to submit a full tender by a second deadline.

Once the full tenders have been submitted, the buyer can then make its decision and award the contract to the successful bidder.

 

Competitive Dialogue

Competitive dialogue is different from both procedures mentioned above. Once the SQ stage is over successful suppliers move on to a stage called ‘Invitation to Participate in Dialogue’ (ITPD).

During the ITPD stage buyers can engage with successful SQ suppliers to learn more about the solutions they are proposing. Following this, mini bidding rounds may then take place to eliminate suppliers.

A full Dialogue stage then takes place and the buyer can work closely with the remaining suppliers to test and assess their solutions. Finally, an evaluation will happen, and the contract can be awarded to the successful supplier.

 

Innovation Partnership

The Innovation Partnership procedure was created to encourage innovation and invite new players into the marketplace. This procedure mirrors the Competitive Dialogue Procedure.

 

Applying for frameworks and DPS opportunities

Applying for framework and Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) opportunities differs from bidding for a single contract.

 

Frameworks

Being on a framework agreement can give suppliers access to considerable work if they are successful and can help your business build long-term relationships with buyers.

Although there are many benefits of being on a framework, the disadvantage is that once it has been closed, you can not apply to join it until it reopens. Therefore, it is important that your business alerted to these opportunities when they arise.

When a framework agreement is advertised, the application process follows whichever procedure the buyer has selected, usually either the open or restricted procedure. A successful bid, however, wins the supplier a place on the framework agreement rather than immediate work. Once the framework agreement is set up, participating buyers ‘call off’ from it by inviting suppliers  to submit bids for particular requirements through mini competitions open only to those on the framework.

Tracker’s Procurement Frameworks tool gives suppliers access to the latest framework notices for application, as well as call-off notices and awards within an active framework. This means suppliers using Tracker can see what their competitors are winning and with what public sector organisation.

 

Dynamic Purchasing Systems

Like frameworks, DPS offer suppliers a chance to raise their profile with multiple buyers.

DPS is similar to a framework agreement as it gives your business the chance to win multiple opportunities over an extended time period. It is often more straightforward and flexible to access DPS contracts. Why? Unlike framework agreements, DPS do not close and suppliers can apply to join a DPS at any point during its lifetime.

Using Tracker’s DPS tool – new to Tracker – suppliers can gain access to DPS opportunities and any documents needed for tendering.

 

Why early engagement is important when bidding for tenders

Early engagement is vital if your business is applying to work with the public sector. Having influence within the marketplace allows suppliers to put themselves in the driver’s seat and support the public sector to shape contracts and specifications. Educating buyers on the product/services you supply will help them to understand the current landscape and trends in the market.

That said, influence on objectives and requirements of a contract should be made before the official notice is published – that is why tools like Tracker’s Market Intelligence and Leads are so important.

Being proactive with early engagement tells buyers that you are informed, reliable and fully prepared for the project. More than this, it presents a prime opportunity to introduce yourself and the goods, works or services your organisation specialises in to buyers of all sizes.

 

Win with business intelligence

The UK Government is investing heavily in the public sector to kickstart a revival and boost economic growth in the country. To fully maximise the value of your sales force, now is the perfect time for your organisation to be proactively analysing and identifying where the opportunities will sit within the public sector in the 6 to 12 months ahead and how engaging early for the future will benefit your business.

Now you have learned how to apply for public sector tenders, start finding opportunities with Tracker. If your business wants to expand its client portfolio in the UK or Europe, Tracker’s business intelligence tools give users instant visibility of new and pipeline opportunities long before contract opportunities are published, which means users can engage earlier with buyers and learn more about their needs.

Grow your customer base with Tracker’s business intelligence tools.

Don’t wait for public sector tender opportunities to come your way – discover more opportunities by registering for a free trial.

How do I find private sector tenders?

 

Our team at Tracker are often asked how your business can win private sector tenders.

Private sector procurement can offer your business new opportunities that can help develop your business and grow its customer base.

For some businesses, private sector tenders fit better due to the variety of goods and services that are supplied into this marketplace.

To learn more about how your business can win more opportunities, find out more about this lucrative area of procurement below.

 

What’s the difference between public and private sector tenders?

Private sector tenders are like public sector tenders, but there are some key differences in priorities and regulations with these contracts.

