by GK Strategy 17th November, 2016
3 min read

Stand out in the Public Sector Procurement Process

As the Government continue to cut budgets within the public sector, public sector organisations are increasingly turning to outsourcing services in an attempt to increase cost efficiency. As more opportunities become available, making your bid stand out from the crowd is becoming increasingly important to your success and that requires continual investment in understanding and engaging with the public sector.

According to the Information Services Group, the past two years has seen the UK public sector spend around 70% or more on IT services and Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) compared to the private sector. Police forces and other public emergency services have been actively encouraged to reduce their back-office expenditures.

NHS England are due to roll out the ‘Right Care’ programme across all CCGs throughout 2016/17, a programme designed to help CCGs obtain high-quality care at the best value by comparing spending across areas and specialties.

There are certainly opportunities for private and third sector suppliers to work within public sector markets. However, when it comes to obtaining public sector contracts, many suppliers are faced with challenges which may be set to increase post-Brexit.

For one, the public sector faces significant financial pressures. The NHS in particular are in desperate to drive efficiencies. One way of doing this is through increased competition in the procurement process and encouraging SMEs and social enterprises to bid for contracts.

Suppliers can create opportunities through profile raising and relationship building with key decision makers or ‘influencers’, who ultimately control the outcome of contract bids. These key stakeholders are also influenced by individual interests that may or may not be on the political agenda- and this is something that bidders need to get into the thick of.

The public sector requires cost efficiency, whilst ensuring that quality is not compromised, the delivery process and deadlines are followed accurately and that political objectives are met. Therefore it is essential for bidders to not only focus on their commercial sale but also work on their value proposition. How are you helping the department meet its political agenda? How can this contribute to wider government aspirations?

The answers to these questions are crucial for bidders to get on the radar of public sector customers and help them to drive cost reductions and deliver valuable services to the public.
Selling into the public sector is not merely about meeting criteria on paper and ticking boxes but understanding government aims, needs of the department in question, individual aspirations and how you, as the bidder, can provide a service that covers all of those needs.

The most successful bidders are thinking beyond the immediate opportunity to how they can position themselves as a solutions-orientated long-term partner for the public sector, which is an approach SMEs and others need to adopt if they want a slice of the action.

To find out more how GK can support you in public procurement sales opportunities please contact Jasmin@gkstrategy.com.

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