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Higher bar for public sector tenders frustrating businesses

Businesses across all sizes and sectors in Wales are increasingly finding that a lack of time to fill out tenders is impeding operations.

 Higher bar for public sector tenders frustrating businesses

"This was the first big tender we had been successful at. Well definitely look to Mabis for any tenders that come along in future."
Sally Owens

And the advent of much higher customer expectations among public sector bodies of late has meant that a number of large, professional, organisations have lost contracts and had a ‘rude wake-up call’.

These are among findings of business services provider Mabis, from across the 120 clients it has signed up since launching a tendering and HR service in January 2016.

The survey also identified that insufficient attention to detail when completing tender documentation, as well as a lack of knowledge about framework contracts, are also causing established public sector contractors to trip up when re-tendering.

Mabis’ procurement manager, Iestyn Gruffudd, said that firms wishing to retain contracts or to grow must work continually to improve their responses to tender questions pertaining to quality.  They must also refine their core business processes to become more efficient.

He said:  “These issues are often perceived to be problems faced by small family businesses, yet reputable, big firms are also receiving a rude wake-up call.”

Other findings are:

·      Among small and medium-sized businesses, there is greater awareness of the importance of having sound HR processes such as contracts of employment, plus equality and diversity strategies and policies

·      A big increase in interest in managing performance.  
"This is is a sign that businesses are looking beyond traditional policies and processes and thinking outside the box in terms of talent management by encouraging, motivating and leading staff,” added Iestyn.

Oil4Wales, a family-owned, £120m turnover independent fuel supplier with seven depots and 70,000 customers across Wales, recently won a place on a UK-wide supply framework from a prestigious body, following an overhaul of its tendering processes by Mabis.

Director Sally Owens said:  “This was our first big tender and we were a little bit out of our depth.

“It could be very easy to answer the same answer to different questions. A tendering expert knows better what the client is looking for and is expert at picking out the best information to put in each answer.  This was the case with Mabis.

“Iestyn is very approachable and down to earth.  We engaged him close to the tender deadline and he was working under pressure. We once phoned him at 10pm but he sorted out our problem straight away.

“This was the first big tender we had been successful at.  We’ll definitely look to Mabis for any tenders that come along in future.”

Mabis is a service provided by Menter a Busnes, an independent company helping individuals and companies throughout Wales to start and grow their businesses.

It provides entrepreneurship awareness, business start-up and business growth support to individuals, groups and SMEs, aiming to make a positive contribution to the Welsh economy.