Public sector procurement is typically government-sponsored, be it by central or local government. Private sector tendering, which is also known as supply chain tendering, works differently from public sector procurement as it is governed by fewer regulations which means it is less restricted.

 

Supply chain contracts

As there are fewer regulatory requirements, many smaller businesses start by bidding for private sector contracts.

Supply chain opportunities work slightly differently from public sector contracts as the buyer is a private sector organisation. Usually, one private sector business will win a large public sector contract and outsource contracts to smaller subcontractors, as they will be unable to supply every aspect of the goods, works or services required.

 

What you need to know about bidding for private sector contracts

Although the process behind private sector tendering isn’t very different from dealing with public sector tendering, it is important that you grasp the differences between the two. We explain everything you need to know about bidding for private sector contracts below.

 

Legal requirements

There is no legal requirement to publish private sector tenders on a central noticeboard or make the opportunity public.

In most cases how the private sector advertises is based on their own procurement policy. This means they can choose between publishing to the whole marketplace or choose a selection of suppliers to tender. However, companies that win major public sector contracts and then advertise supply chain opportunities are increasingly required by the original public sector buyer to be transparent as public money is involved and the public sector have to be wholly accountable. Transparency generally requires the contractor to advertise to the marketplace and conduct a formal procurement process.

 

Business Intelligence

As private sector tenders are not published on any particular central noticeboard, it is vital that your business stays in the loop in other ways.

Business intelligence content provides a wealth of crucial market information and, when used strategically, can help you stay one step ahead of the competition and be more proactive when tendering for public and private sector tenders.

Not only will it help your business to identify new business opportunities early, but market intelligence will also give you access to named contacts and contact details for networking across both the private and public sector. This gets the tender process off to a fantastic start, as your organisation will have access to the key decision makers on tenders.

 

Start a conversation

With both public and private sector procurement your business should never be afraid to ask questions about the process. The more you know about the process and the buyer’s expectations, the better chance you have of winning the tender.

If you are new to private sector tendering, it is important that you fully understand the process. If anything is unclear, make sure you clarify it (e.g. what are the timescales? Will there be a site visit during the evaluation? Is there a presentation that your business will need to prepare for?). This will relieve any stress around uncertainties.

 

Evaluation

Although evaluation for private sector procurement is less strict than public sector procurement, contractors want suppliers to meet similar requirements and meet at least some minimum criteria, e.g. financial stability.

 

Bid Feedback

If your organisation is unsuccessful when bidding for work with the private sector, then it may not receive the same level of feedback as it would from a public sector organisation, as the buyer is not bound by the same directives. Although a public sector buyer is not legally required to provide feedback, it is still worth contacting them and requesting it. You may learn something that will help your next bid to succeed.

 

Payment

The benefit of working with the private sector is that the government keeps a close eye on their private sector contractors. Government has set a standard that 95% of supply chain invoices should be paid within 60 days for organisations that want to do business with government. Any suppliers that are not being paid on time by a contractor that has itself won a public sector contract can raise complaints and concerns directly to the government through the Public Procurement Review Service.

There are major consequences for contractors that do not comply with the requirements to pay promptly. In 2019 the UK’s Cabinet Office released a statement warning businesses that are not paying their suppliers on time that they could lose out of government contracts next time around.

 

Building relationships

Winning a private sector contract can be financially rewarding long term.  The benefit of winning private sector contracts is that an agreement can be made directly between the buyer and the supplier. Private sector contractors often stay with the same suppliers as they do not need to re-issue and retender as stringently as the public sector.

 

Show added value

One way your business can differentiate itself from its competition is by showing contractors the added value your business can provide.

Private sector procurement is typically conducted by for-profit organisations; this means that offering the private sector client added value could give your business a decisive edge over the competition.

Private sector buyers are often guided chiefly by the profit motive. If you can offer something unique as part of any potential contract agreement, the client may be swayed towards selecting your organisation. Differentiate your business from your competitors. When you are writing a private sector tender bid, always specify the add-ons which are included in your price. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and give them the full picture of what your business can offer. But always remember to meet the actual requirements first and to price realistically – winning business is great but you need to be able to afford any add-ons you offer.

 

Find private sector tenders with Tracker

Business Intelligence can support your search for opportunities with the private sector.

Within this area of procurement, there are valuable contracts to be won in industries such as construction, IT and healthcare.

