Micro businesses register with new tender alerts service Supply2Gov

It has been over a week since we launched our new brand Supply2Gov. The tender alerts service for sole traders and micro businesses aims to make the public sector marketplace more accessible to smaller businesses.

Registration for the new service is currently free. If you want to find out more, we have all the details below.

Designed for micro and small businesses

Supply2Gov is a fresh and friendly brand that talks to micro and small businesses about the benefits of public procurement. Supply2Gov users can create new and lucrative revenue streams from the public sector supply chain.

With a modern look and feel, Supply2Gov can be a free and easy way for micro businesses to find more tender opportunities. Our application simplifies the whole registration process and presents an intuitive customer journey.

Flexible payment options

Completely new to the market, Supply2Gov tender alerts gives customers the option to ‘pay as they grow’, with a cost-effective monthly plan as well as a new biannual option.

This means customers have the scalability to work with a solution that’s aligned with their business model and suits their cash flow.

Coverage Options

BiP has introduced simplified and comprehensive coverage options, with Supply2Gov starting with free local area coverage and then moving directly to home country cover.

This gives customers full free access to relevant opportunities on their doorstep with the option to upgrade and access their regional market opportunity.

With more growth potential available and payment plans to support phased expansion, the new Supply2Gov is an excellent introductory solution for micro businesses and sole traders looking to break into the public sector marketplace.

Tender alerts for micro businesses

The team behind the brand are delighted with the final product and are excited to see that many sole traders and micro businesses are already interested in the tender alerts service.

Senior Marketing Executive Melissa Russell says: “Our team are all really excited to see Supply2Gov go to market and really kick off 2018.

“We know how time-consuming tender searches can be, especially if you’re a small business. That’s why we’ve made it as easy as possible for users to find procurement opportunities as soon as they become available.”

Reduce the amount of time your business spends on manual searching with Supply2Gov. Find out more about Supply2Gov and tender alerts on the brand’s website.

For a better insight into all our brands, visit our website.

Introduction to Procurement – Opportunities in 2018

preparing for public procurement opps 2018

While your competitors prepare to wind down for Christmas, you can brush up on your public procurement skills and look for prospects with the backing of a PASS Procurement “Introduction to Procurement” course.

Now that the Autumn budget has been announced, your business can focus its attentions on winning new business. The UK Government wants to work with businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, therefore there is no reason why your business shouldn’t start to look for public procurement opportunities. Why wait? Let’s get started!

Preparing for Tender Opportunities

If you have found an opportunity within the public sector that looks suitable for your business but you are unsure how to tackle it, there are certain steps that are vital when it comes to winning public sector contracts.


One of the best things you can do is prepare and plan. A winning team is key for winning public procurement opportunities. but lack of resources should not put a sole trader off. The most important thing is to take your time to prepare a strong bid.


Creating a timetable at the start of the tender response process will help you to work towards the final deadline date more efficiently. It is important that your tender response is not rushed. If you do not have a proof reader in your team, then make sure that you allocate time to checking your response before it is sent away.


A good tender response takes time, so choose your battles wisely – only apply for opportunities that you realistically could win. Public sector procurement is competitive and you will be judged on both content and presentation. Make sure you have answered all the questions asked before you consider showing how you could innovate or exceed the requirements of the contract. Above all, apply for the opportunities that would be the most valuable to your business and give yourself extra time to spot any silly mistakes that may have slipped through the net.

training for public procurement

How Can BiP Help?

Public procurement opportunities can be extremely lucrative for organisations that want to win more business. If you have not worked with the public sector before, then the BiP Ultimate Guide to Procurement will give you a head start when it comes to winning government contracts.

Introduction to Procurement

After reading the Ultimate Guide to Procurement, the best way for beginners to approach public procurement is by attending an introductory course. Once you understand the procurement journey you will be well on your way to winning new business.

