WINNING BUSINESS ONLINE Rachel Fletcher FCS Associates Ltd 15th June 2012
FCS ASSOCIATES LTD•Specialist Bid Writing, Funding and Strategic Business Planning ConsultancyKey Services: • Bid Writing: For public sector tenders, grants and charity funding • Enterprise Coaching: Business planning, funding reviews procurement support. • FCS Tracker: Personalised weekly funding e-bulletin • Bid Writing Workshops: Interactive, tailored workshops to support tender development.
FCS TRACKERPersonalised contract andgrant e-bulletinWeekly serviceUnique and robustTelephone support tonavigate websites and portalsReviews over 250 sourcesConstantly expandingdatabase of opportunitiesCan be instantly updated tolook at new contract areas
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES Weak national economy Increasing global competition Difficulty of managing late payments/non-paymentsHowever: New Business Opportunity: £236b is spent each year by the public sector, increasingly using e-procurement Local government ~£40 billion every year on goods and services 50% supplied by SMEs/micro businesses
WHAT IS E-PROCUREMENT Use of electronic methods in every stage of thepurchasing process Advertising contracts Managing contracts Evaluating tenders Paying suppliers Dynamic purchasing systemsBenefits Reduce paperwork Improve efficiency Help you process orders more quickly Speed up payment
IS IT REALLY COMPLICATED?Yes and NoProtecting taxpayers moneyProcesses have to be: Transparent Fair for All Value for MoneyLonger decision making, policies/accreditations neededBut public sector are: Good payers Stable organisations Buy a vast range of products and services Rock salt to business support – everything in between
POTENTIAL PUBLIC SECTOR CUSTOMERSCentral government departments and agenciesDevolved administrations in Scotland, Wales andNorthern IrelandLocal AuthoritiesNational Health ServicePolice serviceArmed forcesUniversitiesCollegesPrisonsCould also be a sub-contractor for high -valuecontracts won by other, larger businesses.
TYPES OF PROCUREMENT PROCEDURESOpen ITT sent to all.Restricted Two-stage process, PQQ followed by an ITT to short listed suppliersCompetitive Dialogue Used for complex procurements whereby authority negotiates with companies to develop suitable solution.Negotiated Only used in limited circumstances to allow contract negotiations with one or more suppliers.Framework Agreement Used as a call-off basis. Mini-competition may be held to identify the best supplier. A contract is only formed when an order is placed for a specific requirement.
E-MARKETPLACE: FINDING OPPORTUNITIES1. Free websites Contracts Finder (replaced supply to gov) Public Tenders.net2. Free On-Line Portals: SCSM The Chest Source Derbyshire3. Purchasing Consortium Portals: (Fee is Payable) Crescent Purchasing Consortium4. Opportunities Websites (Fee is Payable) Tenders Direct, QSL Ltd etc
Recommended FREE Websites Organisation Specific Sites: – Emergency Services: https://www.bluelight.gov.uk/portal/cms.nsf/vHomePage/fSection?OpenDocument – CompeteFor: https://www.competefor.com/business/opportunitySearchForm.html – MOD contract: http://www.contracts.mod.uk/introduction/index.shtmlNational / Regional Portals National: http://www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk Yorkshire Councils: http://scms.alito.co.uk/ Enterprising Barnsley: http://www.enterprisingbarnsley.co.uk/ North Eastern Purchasing Organisation NEPO: https://www.qtegov.com/procontract Public Tenders.net: www.publictenders.net Source Derbyshire: http://www.sourcederbyshire.co.uk North West : https://www.thechest.nwce.gov.uk/cms/cms.nsf Wales E-tendering: https://etenderwales.bravosolution.co.uk/web/login.shtmlEuropean: TED/OJEU – Tenders Electronic Daily: http://ted.europa.eu/TED/browse/browseByBO.do
REGISTRATION: PROCUREMENT WEB PORTALS Have to register if you visit for the first time Cannot respond if you are not registered Can receive e-bulletins of opportunities2 Types: Simple: e-mail, company details and password Complex: (To provide Buyers with information) Company Information Service description, case studies and referees Financial data Insurance certificates Questionnaires required completion for specific services On-line tutorial available to help you Can update at anytime
RSS Feeds or Really Simple SyndicationAllows you to stay updated and save time by retrieving the latestcontent from the sites you are interested in.
PROACTIVE OPPORTUNITY SEARCHING •Many public sector organisations have a list of current contracts on their website •E.g. BMBCContract Register •Details of current contracts, size and who delivers it •Contact name to find out more CONTRACT EXTENSION TOTAL ORTITLE DESCRIPTION START DATE END DATE PERIOD AMOUNT ANNUAL SUPPLIER CONTACT COMMENTDay Day care in a Johnopportunities residential setting 01/04/2008 30/09/2011 175634.00 Annual Age Concern Harding Under reviewInsurance Programme ofProgramme Insurance Covers 01/10/2008 30/09/2011 2 years 1140000.00 Annual Travelers/Zurich/AXA Neil Darlow •http://www.barnsley.gov.uk/services/business/tenders-and- contracts/procurement-contracts-lists/
DO’S AND DON’TS: IDENTIFYING OPPORTUNITIESKnow whose responsibility it is to identify opportunities Ensure a process is in place for holidays / sicknessDo organise your approach Weekly/monthly website checks Know which bulletins you receive information from Have a centralised information system for weblinks/logins/passwordsDo thoroughly read opportunities Don’t dismiss opportunities based on the title Always read the specification if you think it might be relevant
Assessment of OpportunitiesHow do you know if you should pursue a contractopportunity? Do a SWOT AnalysisNo right or wrong answer, a question of best usingresources availableKey Issues this consider: How much input is needed? Does it fit with company’s long term growth strategy Cash flow implications Timescales realistic for delivery? Do you know the organisation? Realistic deadline? Known competitors?