 

IT

The UK’s IT sector has gone from strength to strength in recent years and, with technology advancing faster than ever before, there is no sign of IT contract opportunities slowing down.

As the government searches for suppliers to fulfil its digital transformation requirements, the volume and value of IT procurement has soared, making it a lucrative market place for private sector suppliers.

This category covers a wide range of solutions such as computer-related services, software and hardware services, and telecommunications equipment, and offers opportunities within the supply chain.

 

Healthcare

With the government providing a long-term funding commitment to the healthcare sector, there is never a bad time to start looking for healthcare tenders.

The government has committed to investment in the technological transformation of the NHS and to achieve this they must work with specialists in the private sector.

If your business can offer expertise to healthcare organisations, or to major contractors within this sector, it should be to be proactively analysing and identifying where the opportunities sit within this area 6 to 12 months ahead of time.

 

Construction

Construction tenders can be won by businesses of all sizes as the sector covers a wide range of services, across several areas, from professional services to building maintenance and refurbishment, as well as civil engineering, landscaping and new-build construction.

The UK’s construction pipeline includes a £600m investment to fund over 700 infrastructure projects across the UK over the next decade which will create thousands of supply chain contract opportunities.

The extraordinarily diverse range of requirements of any construction or infrastructure project make this a fruitful area for those companies seeking supply chain contracts. No contractor, regardless of size or prestige, can supply every part or trade needed for a substantial project, making this an ideal area for a company seeking to break into the supply chain.

 

Engage with private sector buyers

As private sector buyers do not have to advertise to all suppliers, it makes it difficult for suppliers to find relevant private sector tender opportunities. If a supplier wants to win private sector tenders, then it must ensure that it is doing research around the procurement process and where to find relevant contracts. Therefore, early engagement is key when working with this marketplace.

The main concept of early engagement is to enable new and existing suppliers

to take a proactive approach to tendering. In most cases, if you wait until a contract has been published to introduce your organisation to the buyer, it may be too late.

 

There are several benefits associated with proactive business development including the ability to plan resources ahead, anticipate potential challenges, give time to understand the market and competitors and give you a competitive edge. The same is true of the early engagement concept which can enable your business to win more work with the private sector.

 

By opening discussion, potential suppliers can gain an in-depth understanding of what the buyer

is looking for in the tender bid, including the scope and wider issues such as environmental considerations and sustainability. This results in your organisation being in a far better position to write an accurate tender response that ultimately wins.

 

Stay ahead of your competitors

If your business wants to boost its procurement possibilities, searching for supply chain procurement opportunities is a great place to start.

Find private sector opportunities using our Commercial Projects tool. Tracker customers with Commercial Projects gain complete access to over 400,000 planning contracts and 10,000 non-planning projects every year.

Commercial Projects can be added to any Tracker package. If you’re interested in winning private sector business or simply want to know more about Tracker Intelligence, we’re happy to answer all your questions during a live demo of our business intelligence tool.

 

Existing customer? Contact your account manager at cgt@bipsolutions.com 

COVID-19: Tracker Timeline

 

Starting from when the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in the UK, Tracker has created a timeline which highlights some of the issues and events that are affecting public sector suppliers in the UK.

10 May 2020

  • The Prime Minister announced that from 13 May, people in England who “can’t work from home” will be “actively encouraged to go to work”, those that are due to return to work should still avoid public transport if possible because of social distancing. The government has says it is currently working on guidance for employers to make workplaces “Covid-secure”, companies should adhere to this. Many employers will need to stagger shifts, rethink how equipment is shared and plan safe walking routes for staff – in offices, on factory floors and at building sites.
  • Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has stressed the “stay at home” message remains in place in Scotland.

 

7 May 2020

7 May is the  deadline by which UK ministers must legally review the lockdown, as has been happening every three weeks. A representative from Downing Street has already said no changes will be made on this date.

 

6 May 2020

  • UK becomes first country in Europe to pass 30,000 deaths.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson signals that some lockdown measures could be eased week commencing 11 May 2020.
  • The Guardian newspaper reports that:

“small UK businesses have secured more than 69,000 government-backed loans worth in excess of £2bn in the first 24 hours of the scheme’s launch.”

 

4 May 2020

BBC reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reveal a “roadmap” out of lockdown on Sunday 10 May.