PASS Procurement’s Introduction to Public Procurement is specifically designed for buyers and suppliers, providing a full overview of how the public procurement process works, from start to finish.

pass procurement logo

There is only one more date for this course in 2017. However, the PASS Spring schedule 2018 is offering course dates across the UK. You will find all PASS Procurement course dates in our events diary.

The last Introduction to Public Procurement event for 2017 is on 13 December in Glasgow City Centre.

Autumn Budget 2017 Public Procurement Opportunities

autumn budget announcement: public procurement opportunities

Theresa May has declared that the latest Budget announcement will make the UK “fit for the future”. This leaves us wondering what public procurement opportunities will come from this optimistic budget.

If you have been following the fallout from the announcement on 22 November, then you will know that technology, housing and infrastructure were three of the sectors that have been given the biggest boost.

The Government’s Commitment to SMEs

Moving forward, the Government wants to work with innovative businesses from different backgrounds.

Last Wednesday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said:

“If we don’t do more to support the growth of the SME housebuilding sector, we will remain dependent on the major national housebuilders that dominate the industry”.

The Government is keen to increase diversity in the housebuilding sector, which is currently dominated by a handful of large companies. The Government also sees small to medium-sized enterprises – which make up 99% of UK businesses – as key to economic growth and development and has set ambitious targets for doing business with SMEs since David Cameron came into office in 2010.

The Government’s aim is that by 2020, one pound in three of government procurement spend will go to SMEs, whether directly or indirectly as part of the supply chain. This suggests that there will also be subcontracting opportunities that will boost employment and business growth statistics within the UK.

more money for public procurement after the budget

How Does Subcontracting Work?

The Budget will not only open up opportunities for larger companies, but spending is likely to have a ‘trickle down’ effect.

Data from the National Audit Office shows that 60% of the Government’s spending with SMEs came via a larger contractor in the supply chain.

If a larger company does win a sizable contract, they often need to rely on subcontractors to deliver certain aspects of the work, particularly in specialist areas.

Where Are the Opportunities?

The Budget announcement promised that the Government will support the building of 1 million new homes in Oxford-Cambridge corridor. This follows on from the 2016 Budget, which included funding for a new road between Oxford and Cambridge.

On top of this, £540 million will be spent on infrastructure in Northern Ireland as part of the Conservatives’ deal with the DUP. This boost for both housing and infrastructure means that procurement opportunities across a variety of sectors throughout the UK will start to open over the next year or so.

Other opportunities for infrastructure included the investment into the replacement of the 40-year-old rolling stock on the Tyne and Wear Metro, which will be funded by Government money.

Find & Win Public Procurement Tenders

Our Industry Highlights blog features the main takeaways from each sector, including a breakdown of where the money will be spent and what it will be spent on.

It is important that, as soon as your organisation spots a public procurement opportunity, you start to strike up pre-tender conversations. This will leave an impression with buyers who want to work with individuals in your sector.

Start the Process

If you are part of an SME business, now is a perfect time to start looking for public procurement prospects.

When it comes to tendering, you should always stay one step ahead of your competition. Our products allow suppliers in all sectors to find relevant tenders as soon as they become available. This means that suppliers can bid more competitively.

If you have pinpointed an area of Government investment and view it as an opportunity to sell to the public sector, now is a good time to purchase a subscription to a public procurement portal like Tracker Intelligence.

For a better insight into our products, visit our website.

One year on: How will UK public procurement work after Brexit?

public procurement after brexit

This Friday, 23 June, will mark the one year anniversary of Britain voting to leave the EU, and there is still relatively little clarity about trade deals which will have an impact on public procurement.

However, four potential models for a procurement relationship for British companies to participate in the EU market after Brexit have been outlined in a paper published by the European Parliament, titled Consequences of Brexit in the Area of Public Procurement.

The report said the four models relevant to any discussion of EU/UK public procurement post Brexit were:

1. The European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement model, which represents current EU procurement law.

