High value supply chains have the potential to strengthen businesses and communities.
A supply chain is a network of companies and people involved in the delivery of a product or service. This spans from the raw materials to the finished product and will involve a number of procurement processes.
Navigating supply chain activity and finding the right opportunities for you can be complicated. To help you on your journey we have developed this toolkit to provide you with valuable insights, best practice and practical tools to enhance your procurement activities.
Below you will find a wealth of information that can help you discover and bid effectively for new business opportunities. This toolkit aims to equip you with the necessary knowledge and resources to optimize your bidding processes and increase your chances of success.
What is procurement?
Procurement refers to the process of acquiring goods, services or works from external sources. The goal of procurement is to obtain the necessary resources at the right quality, quantity, price and time to meet an organisations needs. Effective procurement practices can help organisations optimise costs, mitigate risks and ensure timely delivery of goods and services.
Where can I find business opportunities?
Below, you will find a range of resources that can assist you in discovering business opportunities.
Find a Tender Service
FTS is the home of higher value, public contract opportunities (tenders) within the UK.
The Chest is an on line portal for suppliers to register their interest and receive email updates on potential opportunities.
Responding to a tender
In many cases, particularly for sizeable or complex projects buyers may require potential suppliers to complete a PQQ. This questionnaire serves as an initial assessment tool for the buyer to determine the suitability of a contractor or supplier and aids in shortlisting them for the Invitation to Tender (ITT) stage. The PQQ assists in creating a shortlist of companies based on specific criteria that align with the buyer’s particular requirements. The questionnaire typically includes inquiries about the supplier’s level of experience, capacity and financial standing.
An ITT is a formal document issued by a company looking to buy goods or services from the marketplace. This document contains comprehensive information regarding the buyers requirements, including budgets, timelines and instructions son how to apply for the opportunity. To showcase that your company possesses the necessary capability and approach to fulfill the specified requirements, it is essential to submit a bid in response to the ITT. This bid should demonstrate you company’s ability and methodology to successfully deliver the work as per the specifications.
In some circumstances the buyer may require a presentation to be made to a selection panel. This presents an opportunity to provide additional details about your offer and effectively convey your key messages. It is crucial to carefully consider who will deliver this presentation, as it serves as your sole chance to demonstrate your capability to successfully deliver the work.
- If required, register your interest to submit a bid for the opportunity
- Register for any information sessions – this will be an opportunity to ask questions, establish contacts and gain more insight in to the requirements
- Consider how much it will cost to develop and prepare the response?
- Do you have the resources to deliver the specification?
- Do you have the relevant accreditation and/or qualifications required?
- Ask questions if you require any clarification, often there will be a deadline for this
- Answer the question – ensure you answer the question that has been asked and address all points thoroughly and concisely
- Pay attention to any word counts – some buyers will disregard any words above their word count resulting in your answer being incomplete
- Look at the scoring methodology and criteria – look how the buyer will assess and score your submission. Some points may have a higher weighting than others, demonstrating where you need to concentrate your efforts
- Tailor your submission – do not ‘cut and paste’ standard responses for every bid. Standard responses are very rarely successful. Ensure your responses are tailored to the opportunity you are responding to
- Keep a collateral library – keep a library of standard information that may be requested, an ‘about us’ that can be tailored as above or CV’s for key personal or details of qualification and accreditations. This will save you running around sourcing the information when you are working to deadlines
- Use their language – using the buyer’s language and phrases demonstrates and understanding of the sector and how it operates
- Proof read – check for errors and spelling mistakes before you submit to the buyer
- Make it easy to read – avoid using small and difficult to read fonts and narrow line spacing
- Look professional – don’t just submit a word document. Ensure you include company logos, and set it out in a user friendly format
- Pay attention to the deadlines – if you miss a deadline for questions or submission it is very unlikely your question will be answered, or your bid will be accepted if the specified deadline has passed
It’s recommended that you seek feedback on your submission, especially in cases where you have been unsuccessful. This feedback can provide valuable insights on areas for improvement and contribute to internal lessons learned, which can be used in future submissions. By effectively seeking feedback, you can acquire knowledge that will greatly enhance the quality of your future bids.
Competition law is designed to protect businesses and consumers from anti-competitive behaviour. The law stimulates effective competition in order to deliver open, dynamic markets and enhanced productivity, innovation and value for customers.
All businesses must comply with competition law and there can be serious consequences for businesses and individuals (including directors) for non-compliance.
The guide below provides a basic overview of the law and outlines the steps you can take to comply. It may also help you to spot when others are engaging in illegal anti-competitive behaviour. This guide also provides you with details on what to do if you think your business or a competitor is breaking competition law.
Further Supply Chain/Procurement Support
Growth Platform are currently developing some Masterclasses to increase the capability of business understanding of how to effectively compete when tendering for new business opportunities. We expect these to be available in the Spring.
To register your interest in attending a Masterclass or for further Supply Chain support please contact Craig Donaldson, Supply Chain ExecutiveRegister your interest