Government procurement opportunities as IT outsourcing is on the rise

government tenders boost for IT suppliers


According to the Arvato UK Outsourcing Index, new technology means new government tenders.  The latest figures have revealed that the public sector has increased outsourcing in the first half of 2018, which is excellent news for suppliers looking for government tenders.


IT outsourcing

The research compiled by Arvato and industry analyst NelsonHall revealed that out of £2.61 billion outsourcing contracts signed in the UK between January and June 2018.

The same report also highlights that IT outsourcing contracts accounted for 79% of government spend from January to June.  In terms of deal volume, that also increased by 19% year-on-year, according to the research.

Cloud computing, application management, and multi-scope infrastructure came out on as the most frequently procured IT services.


How much is the government spending on outsourcing?

In the first half of 2017, government outsourcing spend was £720 million. In comparison, £998 million was spent in the first half of 2018, a 39% increase on last year.

The report notes that central government departments accounted for most of the government spending at £921 million, an increase of 27% on the previous year.

Debra Maxwell, CEO, CRM Solutions, Arvato UK & Ireland, said:

“The public sector market is showing signs of recovery as government organisations take the brakes off the tendering process. More than two thirds (68 per cent) of contracts signed across the sector this year represent new relationships, showing outsourcing remains a key strategy for delivering new technologies, such as cyber security and automation, to drive efficiency and service improvements.”

Government tenders for the IT sector Since 2012, the government has spent a total of £3.2 billion digital, data and technology through Digital Marketplace frameworks such as G-Cloud, Digital Outcomes and Specialists and Crown Hosting Data Centres.

With so much interest from the public sector in IT services, it is important that your business is engaging with buyers, starting conversations and making connections before government tenders are opened up to a wider pool of suppliers.


Government Tenders

If you would like to find opportunities through the Digital Marketplace frameworks, our Market Leads tool provides IT suppliers with advance notice of framework renewals and recurring contracts.

If you would like to find out more about our Market Leads tool, request a demo with a member of our team today and start finding pipeline government contract opportunities.


Start finding opportunities.


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Glasgow enjoys boost in government and local authority tender opportunities

local authority tenders - glasgow 2018


Local authorities spend their allocated budgets on a multitude of goods, works and services. Most recently, Glasgow City Council has released a large amount of expenditure, with investment being made in many different projects across the city.

Find out more about some of these projects below.



Housing has taken centre stage in Glasgow City Council’s plans for the year, with several new housing sites seeing a burst of construction activity.

Merchant Homes has submitted an application to build 132 new homes as part of a new residential community in Glasgow East, while 137 new homes are also set to be built in Pollokshaws by URBAN union.

Keepmoat Homes, meanwhile, signed a £250 million deal with the council in April to deliver 826 new homes, over half of which will be available for private sale, in Sighthill.


Clyde Generation Gateway

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced in May this year that £5.5 million will be invested in the Clyde Generation Gateway, bringing more jobs to the city as well as fresh tender opportunities.

The Clyde Generation Gateway is a partnership between Glasgow City Council, South Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Enterprise. The project’s aim is to attract private investment into one of the most deprived areas in Scotland.


Scottish Government investment

Other investments within Glasgow include the construction of Scotland’s first ‘alternative’ women’s prison in Maryhill. The facility will be one of two units to be opened in Scotland, Dundee being the other chosen city. Funding will come from the Scottish Government.


New frameworks

In addition to these government and local authority tender opportunities, Glasgow City Council is currently looking for contractors to join a £130 million framework contract to deliver construction, repair and maintenance of public realm schemes in the Glasgow City region.

The framework is currently being developed, with the selection of suppliers projected to be complete around the end of 2018. Individual contracts are anticipated to range in value from £5 million to £20 million.


Find local authority tenders in Glasgow and elsewhere

Our Market Intelligence and Tender Alerts tools are the perfect combination for any business that wants to find local authority tenders before their competitors do.

We track over 200 unique sources of business, government and procurement news every day, giving our customers critical market information which can help their business to tender successfully.

If you would like to find more local authority tenders with Tracker Intelligence, request a demo now.


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The 5-year NHS funding plan: what it means for NHS suppliers

NHS tenders after - funding plan


At the end of June 2018, just before the UK’s health service turned 70, the Government announced that the NHS will receive increased funding of £20.5 billion a year by the end of the five-year funding period.

The Government has announced that the “funding will be front-loaded with increases of 3.6% in the first two years”, with the hope that this will allow the NHS to regain core performance and improve services across the board.

