Why bid for government contracts?
There has never been a better time to bid for government contracts. In 2015, the Government announced targets to spend £1 in every £3 with SMEs by 2020, and this is well on course to be achieved.
The public sector continues to spend circa £230 billion per year on products and services, and advertises a staggering 10,000 contracting opportunities every single month through the Government Contracts Finder portal.
Compare this to the private sector, where the unknown implications of Brexit continue to create an air of uncertainty resulting in less tender opportunities being available.
In 2015, changes were made to simplify the public procurement process, such as the abolishment of the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) for contracts under £100k. This considerably reduces the amount of paperwork and time spent to complete a tender response. The government also implemented tougher measures to tackle the issue of late payments to those suppliers carrying out work for the public sector. Under new rules, the public sector must pay both contractors and sub-contractors within 30 days. To ensure accountability of this, they are forced to publish an annual late payment report.
The tender process: be prepared and be strategic
Whilst these initiatives reduce the effort involved in bidding for government contracts and improve the accessibility for SMEs, they also increase competition. Public sector bidders, therefore, need to be better prepared and demonstrate an increased strategic approach to ensure they stand out from the crowd. The good news is that most won’t do this and will continue with their own disjointed bid management and bid writing process, so you could get a head-start.
There are of course techniques and tactics to ensure your response scores well. As soon as you have discovered a winning formula you can successfully bid for more contracts with different public bodies. There are over 50,000 registered public bodies in the UK and the public procurement process they are legally required to follow is the same, so by default, the public tender process will be too.
There’s no doubt about it, a government contract is a realistic possibility and one that will enable you to sustainably grow your business. By investing in the process and the right people, your bid win-rate will soar.
What our clients say
During 2014 we tendered to secure a place on a key framework to provide postal services for Central Government and Local Authorities. Knowing Bidbetter’s past experience within public sector procurement, we engaged their services to review our bid submission to ensure our responses adequately addressed all requirements. Following the bid evaluation process, we were successfully awarded a place on the framework and were delighted to achieve consistently high marks for each Lot. Bidbetter’s impartial and insightful critique proved very valuable and we rate their services highly.
We used the services of Bidbetter to aid us in bidding for public sector work more effectively and to strategically analyse our internal bid management process. We found their public sector procurement process training to be practical, easy to understand and jargon free. In addition they provided very adoptable bid management recommendations for us to implement when we next go for that all important tender. I would strongly recommend Bidbetter and the services they deliver.
Bidbetter’s approach to strategic tender management is both incisive and practical. They have taken the time to really understand our business and have offered sensible and actionable advice which is already showing positive results.
We utilised Bidbetter’s services to project manage and write the tender response for an exceptionally large collaborative Public Sector tender. In addition to this, Phil Norman, our Bidbetter consultant, provide an excellent insight in to the public sector procurement process, public sector procurement strategy and perhaps most relevantly the process of how public bodies award contracts
We have called upon the services of Bidbetter now for two large tenders for one of the UK’s largest public sector corporations. We have found Philip to be incredibly helpful and efficient, helping us every step of the way to completing these complex and lengthy tenders. We will continue to use Bidbetter for all our tenders.
Since 2013, when we first worked with Bidbetter, a small investment has assisted us in delivering over £600k worth of public sector contracts. They even introduced us to a supported specialist business advice grant, to which we were successful in obtaining. Bidbetter are extremely personable, very flexible and always encouraging. Because of this – and the obvious results they have helped us deliver- we intend to continue working with Bidbetter to ensure we retain our current public sector contracts and win new ones.