Get to grips with the professional purchasing process
Types of contracts
Small works: These can be purchased by individual departments on an adhoc basis - some have approved supplier lists while others set up a framework (a small number of approved contractors who will be offered opportunities over a period (typically four years).
Larger contracts: These are increasingly given to framework agreements - small businesses can form a consortium to qualify for these, or you can approach the successful framework companies to be part of their supply chain. Public sector organisations are required by law to advertise larger contracts on The Offical Journal for the European Union (OJEU).
A typical public sector bidding process
Public sector organisations will all do things slightly differently, but they will follow a broad process from advertising the contract to awarding the job:
Step 1: Advertising the contract: Check client websites, trade journals and local and national papers
Step 2: The tender stage: You will be need to submit your standard company information for buyers to evaluate your suitability for the contract in terms of:
- Economic and financial standing
- Technical & professional ability and capability
- Legal status
The good news is that Constructionline members are already assessed to stage one of the PQQ process, and if the buyer is registered with Constructionlne, you need only supply your Constructionline registration number and any additional contract-specific information.
Step 3: Invitation to tender After passing the PQQ stage you may be invited to tender and submit a full bid submission.
Step 4: Evaluation of bid responses This could take some time so be patient! The client will inform you of the outcome.
Step 5: Contract award The client will let you know whether you've won the work or not. If you have not been awarded the contract, don't be too demoralised - ask for feedback and make sure you address any points when you submit your next bid.
The use of Constructionline has added further peace of mind by providing assurance that all approved suppliers meet minimum technical, financial, and legal requirements and comply with industry standards and regulations."Simon Coller, London Borough of Ealing
Join Constructionline today to save time and cost when tendering for work. Annual membership starts from as little as £75 a year.*Sign up today
*There is a one-off joining fee of £25 for new members. From the second year of membership onwards, suppliers will only pay the annual membership fee.