SUBMITTING EOI’S AND PQQ’SExpression of Interest (EOI) E-mail to request a PQQ or ITT May need to be registered on relevant portal to submit an EOIPre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) Vetting process PQQ – ongoing or specific to individual tenders Generic business related information e.g. organisational structure / financial credibility Can be online or paper based Will have deadlines for submission – must be completed or will not be invited to tender Assesses the competencies of organisation in areas of quality, equality and diversity, health and safety, financial health of provider
EXAMPLE PQQ:PLEASE COMPLETE ONLY REQUIRED SECTIONS &QUESTIONSNot all sections of this questionnaire are required to becompleted, please complete those sections as indicated in thecolumn opposite.G – General Background InformationF – Financial CONTRACT TITLEH – Health & Safety Provision of Training ConsultancyQ – Quality Assurance Services for the University ofD – Diversity & Equality General Birmingham’s People and OrganisationalDH – Diversity & Equality High Relevance Development DepartmentC – Corporate ResponsibilityE – EnvironmentalW – WEEE DirectiveR – RoSH DirectiveV – Verification
SUBMITTING THE PQQUsually submitted on-lineDont do at last minute: Frequent overloadCheck all your responses carefullyEnsure that you’ve included all the necessarydocumentationSign and date the Declaration section of the form –one of the most common reasons for a PQQ to benon-compliant is that it is not signed, or not signedby a senior manager or executiveEnsure that the awarding authority receives yourPQQ on time – late arrivals will be rejected.
Bid Development Process Tender Ready Evaluation Bid Formulation Bid Writing Implementation Submission PresentationFeedback FAILURE SUCCESS
THE DO’S AND DON’TS: BIDDEVELOPMENTBefore you start writing READ ALL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATIONAscertain if you require clarification on certain pointsAttend Briefing Events (where organised)Take into account the evaluation criteriaStart as soon as possibleDetermine your tender-writing strategy • Identify the bid development team • Include input from across the organisation to add value and innovationDon’t put pen to paper until you have created an outlineplan
THE BID FORMULATION - SUMMARYWhat: Aims and objectives. Needs to be clear andmeasurable. SMARTWhy: The strategic link. What is the evidence ofneed for the project? PESTWho: Staff qualifications and specialist expertise.Organisation charts, CV’sHow: Project Methodology. How theservice/product be delivered,
BID EVALUATIONMust have a clear understanding before you put yourbid togetherBid scoring varies widelySometime only certain questions are scored Threshold questions (pass/fail): e.g. financials, insurances, accreditations Question Weighting: Areas depend upon client’s view of the importance specific aspect.Lowest Price or MEAT (most frequent)Most Economically Advantageous TenderAssess how you propose to deliver the contract (quality)as well as the cost of the contract (price). To win thecontract, your tender will need to demonstrate the bestbalance of quality and price – not just the lowest price.
BID WRITING - KEY TIPSRead the question, then read it againHighlight key sentences: italics – boldUse ITT as a questionnaireMake use of the Q&A facilitiesSet clear objectives and reiterate them throughout the bidUse clients languageProof read and ensure a consistent writing styleUse bespoke diagrams to emphasise and support yourargumentDouble check finance tablesCheck referencesCheck submission process
DON’TS: BID WRITINGLeave questions unansweredSwitch reader off: Small font Tight line spacing Poor spelling Confused numbering / bulletsDo not assume anythingGood bid on paper: but undeliverable Timescale Costs Deliverables and outputsLeave until last minute
DO: BID WRITINGDevelop a working document to be worked into a draftbidPrioritise bid writing activityHomeworking/quiet spaceFormulate bid writing action plan: Establish bid writing individual/team Agree realistic deadlinesUse colleagues– the biggest resource! Restrict comment Request specific Input ‘Critical Friend’ Have sufficient time
IN THE FUTURE: E-AUCTIONSE-Auctions: Electronic Reverse Auction An eAuction is a means in which pre-qualified suppliers can bid electronically for a contract. Suppliers bid progressively lower during the auctions period. May be used in conjunction with open or restricted proceduresMost have a pre–qualification stage, to ensureother important evaluation criteria are taken intoaccount as well as cost,Currently, relatively rare, used for commodity–typeproducts
SUMMARYE-procurement is a huge business opportunityNot as complex as it first appearsDirection of travelLots of on-line help: Tutorials E-bulletins RSS feedsNeed to invest time to understand processes andopportunitiesBeing organised helps!