According to the news outlet, a draft government plan to ease anti-coronavirus restrictions “urges employers to minimise numbers using equipment, stagger shift times and maximise home working.”

 

3 May 2020

Speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus briefing, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said a “staged” easing of the lockdown would mean measures could be reintroduced to tackle “localised” outbreaks.

Mr Gove said consultations are under way with employers, trades unions and public health experts to ensure that people return to work in the “safest possible” environments and understand official guidance.

 

30 April 2020

Construction support service Interserve is using new social distancing technology. When workers on site are too close to each other, a detection tag will sound an alarm.

The personnel distancing systems (PDS) from specialist SiteZone Safety are currently being used by construction workers on the new NHS Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham to enforce the ‘two-metre rule’ during construction.

 

29 April 2020

Environment Secretary George Eustice has acknowledged the government focused more on the NHS than care homes in the early stages of the outbreak.

This comes as the Guardian newspaper reports that “the NHS procurement system had taken time to set up to serve 15,000 care homes.”

 

29 April 2020

Construction News reports that:

“HMRC has postponed its current consultation on potential abuse of the Construction Industry Scheme tax system. The consultation had been due to close on 28 May but has now been held open until 28 August to allow businesses affected by the current crisis more time to respond.”

 

28 April 2020

Health Secretary Nick Hancock has announced that construction workers with coronavirus symptoms can gain access to free testing.

All construction workers and their families will be offered tests as the UK’s testing capacity has been extended to 73,000 per day.

 

27 April 2020

  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to work on the 27 April 2020, resuming full-time duties after a fortnight recovering from coronavirus.

 

  • The Guardian newspaper confirms that more than 3 million people around the world are now confirmed to have been infected with Covid-19 since it first emerged in Wuhan, China, in late December 2020.

 

  • The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a new 100% government backed loan scheme for small business. On the government website, it states that “businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days.” These loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online.

 

23 April 2020

  • Construction Online reports that Highways England reassured the construction industry that despite the disruption and site closures, roads procurement on a number of large schemes is still powering through.”

 

  • The online publication also gave details on the Scottish Futures Trust Initiative:

“The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) has helped to generate £200 million-worth of construction projects in the last year. SFT will also continue to be a vital helping hand for the Scottish construction industry to make its recovery from the impact of Coronavirus.”

 

20 April 2020

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live to on 20 April 2020. Employers can now go online to claim cash grants worth up to 80% of wages, capped at £2,500 a month per worker.

The scheme, which was meant to stop at the end of May, has been extended for a further month until the end of June, to reflect continuing COVID-19 lockdown measures.

 

15 April 2020
The Government gives formal approval for HS2 to initiate the construction phase.

 

14 April 2020

Delta eSourcing gives details to suppliers on the government’s G-Cloud framework:

“The G-Cloud 11 framework has been extended due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, while applications to the G-Cloud 12 framework opened on 3 March 2020. Public sector organisations can carry out quick procurement through G-Cloud during the pandemic period, one of the reasons why this framework is so essential during this time.”

If you are a G-Cloud 11 supplier, you will still need to apply to G-Cloud 12 by 20 July 2020, as all G-Cloud 11 services will be removed once G-Cloud 12 services are live.

 

9 April 2020

  • Glenigan 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.

 

 

The Policy Note stated:

“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.”

 

31 March 2020

The UK government writes to the construction industry regarding working from home and travelling to work:

“The Government has advised that, wherever possible, people should work at home. However, we know that for many people working in construction their job requires them to travel to their place of work, and they can continue to do so. This is consistent with the Chief Medical Officer’s advice.”

 

30 March 2020

  • Building reports that construction firms Kier, Bam and Wates have restarted work on their sites.

 

  • Glenigan reports that “1,924 sites, involving £89billion of construction work” have been closed.

 

24 March

Health Secretary Matt Hancock gave an update during the government briefing on the coronavirus crisis, insisting that construction workers could and should continue to go to work, but must always remain two metres apart.

23 March 2020

 

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnston orders Coronavirus lockdown.

 

  • The UK Housing Minister, Robert Jenrick, reaches out to the UK construction industry via his Twitter account:

 

“If you can work from home, do so. If you are working on site, you can continue to do so. But follow Public Sector Health England Guidance on social distancing.”

