Tenders are a process that virtually all public sector organisations are required (above a certain financial threshold) to go through when investing public money. Demonstrating that public money is being spent correctly is a major factor in building confidence between these organisations and the public.
The tender process can be very complicated. The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply have even written a guide on the matter.
However, there are some notable benefits to procurement via a tender process:
Advantages of going to tender
- Due diligence: Procurement process is more likely to result in the best value for money out of the competing suppliers.
- Compliance: Government organisations have legislative requirements to go to tender.
- Keeps your current supplier on their toes: Suppliers can get lazy and take the renewal of a contract for granted. Going to tender will demonstrate that other vendors are also in contention.
- Increased involvement of key stakeholders: Tendering is all about ticking boxes. It is often the case that different departments are needed to do this.
- Audit trail: Enables you to show the selection and review process if a purchase decision is challenged.
Disadvantages of going to tender
- Time: Tenders can last many months before a buying decision is reached. This can be frustrating for the organisation as well as the suppliers involved.
- Supplier input: Restricts the organisation from benefitting from the supplier's expertise when determining the technical specifications. This often means more people will need to be involved and the tender document takes longer to pull together.
- Off-putting: The number of suppliers entering the tender process may be reduced as some may be put off by the prospect of a lengthy tender process.
- Money: Because tender processes often take a lot of time (and a lot of people), the cost to an organisation can be huge.
It’s important to remember that tender processes were created with best intentions in mind. In theory, they’re excellent buying models. They ensure that you get the best possible product and at the best possible price.
So why is it something that both buyers and suppliers dread?
Well, time is the big issue. We live in a world where everything needed doing yesterday. And tender processes can simply suck time out of your days, weeks, and months.
And unfortunately there are regulations in place that mean that when the budget is over a certain threshold, the organisation simply has to go to tender for new public contract opportunities.
So Can You Avoid the Pain of Tenders?
The short answer is yes.
There are a few ways of avoiding tenders, the two that stand out from the crowd are:
G-Cloud is easy to use, and fast too; hours on end of development and years of proficiency at your fingertips. All of this makes buying easier and saves you money. No need to go to all the hassle of a tender as all the suppliers on the G-Cloud Framework are pre-approved.
- Third party providers:
There are third parties through which you are able to outsource your tender woes to. We’ve teamed up with Softcat Plc, a leading provider of IT infrastructure and licensed software to the public and corporate sectors. procuring software through SoftCat means you can avoid the dreaded tender and let them do the work.
Softcat are accredited under a number of local, regional and central government frameworks:
- CCS* Technology Products (RM1054)
- CCS* G-Cloud iii, iv and v
- Pro 5 Software Products and Associated Services
- CCS* Technology Services (RM1058)
- CCS* Corporate Software Solutions (RM1042)
- Value Wales ITEAS
(*Crown commercial Service)
Working with Softcat not only means that tenders are a thing of the past, but it also opens up a range of flexible payment options. You can spread the cost over the term of your contract, pay in a lump sum or a bit of both if you so wish.
Click below to find out more and request a call from a member of our team:
CCS Technology Products (RM1054), G-Cloud & Pro5 Framework
We are now included on the Crown Commercial Service Technology Products (RM1054), G-Cloud and Pro5 frameworks. These frameworks cover all aspects of IT from hardware and software purchase through to disposal.
How can Softcat help you?
Over and above being able to avoid tenders, they help with public sector IT challenges via practical solutions:
- Expenditure Reduction
Open book pricing, technology reviews and suitability evaluation help dramatically reduce public sector IT acquisition costs.
- Supplier Consolidation
They are supplier agnostic and can provide over 95% of all IT solutions in the market, making them an ideal single source for IT acquisition.
- Shrinking IT Departments
You can use their technical resources to complement your in-house team. Or utilise hosted, managed services via their Network Operations Centre.
- Electronic IT Procurement
You can utilise their online procurement facility eCat to cut time wasted on manual IT procurement. You can even set client specific SLA’s and integrate with your existing procurement tools.
We believe that this really is the way to go for the Public Sector when purchasing software and IT services. If you're looking to implement software to reduce costs in your insurance or health & safety department, it's worth taking a look at our package.
Not only will you save time and money , you will also see ongoing benefits and improvements to your processes through implementation of our software.
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