With £4.1 billion extra being allocated next year, what will the changes mean for NHS suppliers looking for NHS tender opportunities?


Long-term funding commitment

With spending increases on the horizon. the long-term plan aims to improve efficiencies within the healthcare service and tackle waste.

Former Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

“This historic long-term funding boost recognises the superhuman efforts made by staff over the last few years to maintain services in the face of rapidly growing demand. But it also presents a big opportunity for the NHS to write an entirely new chapter in its history.”


NHS budget will be “spent wisely”

In a government press release, it states how important it is “that every pound in the NHS budget is spent wisely”.

The Government plans to monitor how efficiently the NHS spends these extra funds by setting five financial tests against it. At the end of the investment the Government wants to see:

  • improved productivity and efficiency
  • provider deficits eliminated
  • reduced unwarranted variation in the system so people get the consistently high standards of care wherever they live
  • the NHS managing demand effectively
  • better use of capital investment

The importance of added value

With so much focus on financial prudence and increased efficiency, added value is now likely to be more important than ever before when NHS tenders are evaluated. NHS suppliers should keep the values mentioned above in mind when they are writing bids for for NHS tenders.

Suppliers should make sure that they are including all the extras and benefits of their product/service in their bids. This will help the NHS to gauge whether working with your business will be of value to them or not.

Find NHS tenders

If you are looking for the latest NHS tenders, stay ahead of the competition with Tracker Intelligence.

Alongside out Tender Alerts service, Tracker’s Market Intelligence tool gives users access to critical market information that helps healthcare suppliers tender successfully for public business.

If you would like to be the first to know about NHS tender opportunities, request a demo with a member of the Tracker team. 


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Rise in SMEs winning public sector tenders in Scotland

public sector tenders in scotland


A recent report by Public Contracts Scotland shows that almost eighty per cent of public sector contracts in Scotland are awarded to SMEs.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has, in turn, credited the 2016 Procurement Reform Scotland Act with cementing the position of SMEs as key players across all public sector procurement programmes.

Find out more about working with the public sector in Scotland below.


CivTech programme

The ‘CivTech’ programme is one example from the Scottish Government’s procurement portfolio that shows the Government has taken a pioneering approach to the procurement process.

Head of CivTech Alexander Holt noted:

“With budgets under pressure and increasing demand, the need for smart, efficient and effective products is ever greater…The Scottish Government is also committed to ensuring that a large part of its tech spend goes to smaller, innovative businesses. This challenge is a gateway to creating solutions to public sector problems as quickly and effectively as possible.”

The CivTech programme encourages small businesses to be entrepreneurial. Whether it is harnessing data for NHS Scotland or protecting the environment, businesses are challenged to come up with a solution to open questions, as opposed to traditional tenders which have a more rigid set of requirements.


Find public sector tenders in Scotland

With the Scottish Government encouraging SME suppliers to play an even bigger role in public sector tendering in Scotland, now is the time to start looking for opportunities that are suited to your business.

Tracker tools like Market Leads and Intelligence are excellent resources for small businesses that do not have the time to constantly search for opportunities.

Market Leads will ensure that your business is ahead of the curve and will give you instant visibility of potential public sector framework opportunities and pipeline contracts long before they have been published.


Try Tracker Premier

Sign up for a free trial of Tracker Premier and discover key market trends that could help your business win more public sector contracts in Scotland.

Get started

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It is now easier to bid for Government tenders

red tape around government tenders

The recent relaunch of the Crown Commercial Service’s procurement process has demonstrated the Government’s efforts to improve UK procurement and make it easier to bid for public tenders.

The new process ‘streamlines procurement’ for SME businesses that supply to public sector organisations through Crown Commercial Service (CCS) procurement frameworks.


Government eliminates red tape around procurement

According to the UK Government, there is now less ‘red tape’ for interested bidders, providing a more straightforward and affordable procurement framework. This bold approach will aid the efforts of various companies in the coming years for keystone infrastructure projects such as High Speed 2, Crossrail 2 and the development of ‘smart motorways’ across the UK.

Emma Jones, Crown Representative for Small Business, says:

“The new CCS contract is shorter and easier to understand and takes a more standardised approach. This should save SMEs time and money when deciding to bid for CCS deals and I welcome the approach.”


New processes

The new simplified procurement process from the Crown Commercial Service is due to be replicated at Government-owned Network Rail. Named the Supplier Qualification System (SQS), this new technology-driven platform is set to become the primary source for future procurement opportunities within the rail industry.