 

20 March 2020

  • Schools across the UK begin to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

  • Glenigan reports that although many construction products are manufactured in the UK:

 

“A high proportion of some materials, such as timber and M&E components are imported, which could lead to disruption on some projects.”

 

18 March 2020

The UK Cabinet Office released a Procurement Policy Note (PPN) giving information and guidance on the public procurement regulations in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

 

17 March 2020

  • The EU implements border closures imposed for 30 days

 

 

“The construction industry’s leaders have urged the Prime Minister to keep construction sites open for as long as responsibly justified during the coronavirus outbreak.”

 

16 March 2020

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson warns that people living in the UK should avoid non-essential contact.

 

  • On this day, the government made a call for businesses to help make NHS ventilators. The government stated that they wanted to work with businesses that can support the production and supply of ventilators and ventilator components.

 

11 March 2020

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered his inaugural UK budget in the House of Commons on 11 March 2020.

The Chancellor himself said that the Budget “holds one of the most comprehensive economic responses to this outbreak anywhere in the world.”

He also acknowledged that the UK economy would be temporarily disrupted by the virus, with up to one fifth of the UK population possibly being off work at any one time. He announced that the government would provide a £30 billion fiscal stimulus to support the NHS, people, jobs, welfare, and the economy in this period of Coronavirus. This included £7 billion for businesses and families and £5 billion for the NHS. Mr Sunak announced the following measures:

  • Funding into additional research and additional staffing on top of the £6 billion of new funding to provide 50,000 more nurses, 40 new hospitals and 50 million more GP appointments that the government has introduced. While no exact figure was given for extra funding resources for Coronavirus, Mr Sunak was clear in his statement: “whatever it needs, whatever it costs, we stand behind our NHS.”
  • A new £500 million Hardship Fund to be distributed to local authorities to directly support vulnerable people in their local area.
  • Several measures were put in place to directly support small businesses which are particularly likely to struggle economically when affected by Coronavirus.
  • The Government introduced a £3,000 cash grant available to 700,000 of the smallest businesses, paid by local authorities, which is worth a total of £2 billion.
  • Abolishing business rates altogether for this year for small firms in England whose rateable values are below £51,000, a tax cut worth a total of £1 billion.
  • Statutory sick pay for businesses with less than 250 employees (SMEs) to be refunded by the Government in full for up to 14 days per employee.
  • The launch of a new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme enabling banks to offer loans of up to £1.2 million to support SMEs.

 

Tracker reviews the latest government spending plans under the newly elected Conservative government here.

 

6 March 2020
The first death from Coronavirus in the UK was reported.

 

24 February 2020

BBC News reports that the global financial markets “saw some of the sharpest falls in years… after a rise in Coronavirus cases renewed fears about economic slowdown.”

The UK’s FTSE 100 share index closed 3.3% lower, the sharpest drop since January 2016.

 

31 January 2020
BBC News reported the first confirmed cases of COVID–19 in the UK.

 

 

This blog will be updated regularly. All information provided in this article is given in good faith. However, to the extent that any actions are 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.

 

Could your business be next to win work with NHS trusts?

 

It is no secret that the public sector wants to work with suppliers that can offer innovative, digital services.

Most recently a group of London NHS trusts awarded a range of IT suppliers a place on a framework contract worth up to a total of £3bn.

Whether your business wants to supply hardware, software, cloud services, AI services or security opportunities to the public sector, it is vital that your finger is on the pulse when these tenders and framework agreements arise.

Learn more about this opportunity and how you can use business intelligence to find contract opportunities like this with Tracker.

 

Framework opportunity with London NHS trusts

This latest NHS framework was led by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, as hosts of NHS London Procurement Partnership.

The trust wanted to find suppliers that could provide support in the following areas: information management, governance and technology consultancy, transformation consultancy, data access, security, helpdesk, device management, IT hardware, asset management, general IT software, finance software, procurement software, CRM, and project management software.

Within the contract award notice there was a lot for “innovation”, which covered several innovative and modern solutions such as chatbots, blockchain, RPA, and AI.

A framework opportunity like this is incredibly desirable. Frameworks are often agreed for a period of four years, so winning a place on a public sector framework like this supports businesses in building long-term relationships with buyers.