2. The WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), whose rules are much looser than EU law.

3. EEA-minus, which uses the EEA Agreement but without all its elements.

4. GPA-plus, which adds to GPA provisions. GPA-plus is the approach currently being pursued in negotiations with the US in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

But how likely is each of these to be used, and how would the various models work? Let’s take a closer look at each of them.


This model is based on the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement, which is currently used by European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states such as Norway and Switzerland.

This agreement would involve Britain being a member of the EEA, without actually being part of the EU. In principle, this model would give Britain access to the single market – in exchange for a financial contribution – without the additional burden of being a full EU member. It’s worth noting that if Britain were to opt for this model after Brexit, they would first have to join the EFTA.

Under the EEA agreement model, the rules would follow those used within the EU, including a requirement to use the EU’s common advertising system for notices – Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) –and to submit notices in one of the EU’s official languages.

However, the EEA model requires accepting the core principles of the EU’s internal market, including free movement of people, which could be a sticking point. Politically, it may be hard to convince pro-Brexit ministers, MPs and voters that continuing to make payments to the EU (albeit not into the main budget), accepting free movement of people and becoming a law taker rather than a law maker is compatible with last year’s vote to leave the EU.


This model would see the EU-UK relationship on public procurement being governed solely by the rules of the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA).

The GPA model has been used in the EU itself in public procurement agreements with its trading partners who are not parties to the GPA, and it could be a viable option for an EU-UK agreement on procurement.

The UK is currently party to the GPA through its EU membership, but there is no precedent for the current situation. With this in mind, there is some uncertainty as to whether the UK would have to rejoin the GPA after Brexit and this would be the first question that would have to be answered if the UK opted for this model.

One view is that the UK will in fact have to rejoin by following the same process as any new party to the agreement. The other perspective is that the UK can maintain its current rights and obligations under the GPA without having to make a new application to join.

The GPA model could, at the very least, serve as a short-term solution pending a final agreement. However, much will depend on the views of the current GPA Parties and the degree of consensus between them.


Another possible approach outlined by the report is an ‘EEA-minus’ approach, which would use EU law as the basis for procurement-specific rules and would maintain EU access to above-threshold UK markets on the same basis as at present.

This model is similar to that used in the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreements (DCFTAs) between the EU and some neighbouring countries like Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova.

This would work as an EU-UK agreement in procurement even if the UK does not remain fully part of the Single Market, and would mean that the UK would be permitted to continue using the common EU advertising system, TED. However, this model would offer the UK no more flexibility than it currently has and with no say over how rules develop in the future.


Another option the paper identified is a ‘GPA-plus model’ that would use the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement as a basis, supplemented with additional rules and commitments which could be used to address issues that are not covered by the GPA, including rules based on EU law.

This type of agreement is in place with Chile, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, and has been pursued in the EU-US trade negotiations. It would give the UK the freedom to pursue its own procurement policy within the limits of the GPA rules.

These are four options which are viable for UK public procurement after Brexit. Regardless of which approach is taken, whether it is one of these four or something completely different, the devil will be in the detail.

With the European Commission estimating that public expenditure on goods, works and services makes up 13.1% of EU GDP and 13.6% of UK GDP, it’s clear that both the UK and EU will be keen to make sure that markets stay open and accessible to each other after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Keep following the BiP Solutions blog for news, analysis and commentary on public procurement and Brexit.

Key takeaways from 2017’s General Election

2017 general election takeaways

Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election for 8 June to increase her majority and strengthen her hand in Europe, but she ended up without any majority at all.

The shock result of the 2017 General Election, which saw the Conservative Party returned as a minority administration, raises more questions than answers about where the country goes from here as Brexit negotiations loom.

Here are three key takeaways from the 2017 General Election:

What happens next?

The Conservatives won the most seats, but failed to win outright. To win outright, a party must secure 326 out of 650 seats in Parliament – the Conservatives ended up with 318, just short of an overall majority. However, May will still try to form a government by entering into an agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party whose 10 seats will bring the two parties’ combined total to 328.