Network Rail is expected to procure £2 billion worth of goods and services over the next decade, and the new centrepiece system will cut out bureaucracy by streamlining suppliers’ progress through the bidding process, providing a more efficient procurement procedure.


Find Government tenders

Would you like to find procurement framework opportunities and Government tenders? Tracker’s Market intelligence tool gives public sector suppliers information about Government tender opportunities before they go live.

Combining this tool with our Tender Alerts package will put your business in the best place when it comes down to finding public sector opportunities and market engagement.

Would you like to find out more about how Tracker works? Request a demo with a member of our team today.

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Public Sector Tendering: Tailoring your bid response to the contract

Now that you know how to choose the right tender opportunities and the questions to ask when bidding for public sector tenders, it’s time to talk about tailoring your bid response to the contract.

Cut and paste may seem like the most efficient way to get a tender response through the door; however, procurers can see right through this.

If you are currently reusing answers from a previous tender response, you won’t be the only one; but this may be the reason why you are not winning work with the public sector. The most effective way to grab a buyer’s attention is to tailor your bid response to the contract.

Find out the best ways to do this below.


Why should you always tailor tender submissions?

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all tender submission. If you want to win public sector tenders it is important that you do NOT cut and paste from the answers contained in a previous tender response.

There may be times when your business can repurpose content; this though runs the risk of your answers not matching the questions should additional questions subsequently be asked.


Answer the question

This may seem obvious; however, many organisations are guilty of straying from the original question.

When making a tender submission, never assume what the authority needs, as this might be totally different to what is being requested in the specification.

Provide tailored answers to that specification; if your business cannot do this, then it may be a sign that you should focus on another tender that may be more suitable.


Answer all questions

Starting from scratch may seem daunting; however, not all tender specifications are the same and they will not contain the same questions.

If you go into the bid writing process using the same set of answers time and time again, this may leave you with unanswered questions at the end.

It is imperative that you answer all questions asked. If you fail to do this your tender will be marked as incomplete.



Always proof your tender responses

Whether you are bid writing for the first, the fiftieth or the five-hundredth time, you can only benefit from someone independent looking over your tender submission with a fresh pair of eyes.

PASS Principal Procurement Consultant Eddie Regan says that this type of feedback is invaluable in helping suppliers identify errors they never notice.

In a market worth over £250 billion, a day or two assigned to proofing and perfecting your bid is well spent.


Check the questions and the answers

While you are proofing your answers, always read through the specification one more time, checking the questions.

If you are unsure of what any question is asking you, always ask the buyer for clarification. Working on responses early will give you enough time to fix any problems.

That said, when working on the bid, don’t leave the hardest questions to last; given the regularity with which contractors leave responding to questions to the last minute, the danger is that you could end up providing a weak answer to a very important question due to poor time management.

If you missed our blog on “What to ask before writing your tender response”, find it here.


Bid support

PASS Procurement’s Bid Review consultancy service is designed to assist any business (big or small) review their bid processes thoroughly.

If you would like to work with an expert procurement consultant and learn how you can improve your tender bids, Tracker customers receive a discount on PASS training as part of their membership benefits!

Learn more about Tracker membership benefits or find out more about becoming a Tracker customer.



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Public Sector Tender Training: What to ask before writing your tender response

Public sector tender training: bid writing


There are many myths surrounding public sector tendering; not being able to ask questions when writing a tender response is one of them.

As the public sector is responsible for a vast spectrum of procurement, from care services to education and from national security to health, tender specifications are often very general, which means that some often miss information that suppliers see to be important.

If you would like to find out more about the questions you should be asking procurers before writing a tender response, read on below.


Remember you are the expert

Whether you are reading the questions posed within the standardised Selection Questionnaire (SQ), the tender specification itself or any other material provided by the buyer, remember that you know your product/service better than anyone else and your experience and knowledge of the market may be more advanced than the procurer’s.

Procurement officers are responsible for buying a wide and diverse range of goods, works and services, often without being specialists in any one market sector or product area. Your bid submission is the place where you can display your market knowledge and expertise. In most cases, public sector procurers will not be as knowledgeable as you or other contractors bidding for their tenders.

By harnessing your knowledge and experience, you can often positively influence the outcome of a procurement exercise, particularly if the buyer has chosen to undertake early market engagement before the notice is even published; importantly, this can help improve your chances of winning the tender.


