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FSB helps to make contracting with Councils easier

At its recent FSB Connect 1066 breakfast, Gerry Palmer, the Manager of the East Sussex Procurement Hub (pictured centre), presented upon the opportunities to tender with local Councils. The event was supported by FSB 1066 leader, Nicolae Trofin (left) and Kerry Weller (right) who is the FSB’s Sussex lead on a special interest group focusing on public procurement.

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The Procurement Hub provides a shared service across the District and Borough Councils to undertake procurement and is responsible for setting practices and rules common to each. Its aim is to improve collaboration and establish the best deals on common suppliers and services. Gerry informed the breakfast that the hub was responsible for a combined annual spend upon goods and services of £115 million of which the spend with common suppliers is £42.8million. Main areas of spend include: environmental services, ICT, financial services and facilities management and construction. The hubs data shows that small and medium firms consistently gain about 45% of Council business.

The big take away message from the session was to register your business and view contracts at: www.supplytoeastsussex.co.uk  Supported by FSB, the East Sussex Procurement Hub are urging Council Service Managers to proactively look for businesses to quote for work from this site.  Public service contracting opportunities further afield also exist on the following sites, with, again, the opportunity to register your business:   

South East Shared Services  Gov.UK Contract Finder  Construction Line

Gerry concluded his talk with tips for bidding success. These included evidencing your ability to deliver, focussing on the objectives of the contract and the contract award criteria. Clear, concise and correct writing is also a must. Further hints and tips are available at  www.wealden.gov.uk/procurementhub

Do join us at our FSB Connect breakfasts in Sussex: good food, quality venues, great networking. Details and booking can be found here. 1066 Connect meet every third Thursday; Eastbourne and Wealden Connect on second Tuesday; Horsham and Crawley Connect on third Friday each month.