The NHS London Procurement Partnership includes trust and commissioning groups from across London, including London Ambulance Service NHS Trust and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, as well as members in other parts of England (for example, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) and NHS Blood and Transplant.

Contract winners included a diverse range of suppliers, including not only large firms such as Deloitte LLP, Capita Business Service, Fujitsu Services, Atos IT Services but also SMEs 4net Technologies, Adappt Ltd and Aimes Management Services; proving again that businesses of all sizes can win big with the public sector.

 

Missed out on this opportunity?

Gaining the kind of credibility offered by winning a place on a framework could expand the opportunities available to your business as it will enhance your reputation with both public and private sector buyers.

The Market Intelligence offered by Tracker can often be used even before the contract notice advertising  the chance to apply to join a new framework is published. Contract award notices from the type of frameworks your business wants to join can give you information like the kind of suppliers that are part of the framework, the duration of the contract (something which also gives you a potential renewal date) and how much will be spent by the buying organisation.

Gaining this insight will prepare your organisation for when the framework will be tendered again and will allow your business to begin the early engagement process.

The government’s investment into connectivity, digital and training has opened opportunities to SMEs looking for IT tenders. With prospective business out there and showing no signs of slowing down, organisations looking to grow their business and increase their share of public sector spend in this field must stay competitive using business intelligence.

Learn about how business intelligence can support your efforts to win more tenders with the public sector during a free live demo with a member of our expert procurement team.

Win More 

 

 

COVID-19: The public sector is very much open for business

 

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, our parent company, BiP Solutions, has harnessed its powerful database, business intelligence and data analysis services to do bring buyers and suppliers together during this time by releasing market reports weekly.

Although this is an uncertain time, BiP Solutions maintain within these reports that:

“What is clear is that the public sector is very much open for business and is issuing contract notices relevant to companies of all sizes.”

With lockdown lifting slightly and government, citizens and business all looking forward to a ‘new normal’, we reveal some of the key statistics from these reports and highlight areas of opportunity for suppliers below.

 

Framework opportunities

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, the public sector has ongoing requirements for a vast range of goods, works and services, offering a steady stream of work to suppliers of all sizes.

According to procurement leaders BiP Solutions:

“There were 37 new OJEU Framework Notices published during the week commencing 11 May. Frameworks made up 3.41% of contract notices published.”

While framework agreements make up a relatively small proportion of contract opportunities published, they are very influential.

Not only are they often very valuable – sometimes their total value is estimated in the billions of pounds – but they offer opportunities to multiple suppliers to win places on the framework and, with that, potential work for several years. Frameworks are also an ideal way for new suppliers and SMEs to bring themselves to the attention of public sector buyers.

Missing out on a place on a framework also reduces your ability to win business so tracking these increasingly common arrangements is now essential, that is why the Market Intelligence offered by Tracker can often be used in before a new framework is published.

 

Sector spotlight

The education sector has been one of the most significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The need first for lockdown and then for ongoing social distancing closed all education establishments and it is becoming clear that, for the foreseeable future, schools, colleges and universities will not be able to go back to the pre-pandemic normal.

BiP Solutions has revealed that the education sector consistently issues the second largest volume of contract notices each week after local government. Education covers everything from nurseries to universities, meaning that the sector has wide-ranging requirements, which offer opportunities to businesses of all sizes in  almost all industry sectors.

The latest report from BiP Solutions, which focuses on education, states that:

“Spend in the sector has consistently had a total stated value of over £50 million weekly, while well over 50% of contract notices have not provided a value, making actual spend considerably higher.”

In recent years, The government’s investment into connectivity, digital and training has opened opportunities to SMEs looking for IT tenders. During the pandemic, the education sector has been asked to undertake a rapid transformation, with face to face learning in a group setting with a teacher/lecturer largely being replaced by online teaching delivered to students in their own homes. While buyers are not tendering in large volume for IT requirements, engagement with individual schools or academy trusts is proving fruitful for IT suppliers.

 

Find new opportunities with the public sector

Tracker is investing heavily to ensure that the latest opportunities are not only delivered straight to your inbox but that our customers equipped with the very latest in market intelligence. This enables our users to maintain and grow their pipeline in a market where opportunities are huge.

New to Tracker? Learn about how business intelligence can support your efforts to win more tenders with the public sector during a free live demo with a member of our expert procurement team.

Win More