But how will this agreement work in practice? With policy disagreements on a number of issues from Brexit and border controls to scrapping the ‘triple lock’ rise in the state pension and means-testing winter fuel payments, it remains to be seen.

IndyRef 2 off the table?

The SNP lost 21 seats across Scotland, with high-profile casualties including Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson, putting plans for a second vote on Scottish independence in serious jeopardy.

After making sensational gains in 2015’s General Election, when Nicola Sturgeon’s party won 56 out of Scotland’s 59 seats, the SNP saw its numbers fall to 35 MPs. As the SNP ceded ground, the Conservatives produced their best result in Scotland since 1983, returning 13 MPs.

While the SNP still has a clear majority of seats in Scotland, losing so much ground could undermine the Nats’ push for a second independence vote in the immediate future.

Ramifications for Brexit

This election was supposed to deliver a national vote of confidence in Theresa May, which would give the PM a mandate to seek a ‘hard Brexit’ ahead of the forthcoming negotiations.

However, entering into an agreement with the DUP is likely to scupper those plans. As Polly Toynbee of the Guardian points out, the “DUP top priority will be soft border, saving Good Friday agreement and free movement across boundary. That absolutely rules out hard Brexit.”

Previous statements from the DUP also point to this being the case. Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, has spoken against a hard Brexit in the past, saying: “No-one wants to see a hard Brexit, what we want to see is a workable plan to leave the European Union, and that’s what the national vote was about.”

Formal Brexit negotiations are scheduled to begin on 19 June. With May’s mandate for a ‘hard Brexit’ seemingly now off the table, it remains to be seen how the UK will secure the best post-Brexit trade deals and policies amid such political uncertainty at home.

What are CPV codes?

cpv codes

CPV codes are a system of classification for public procurement which uses standardised vocabulary to help procurement personnel classify their contract notices consistently and to make it easier for suppliers and contracting authorities to find notices.

CPV stands for Common Procurement Vocabulary and the system was developed by the European Union as a tool to improve transparency and efficiency in public procurement. Using a standardised coding format also makes it easier to facilitate the processing of tenders published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). The use of CPVs has been mandatory in the European Union since 1 February 2006.

The CPV system consists of a main vocabulary, which defines the type of contract; and a supplementary vocabulary, which adds further qualitative information about the contract. The main vocabulary is made up of approximately 9450 terms, listing goods, works and services which are commonly used in procurement.

Each CPV code has a nine-digit structure, with the first two digits representing the top-level categories, the next six representing ever more defined levels of classification, and a ninth digit verifying the previous digits. The more numbers from 1 to 9 a CPV code has, the more specific the item is; and the more zeros it has, the more general it is.

For example:

The first two digits identify the divisions (XX000000-Y);
The first three digits identify the groups (XXX00000-Y);
The first four digits identify the classes (XXXX0000-Y);
The first five digits identify the categories (XXXXX000-Y);
Each of the next three digits establishes a greater degree of precision within the relevant category, while the ninth and final digit serves to verify the previous digits.

Supplementary vocabulary is used to provide further qualitative information, and to expand the description of the subject of a contract. This vocabulary is made up of an alphanumeric code with corresponding wording allowing further details to be added regarding the specific nature or destination of the goods to be purchased.
The alphanumeric code is made up of a first level, which is a letter corresponding to a section; and a second level, which comprises four digits that define its attributes.

While CPV codes are vital in many aspects of public procurement, finding the correct code can sometimes be a confusing and time-consuming task. Thankfully, at BiP Solutions we have a free CPV code search tool to help you identify and categorise tenders which will save you countless hours which can be spent more productively.

Why innovation in public procurement should be top of decision makers’ to-do lists

innovation in public procurement

Whether you’re a buyer, supplier or decision maker, the goal of public procurement is the same – to deliver high quality public services at good value for money.

