Welcome to Welland Procurement’s Supplier support pages. We understand that bidding for public sector work can seem a daunting prospect so please use the resources available here to help you through the process.
Organisations in the public sector are responsible for spending public money, tax payer’s money. For that reason our procurement processes are heavily regulated to ensure that we spend the public’s money wisely to ensure value for money.
Public sector processes are driven by contract value so if the contract is valued:
- Over £50,000: we tender the contract by advertising it on East Mid Tenders and/or Contracts Finder.
- Below £50,000: we request quotations directly from possible bidders.
So, there are some steps you can take, as a supplier, to maximise your opportunities to find public sector contract opportunities.
- Register your company on the 2 websites mentioned above and be specific when registering about the types of opportunities you are interested in. You will then get notifications when we, or other public sector bodies, advertise a procurement in your area of interest.
- Make sure that the public sector organisations in your region understand what you can provide. We rarely meet potential suppliers outside formal procurement processes but that doesn’t mean that we don’t monitor potential suppliers in our region.
- Understand how to respond when a procurement is advertised/sent through to you – please see our Tips section below.
Please be aware that tenderers are responsible for ensuring that any procurement documentation that they have been asked upload via the e tendering system (https://www.eastmidstenders.org) is fully uploaded prior to the closing date and time. If your tender submission isn’t correctly uploaded or is uploaded after the closing date and time, it will not be accepted by the procuring Council and therefore won’t be evaluated.
Please find below some guides to the e tendering system that will help you to use the system:
- Instructions to register for Pro-Contract
- Change where you receive notifications from
- Changing your company name
- How to change your team and user setup
- How to search for opportunities
- How to submit a response
When a public sector organisation buys something, it has to abide by the following principles:
- Equal treatment
- Non discrimination
This means that we will treat all responses equally and fairly, we won’t discriminate against a supplier for any reason. We will also work hard to ensure that our process is proportionate to the value and complexity of what we are buying. So we won’t impose difficult requirements on potential bidders when they aren’t necessary.
When we invite you to quote or advertise an opportunity – you will see various documents. It is really important that you read those documents fully, taking special notice of:
- The Specification: this will describe in detail what we are buying. The information in there should give you enough information to determine whether or not you will be able to supply what we need.
- The instructions: these tell you important information, such as the deadline for bids, how to respond and how we will evaluate your bid. Taking account of the evaluation criteria and weightings (that is, the relative importance of each criteria), will help you determine where you should concentrate your effort when responding.
- The Terms and Conditions: you will be required to enter into a contract with the buying organisation based on the terms and conditions we send out with the procurement documents. Make sure that you have read this document thoroughly and understand the risks and benefits.
- The response document: you will be asked to respond in a particular way e.g., by answering a set of questions and providing a price for the services required. Failing to respond in the required way may mean you are excluded or it may mean that we struggle to find the information we need to properly evaluate your bid.
Remember that these documents are there to help you so make the most of them.
When you are bidding for a requirement valued over £50,000 you will be expected to complete all or part of a Standard Selection Questionnaire. This is a set of questions we have to ask in order to assure ourselves that your company is suitable to provide what we need. We appreciate that this document contains a lot of information and can look particularly daunting. However, most of the questions simply require a yes/no answer and very little supporting documentation is required up front.
- Register on the relevant procurement portals as described in “How does public sector procurement work?”.
- If we invite you to participate in market testing, please spare the time to do so. This process is about listening to suppliers so we can ensure what we are buying is fit for purpose. It’s also a really good way of getting to know us as a customer!
- Read all the procurement documents thoroughly and if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask them!
- Use phrasing from the specification, so it is clear you have read and understand the Council’s requirements.
- Ensure you understand how we are going to evaluate your response. This will help you allocate your time to the most important parts of the bid.
- Don’t underestimate the time it takes to submit a tender or quotation and plan your resources early.
- Make sure that you respond in the way you have been asked to and by the closing date and time. We won’t be able to accept your response if it is late or submitted incorrectly.
- Where asked a question, answer it specifically and directly. Provide only the information requested and don’t be tempted to digress. Don’t include generic marketing literature or general text from your website unless you are asked for it specifically. You need to make sure you customise everything to the specific customer and the service that you are bidding for.
- Avoid using technical or industry jargon – use simple language that anyone can understand. Write your response as if you were answering the question verbally and avoid the temptation to throw in long words, technical terms and “marketing speak”.
- Break down the question or topic and ensure you answer every part of it.
- Do not rely on the fact that the Council knows you from previous work relationships; we can only evaluate information submitted within any stated page/word limit.
- Remember that we can’t negotiate with you – we aren’t allowed to. So make sure the price you submit is your best possible price and is deliverable. Provide the price in the format requested – remember, we ask will ask for price in a specific format so we can compare all the responses we receive fairly. It’s also worth checking your maths before submission because we will!
- Be honest in your response. Remember that your quotation or tender will form part of the final contract and so we will hold you to the promises you have made in your response.
- Finally…..proofread! Ask yourself:
- Have I answered every part of the question that was asked?
- Have I explained how I meet the requirements (stated in the specification)?
- Is there information in my answer that is not relevant to the question? (if yes, then remove it!)
- Have I included evidence and facts and figures to make this more compelling?
- Have I included relevant examples, case studies or evidence to make my answer more impactful?
- Have I made it specific to the Council/location that the contract is for?
- Have I included what problems I – and only I – can solve for the Council?