The current pace of change with rapid advancements in technology and persistent threats of cyber security breaches, together with big construction projects and growth in NHS investment shaping our near future, it is a hugely exciting time for public sector and private sector suppliers across the UK in the procurement market. With so many factors at play as we enter a period of change, there is a real wealth of opportunity for businesses to progress and grow in this environment.
Tracker have long been procurement experts, offering a range of business intelligence tools that provide the support and knowledge global businesses need to find and win tenders in a wide range of industries. Below we go through our predictions for the procurement landscape in 2020, with analysis on the role the key themes of strategic procurement, early engagement and social value will play.
More strategic and innovative procurement
eProcurement platforms like Tracker have been in popular usage for procurement management for nearly a decade now, as procurement moves away paperwork. Not only is the procurement market itself becoming more competitive, but the business intelligence tools Tracker offer are becoming more tactical. Powerful tools including spend analysis and archive data are based on market research and historic data conducted by dedicated teams of Tracker researchers allow potential new suppliers to establish procurement strategies in advance of new contracts being published.
Spend analysis collates and publishes all public sector spend data of all transactions undertaken by local and central government in England worth over £500 and £25,000 respectively, allowing businesses to identify buyer spend patterns, track their competitors and expose new business areas for growth. Archive data allows businesses to discover which of their competitors have won business and uncover any new competitors not yet on their radar, with 5 years of archive data now standard on Tracker packages.
eProcurement platforms will increasingly play an integral part in new and existing suppliers’ success in winning contracts.
The growth of public sector framework agreements
Public sector procurement is more competitive than ever. Moving into 2020 and beyond, contracting authorities will be continually looking for suppliers that offer the greatest value for money over a longer period of time, which save them time and resources so that they meet the demands of their ever-growing market. Public sector framework agreements are the way forward for achieving this. Public sector framework agreements give buyers the flexibility to order services and products multiple times from private sector suppliers. For many public sector contracting authorities they are the preferred procurement option because they do not have to re-submit contract renewals for the same goods, works and services, and it means they have a range of suppliers to choose from. Not only do framework agreements support the wider supply chain, but it is also a relatively simple process for SMEs to get on, especially with the help of Tracker.
The Tracker team can help you optimise your supplier profile so that you will receive framework alerts as soon as they become available.
Social value will take centre stage
The concept of social value in procurement has taken hold in recent years after the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, but its application has been inconsistent. However, there is a tide of opinion amongst procurement professionals that 2020 will be the year it takes full flight. Contracting authorities across the UK are no longer only considering the cheapest cost when procuring goods, works or services from suppliers – they are demanding a greater quality and more conscious awareness of environmental factors and how procurement can be sustainable when done well. Most of all, buyers are looking for suppliers that can strive to make a positive impact on wider communities. A good example of this is employing apprentices into full time work to tackle unemployment and help young people to gain training and qualifications.
The aim of social value is to drive the goal that procurement is no longer merely a transaction and money in pocket for suppliers – it is a project that can produce far greater, longer-lasting effects if buyers and suppliers work effectively together. This idea of social value and collaboration is making faster progress in some areas more than others. Procurement in Scotland, for example, requires every public body to consider how its procurement activity can be used to improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of its area, and how it will facilitate the involvement of SMEs, third sector and supported businesses to promote innovation.
Early engagement increases chances of success
Early engagement is fast becoming a key strategy for suppliers seeking to win new business. By reaching out to public sector buyers earlier, suppliers can build a relationship with the contracting authority and even shape the contract specification based on their proposal, setting them apart from competition.
Tracker is the champion of early engagement, and supports suppliers by giving exclusive access to hundreds of thousands of named decision makers and their contact details on tenders from construction and infrastructure to IT and computing, before a tender has even been published. Early engagement encourages clearer communication and collaboration between buyers and suppliers.
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