A number of factors are having a positive impact on the procurement landscape and it hasn’t gone in noticed. Perhaps this is a result the fall of Carillion you might say? but actually the wheels have been in motion (slowly) for a whole lot longer. The Uk Government set challenging targets of 33% of public sector contracts to be awarded to SMEs by 2020. As far as we can see little was done to support this aspiration. A few minor tweaks to legislation which have had little/no impact. This has put the ball firmly in the court of the procuring organisations who are typically Public Sector organisations- by nature they are typically risk averse and not really known for their innovation. Until now…
Hartlepool Council procurement team have made it their policy to get at least one quote from a company based in their town. A small but impactful change which gives confidence to local suppliers that they are in with a chance
Cambridge council are working with FSB (Federation of Small Business) to change their procurement and encourage SME bidders.
Middlesbrough Council have increased the value of contracts (to £50k I believe) which just need three quotes or a mini proposal and they are building a database of local companies to invite to quote.
County Durham County Council have worked to refine their questions particularly the Social Value element of the bid to favour local SMEs.
This is just a snapshot of progress being made all over the UK in different yet effective ways.
Brexit is well and truly on the way and public sector procurement aligns with EU procurement law. Once we leave the EU (whatever you think about that) we may see more changes coming our way.
We have worked over the last 12months with Durham University Business School and one of their super smart masters students to develop a research paper looking at what post brexit procurement might look like.
We would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, predictions or even just to hear of any other stories of how procurement is changing to favour the SME bidder.
Thanks for reading
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