Before asking any questions

Before asking the buying authority any questions, carefully read and consider all the questions posed in the tender document; only then, where necessary, seek clarification on any points that confuse or restrict your ability to respond suitably.

A good specification asks questions of you, seeking to understand your solution and methodology; however, during this period you should be asking questions of the public sector too.


The best questions to ask when tendering with the public sector

Try to ask questions that remove assumptions from the bid writing process; this will allow you to focus on what is required and give the buyer exactly the answers they are seeking.

PASS Principal Procurement Consultant Eddie Regan is a procurement specialist who offers bid support to businesses across the UK. He says that “questions can be on any topic relevant to the tender exercise”.

Procurers sometimes tightly define the solution they are seeking in their tender documents, using an input specification. Many questions may need to be asked, to help you fully understand the potential flexibility of the requirement.

If the procurer opts for an output-based specification, asking only that the solution meets certain outcomes, it is far easier for you to use your knowledge and experience to offer the best solution; however, it is still important to ask the right questions, to ensure you meet the client’s needs.


Why is it important to ask questions?

Some suppliers notice elements in the specification that are no longer pertinent to the tender and could be removed. If you are unsure about the relevance of any element, ask: you could be saving the contracting authority unnecessary cost.

An example Eddie Regan uses is: “Why is there a requirement for an excessive amount of Professional Indemnity Insurance, when, in your experience, the size and nature of the contract that you are bidding for would normally only require a lower level?”


What happens after you ask buyers questions?

Once your question has been submitted, it will be anonymised.

Remember, there are no silly questions when it comes to working with the public sector. By law, the buyer must provide an answer to your question. The answer will be circulated to all the participants, to ensure that there is a level playing field in terms of knowledge.

The advantage of this is that your business will gain sight of the questions your competitors are asking – this could be of benefit to you in the long term.


Learn more about bid writing

Would you like to learn more about the bid writing process? Don’t forget, Tracker customers get a discount on PASS training as part of their membership benefits!

Depending on your package level you can gain access to a range of exclusive benefits, all designed to help your business engage with buyers earlier, be more competitive and sell more effectively.


Coming Soon: Keep reading our “Public Sector Tendering” blog series and learn more about “Tailoring your bid response to the contract”.

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Public Sector Tenders in the UK – Energy Sector

Public sector tenders uk - energy sector


Across the UK public sector landscape, organisations and governments alike are stepping up ambitious efforts to increase spending on energy projects in line with the transition to a low carbon economy.

The UK Government has recently announced pioneering policies such as the mass rollout of energy smart meters, the introduction of electric vehicle infrastructure and landmark spending on fuel-efficient aerospace technology.

In addition, the Scottish Government has outlined similarly ambitious proposals, which are underpinned by the £54 million fund to enhance energy efficiency in homes across Scotland.


SMEs in a Low Carbon UK

These wide-ranging proposals are having an impact on UK SMEs. Although there are costs involved in complying with and even exceeding required energy efficiency measures, doing so can benefit SMEs when tendering for work with the public sector.

Measures such as the EU crackdown on CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, LED powered light sources and sweeping new initiatives across the construction sector are set to revolutionise energy consumption within the workplace, as important strides are taken to combat climate change.

A recent survey showed that there are commercial benefits for SMEs that adopt environmentally friendly business strategies. In addition, the increased focus on the energy sector and the fight against climate change could lead to more opportunities for businesses working in this area.


Find Public Sector Tenders in the UK

Could your business benefit from the increase in spend on the energy sector? If it could, it is important to stay ahead of the curve in procurement.

With Tracker Premier, we can help your business to find public sector leads before your competitors do. Our Market Leads tool gives Tracker customers instant visibility of potential supply chain opportunities, public sector frameworks and pipeline contracts, long before the tender has been published.

Not only will this subscription give you access to relevant insights and contact information, but it also includes daily tender alerts. This means that you will never miss a public sector tender opportunity that is relevant to your business as the opportunity will be sent straight to your inbox.

Learn more about public sector tenders in the UK or request a demo now and start finding opportunities that are valuable to your business.

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Construction companies chosen for public sector framework valued at £2bn

public sector frameworks_construction tenders


Last week it was announced that construction firms from across the north of England have been chosen as public sector framework suppliers.

The chosen businesses will now have access to future opportunities for developments in the North West, valued at over £2 billion.


Procure North West framework

Winning companies will be a part of the Procure North West (PNW) framework. This framework agreement includes public sector bodies across the region and is open to NHS bodies, emergency services, colleges, universities, schools, local authorities, housing associations, and registered charities.