In order to meet this goal as efficiently as possible, there must be a willingness to embrace innovation in public procurement wherever it is needed; whether it’s the hospital that needs a sustainable redesign, the school that could do with new tables and chairs or an NHS trust which needs a complete overhaul of its antiquated digital processes.

A study of procurement professionals’ attitudes to innovation by Wax Digital found that 80% of those who work in procurement identified innovation as being very important or of utmost importance to their roles going forward. However, there are too few examples of public organisations solving their procurement problems in a genuinely innovative way at a time when making public procurement more innovative should be at the top of decision makers’ to-do lists.

Innovation was one of the central themes at last week’s DPRTE event with Nick Elliott, Director General Commercial at Defence Equipment and Support, delivering the event’s keynote speech which emphasised the importance of finding innovative solutions in defence procurement. Mr Elliott encouraged both buyers and suppliers to “embrace disruption; build innovation into your organisation’s DNA” and we think these principles can just as easily apply to public procurement.

In 2015, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a major piece of research entitled Public Procurement For Innovation: Good Practices and Strategies. The study found that governments around the world are realising the importance of innovation in procurement, and are implementing policies to bring the two closer together.

Almost 80% of the countries which responded to the survey have taken measures to support innovation in procurement, and 50% already have a dedicated, government-led action plan to assist in their efforts. In the UK, this is Innovate UK.

These initiatives  which have been launched by governments around the world have led to innovation in public procurement, including:

  • The use of LED light bulbs in public lighting, resulting in more energy savings
  • Innovative solutions for traffic management, such as mobile traffic management systems for roadworks and major incidents to reduce congestion
  • Bringing technology to senior citizens with the Smart house platform for senior housing residence

However, although these good practice cases and research shows that implementing innovative procurement practices improves effectiveness, efficiency and user satisfaction in organisations, there is still the perception that it is risky; bodies in charge of procurement are generally averse to risk, and buyers would rather stick with what they know than deviate from the norm.

Indeed, research shows that innovation in procurement is associated with higher risk simply because organisations lack the resources and skills to mitigate risk successfully rather than because innovative procurement is actually riskier, and it’s often the case that organisational cultures have a bias towards traditional methods.

However, we think you should heed the advice of Mr Elliott by embracing disruption and building it into your organisation’s DNA.

Regardless of where you fall in the procurement supply chain, innovation should be top of your to-do list.

How to use networking strategically in public procurement

How to use networking strategically in public procurement

Networking public procurement

Whilst this may sound obvious, it’s important not to overlook the value which networking can bring to the public procurement process.

Networking offers procurement professionals and organisations the chance to interact with their peers and industry leaders to find out how real value can be created through the public procurement process.

Here are four ways to use networking strategically in public procurement:


Put yourself out there by attending events

Top of the list is making sure that you’re putting yourself out there regularly and attending good old-fashioned networking events. They exist in every industry – including procurement – for good reason: because they provide enormous value when it comes to building your network.

Moreover, networking events give you the chance to engage with the wider industry by interacting with like-minded individuals, peers and market leaders. They also present an excellent opportunity to gain specific insights that you can use in the future. At these events, everyone is on the same page and chances are that your fellow delegates will be just as eager to discuss and analyse the ideas presented throughout the day as you are.

Keep an eye on our events diary for any procurement networking opportunities.

Utilise social media to grow your network

Social media is also a great networking source. Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn can expand your network by bringing together contacts from around the world that share a common interest or are involved in the same field.

Twitter is a great way to participate in these industry-wide discussions and to follow the pulse of public procurement by connecting with others who are asking the same questions and have similar priorities.

LinkedIn is also a great platform to expand your knowledge on public procurement by joining relevant groups. There are a number of showcase pages on LinkedIn, including our own, which feature commentary and analysis on the latest developments in the industry and which will put you in much closer contact with those who are discussing procurement in greater detail.


