Tendering for public procurement – SMEs should prepare for the future

InterTradeIreland has urged SMEs to prepare for changes to the way in which public sector services are tendered in Ireland in terms of new category structures and centralised Government purchasing through the Office of Government Procurement (OGP).

  • The OGP was established in January 2014 with a key objective to optimise value for money through smarter tendering techniques.
  • It will centralise all procurement expertise with individual bodies ceasing to publish their own invitations and expenditure in key areas, including professional services, ICT and HR, set to be consolidated.

InterTradeIreland’s key advice to SMEs adapting to the new Public Procurement Market is to:

  1. Register on eTenders – Many SMEs in Ireland are still not registered on eTenders. Businesses should register now on the enhanced www.etenders.gov.ie website, remembering that this is a virtual storefront to public sector buyers. More importantly InterTradeIreland is asking SME’s to ensure that the information you enter is relevant and kept up to date, so that buyers will find your company when they search your products and services online. InterTradeIreland also encourages suppliers to register on the eSourcing NI tendering website to research and bid on opportunities in Northern Ireland https://e-sourcingni.bravosolution.co.uk/web/login.shtml
  2. Form Consortia to bid for larger contracts -With the increased aggregation in demand across public sector procurement, contracts will become larger in size. Consider partnering with other companies to bid for these larger tenders. Choose potential partners wisely; even consider partnering with a competitor to tender together or alternatively mergers should be considered.
  3. Do your research on the Procurement Market – Unlike before, all public procurement will now be categorised into types of procurement spend (for example professional services, facilities management, marketing, print and stationery), each of which will be managed by a Portfolio Manager, supported by a Category Council. Understanding how the new market works and who the new public buyers are in your category is essential.

To support Irish businesses, InterTradeIreland have launched an enhanced range of tender supports to give SMEs the knowledge and practical skills to tender successfully for public sector contracts in this changing environment and will host a number of Go-2-Tender workshops to facilitate SMEs looking to adapt to the forthcoming changes.

SourceIntertrade Ireland