Other government departments such as the MOD will also be able to procure projects through the PNW framework. Robbie Blackhurst, Managing Director of Procure North West, has said that:

“Having the contractor partners on board was the last missing piece of the jigsaw and we are delighted that the framework is now live and can start to support the public sector deliver their capital projects.”


Where is this money being spent?

This framework covers Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire, Cumbria and Merseyside and is open until 2022. It has been reported that the framework has been split into four lots of different values.

The Manchester Evening News has reported that Casey Group and Seddon Construction will be in the running for projects valued between £1m – £5m. Larger companies, Bardsley Construction and Graham could potentially be selected for contracts worth £5 – £15m.


Find public sector frameworks

Did you miss this opportunity? Engaging with buyers at the initial stages of a procurement is incredibly import.

Our customers can find public sector framework opportunities before they are published with our Market Leads and Market Intelligence tools.

Stay ahead of the competition with the right intelligence and start making valuable connections with public sector buyers by using Tracker.


Have you tried Tracker?

Request a personalised demo of Tracker today and start to identify construction tender opportunities that are relevant to your business.

Working with our Business Development team you can see first hand the public sector frameworks that are available to your business right now – so that you will never miss another opportunity like this again!

Interested? Request Demo




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Public Sector Tender Tendering: Choosing the right public sector tenders for your business

Public sector tender training


Finding opportunities that are suitable for your business is the first step to success with public sector tendering. The more you look at tender specifications, the better you will become at spotting public sector opportunities that are the right fit for your business.

Find out how to choose the right public sector tenders and get the top tips for preparing your bid below.


Choosing the right public sector tenders

Before bidding, you need to understand the costs involved; this will help you to see the true value of the opportunity. Direct your resources in the right direction and target the opportunities that lie easily within your grasp, otherwise you may be paying for the privilege of working with the public sector.

PASS Principal Procurement Consultant Eddie Regan offers bid support training to businesses of all sizes. He advises suppliers on the types of opportunities they should be looking for and the types they should be avoiding, noting that:

 “The scattergun approach to bidding, whereby bidders chase every opportunity, irrespective of how tenuous the likelihood of success, costs companies financially, but also uses up hundreds if not thousands of hours of valuable work time.”

Start looking for relevant opportunities using a tool like Tracker’s Tender Alerts. As you are the one optimising your profile, you can tailor your account so that you only receive tender opportunities and award notices that are relevant to your business.


Low value tenders

SME businesses may find winning several low value contracts, where the resources needed to bid can be significantly less, to be as rewarding as winning the occasional large contract.

Smaller contracts are often a good place to start for small businesses seeking to build a bank of public sector references. They can also be extremely lucrative, as in some cases aiming for lower value contracts may be something that your competitors haven’t thought about.

While your competitors are aiming for contracts that may be out of their reach, your business will have better odds of winning low competition and low value tender opportunities.


Be aware of these opportunities

Tenders below the value of the public procurement thresholds are not carried in the OJEU. Public procurement regulations mean that if a tender value is under the threshold published, the public sector body awarding it does not need to advertise in the OJEU; this reduces the number of potential companies who are aware of the opportunity.

Tracker customers have access to both types of tender, those that are published in the OJEU and those lower value contracts falling below the thresholds. We source information about lower value tenders independently, manually review them and notify our customers of relevant tenders that are suited to their business.


Supply chain opportunities

Supply chain tender opportunities are another option for businesses that want to expand their tendering potential.

In most cases here, the buyer is a private sector organisation. Supply chain procurement begins with a private sector company, or companies, winning what is usually a large public sector contract.

In most cases, they will not be able to provide every aspect of the goods, works or services required; therefore, they will seek subcontractors. These opportunities may be of interest to businesses just getting started in the world of procurement.


Market Leads

The best way to capture this type of tender opportunity is to use Tracker’s Market Leads tool. This gives your business instant access to hundreds of private sector leads. The main benefit of using this tool is that your business will have visibility of tender opportunities long before your competitors, giving you space to start conversations with buyers before the contract has been announced.


If you are currently a Tracker Tender Alerts customer you can upgrade now to Tracker Premier to gain access to Market Leads.

If you are new to Tracker, sign up for a free trial of Tracker Premier and start identifying more public and supply chain opportunities.



Coming soon: Keep reading our “Public Sector Tendering” blog series and learn more about “What to ask before writing your tender response”.



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All NEW Tracker Tenders with Bid to Win Workout