East Sussex County Council is running a series of workshops to help businesses of all sizes increase their chances of winning public sector contracts in East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey.
We want to level the playing field and make sure small companies have just as much of a chance as the large companies who have teams that write bids for a living.
In a time of reduced funding from central government and increasing expectations of residents, businesses and taxpayers, it is more important than ever that local councils have the best commercial arrangements in place to deliver innovative solutions that help reduce costs and maintain services.
Part of any public contract opportunity, tendering is the process whereby local councils invite bids for projects or to supply products or services to be submitted by a deadline. This results in a formal contract confirming the chosen business will carry out work supplying the local council for an agreed price.
Procurement goes hand-in-hand with tendering and describes the process by which the public sector including local councils and large corporations purchase goods or services.
Delivering value for money is at the heart of what procurement does. 'It’s really important for us as a county authority to drive economic growth within the county and we in procurement want to do as much to help that as we can' - Chloe Sharpe, Procurement Team, East Sussex County Council.
Contracts tend to be awarded to the bidder providing the best value. This may not mean price alone, but a balance of price, quality and increasing social value such as what you give back to the local community.
When it comes to tendering, some small companies may have previously struggled to write competitively without professional teams to do the job for them.
To support local economies, East Sussex County Council is running free workshops offering guidance on the tendering process and helpful hints and tips for creating a winning bid.
The workshops give small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge needed to bid competitively and effectively on the all-new South East Shared Services Portal.
Tailored to give business owners the confidence and knowledge needed to use the portal effectively, following the course, attendees will have the best chance to succeed in their tenders for contracts with local councils, whatever the size of their business.
Over 50% of procurement contracts are awarded to local companies in East Sussex. SMEs in East Sussex can also tender for smaller value (£15,000-£100,000) local authority contacts in West Sussex and Surrey.
The variety of tenders means the portal is accessible to everyone, and not just those in the construction sector. Current live tenders on the SE Shared Services Portal include, but not limited to, inviting expressions of interest for contracts in housing and arts sectors.
By encouraging SMEs to offer their services and work with local councils to deliver community-based projects, the local economy will thrive and as a result, local businesses will also benefit significantly.
The event is now sold out. If you want to find out when another course such as this or any other enquiries, please email us.
Date: 5 April 2019
Venue: County Hall, Lewes