Build a network which covers your blind spots

Networking events and social networking also give you a valuable opportunity to significantly expand your knowledge of the procurement industry, which will have a number of benefits in the long run.

It’s important to build strategic relationships with those in your network who can fill the gaps in your own knowledge and whose experience you can draw on to help you make better decisions in the future. Additionally, expanding on your core area of expertise will allow you to become more commercially aware and help put you in the best position to take advantage of relevant opportunities when they arise.

Mix it up with the market leaders

Just as networking events give you the chance to showcase best procurement practice, so do procurement competitions and they afford an excellent opportunity to network with the procurement industry’s leaders.

There are a number of procurement competitions taking place regularly throughout the year including national competitions such as the GO Awards as well as industry-specific ones such as ADS’ Supply Chain 21 programme.

Participating in these competitions is not only an excellent way to network with those who are in the procurement industry who have the same objectives, but it also gives your organisation the chance to increase visibility whilst measuring yourself against the market leaders in procurement.

Five ways business intelligence can help you win more government tenders

win more government tenders

In this digital age, utilising the correct business intelligence tools is extremely important to stay ahead of the competition, increase revenues and win more government tenders.

At BiP Solutions, we streamline the process of winning government tenders by providing Europe’s largest database of contracts information and intelligence at your fingertips in one centrally managed source.

As a global market leader in the provision of procurement solutions, we provide a range of market intelligence tools to both the public and private sectors which turn data into actionable information and provide insights which give your organisation a distinct advantage over the competition.

Here are five ways our flagship product, Tracker, and its business intelligence solutions can help you win more government tenders:

Spend Analysis tool

Each year, the public sector spends billions of pounds on every type of service imaginable and legislation requires that details are published of all transactions over £500 by public sector bodies in England. Using our spend analysis tool can give you access to this data, and help you turn it into actionable intelligence.

Who is spending money? How much are they spending? What are they spending it on, and in which sectors? This unparalleled insight into public sector organisations’ spend patterns will keep you up to date with all competitor activity, as well as identify countless new opportunities to help your organisation grow.

The right data, at the right time

Knowledge is power, and we provide you with all the information you need, when you need it.

Our Market Intelligence tool tracks over 5000 unique sources of business, government and procurement news every day, providing you with the critical market information you need to know to tender successfully for public and private sector business.

This information, commentary and insight ensures that you will never miss a tendering opportunity again.

First mover advantage

When it comes to winning government tenders, it’s important to put yourself in the best position to take advantage of the opportunity, and this finding out about opportunities as soon as they become available.

Our business data gives you essential information on relevant opportunities before the formal tendering process begins. This gives you a distinct advantage over the competition.

Make faster, smarter decisions

Our tools can provide you with instant access to opportunities, which helps you make decisions faster.

We have streamlined the process of finding the right government tenders for you by providing information on all opportunities in one central location, which saves you a huge amount of time compared to manually searching multiple databases. Moreover, you can create a bid response directly from our Tracker Tender Alerts.

With all the information you need under one umbrella, you can make fast decisions which leads to faster growth.

A personalised service

We take great pride in providing our customers with a truly personalised service and our Bid Manager tool allows you to organise your personal bid documents in a single, easy to use tool.

By creating your own unique profile in our system, you will only see the most relevant opportunities rather than wasting time trawling through unrelated leads across multiple platforms. When you find the right opportunity for your organisation, Bid Manager gives you instant access to supporting documents where you can easily create and manage all bid responses in one place.

BiP Solutions is committed to helping your business to grow. By tailoring our services to our customers’ individual needs, you can spend more time bidding for and winning business than searching for it.

BiP’s business intelligence solutions

Tracker, our flagship solution, is an end-to-end business development solution with the unique intelligence you need to find, bid for and win more business.

Thousands of businesses are winning billions of pounds worth of public and private sector contracts every year with Tracker.

Are you looking to win more government tenders? Start using Tracker and discover new business opportunities today.

Sign up for a free trial of Tracker today!

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