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Bidder engagement – taking it to the next level

Procure Plus has long been aware of the effect that an over engineered and effortful procurement process can have in deterring bidders. We take every care to ensure that our processes are clear, transparent, and proportionate. One may reasonably assume therefore that an intelligently structured commercial opportunity coupled with a straightforward tender process would be enough to entice companies to submit a tender.

Our market engagement tells us that, in reality, the decision to submit a tender is a complex and careful decision for most organisations. With this in mind, we routinely ask ourselves how we can go further to convert interest into a tender. How can we make our procurement stand out in a world where bidders are inundated with tenders to complete? How can we persuade companies that are inundated with tender opportunities that our tender is the one worthy of their valuable time and resource? Addressing this challenge is key to establishing relationships with new companies and supporting their growth and development. Procure Plus approaches this challenge in different ways and with an open mind.

The Public Contract Regulations 2015 are incredibly beneficial in ensuring that contracting authorities think through their procurement strategy in advance such that we can explain our end-to-end decision making to a bidder. The requirement to be transparent ensures that bidders can fully understand the activity on the tender.

Procure Plus’s knowledge and understanding of the regulations is an essential way in which we earn the trust and confidence of the companies who are using their valuable time to tender for our opportunities. The successful companies can be assured of their fair treatment and have the confidence that they can safely enter into a contract with our customers. It is a fact that when all said and done, a paper-based process, however streamlined, will only go so far in persuading companies to submit a tender. The procurement process is the first introduction to the contracting authority and structured the correct way can instil a positive impression. Procure Plus like to take this introduction further and have designed the procurement process so that it is an opportunity for interested companies to really get to know the team behind the process.

A wise person once said that “people do business with people they, like, trust and value”.

Fire Risk and Mitigation Works and Services Framework

In the recent procurement of our framework agreement for Fire Risk and Mitigation Works and Services, Procure Plus used the procurement process to provide access to the people behind the process. Each week during the tender preparation period we hosted live Question and Answer sessions for companies interested in the tender, allowing them access to the team to ask their questions and share their observations. The panel was comprised of both the procurement team and our operational delivery team so we could answer any possible question. The sessions also allowed the team to dispense advice to companies about how to approach the completion of their tender and what to expect if the company was successful in securing the opportunity to work with Procure Plus and our customers.

Procure Plus want to be accessible to the companies considering tendering for our opportunities and we want to help and encourage them as we know the opportunity to work together is mutual. We know that it is a privilege to be selected as one of the opportunities that a company pursues and we take our responsibility to those companies seriously. We had the confidence to be vulnerable and answer any questions that came our way during the sessions.

The regularity of the sessions held at the same time each week helped companies understand that we were committed to their success and that we valued the time that they took to consider our procurement. It was refreshing and exciting to engage with the companies in this way and to be able to bring the process and the opportunity to life.

Clare Tetlow is Senior Procurement Manager at Procure Plus. Clare joined Procure Plus in 2012 and leads the company’s procurement team. Clare is responsible for delivering procurement that supports customers in the construction, maintenance and repair of their properties. Clare is passionate about using procurement as a means to create positive change for social housing and improving the experience of bidders who participate in tender processes. Clare is a strong supporter of new entrants to the public procurement profession and has a keen interest in continued professional development. With a keen interest in procurement legislation, Clare regularly advises customers on matters associated with public procurement. Clare has a background in public sector procurement management, having previously worked within central government, health and local authority sectors.

If you would like to chat about this or any other procurement issue, I am available at