Tendering and public procurement represents both a fantastic opportunity for SMEs and potentially a monumental waste of energy, time and resources. For established startups and microenterprises, the unfortunate reality is that tenders simply cannot be ignored. The onus is very firmly on the business owner and senior management to get up to speed with what they need to do to win at tendering. I am hoping that my online training will be the first step in that journey – it is 40 minutes of video-based guidance on how to get started with tenders, how to respond to tenders and most importantly how to qualify your tender opportunities – that is how to decide whether to bid or not. I am making this on-demand, self-paced training available free of charge on my online training website – click the white button to register a free account to access the content.
Value of Tenders in Ireland
The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) manage the eTenders website. They also publish reports on expenditure managed using tenders. The most recent report, Public Sector Spend and Tendering Analysis Report 2018, published in March 2021, analysed €12.6 billion of spending across 4,414 tender notices. Of this €4.83 billion is central procurement being 81% of the total estimate of €6 billion managed by OGP. The report found that 53% of analysed spend for 2018 was with SMEs. The median (typical) estimated contract value for tenders analysed in 2018 is €100,000.
Top Tips for Tendering
Some time ago, I wrote a blog post called Six key tips for Tendering that gets lots of readers. So in this online programme, I discuss Ten Top Tips for Tendering building on the earlier blog post. This then forms the basis of a 15 item checklist that you can follow after completing the programme. It includes simple things such as signing up to eTenders and setting up email alerts via eTenders.
The module then progresses to discuss tender workflow management and how to make the Bid/No bid decision.
ESPD – European Single Procurement Document
European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) is a standard self-declaration used in OJEU level public procurement procedures by contracting authorities (buyers) and economic operators (suppliers) across the EU. Before the introduction of the ESPD, suppliers were required to submit various documents to prove that they fulfilled the exclusion and selection criteria of a tender, for example, that they had paid taxes and had not been convicted of criminal activity. Now, suppliers are able to meet these obligations with a single electronic ESPD or eESPD self-declaration form. As the video below shows (no sound), it is very easy to complete your eESPD within the eTenders platform.
Green Public Procurement (GPP)
Green public procurement is a process where public authorities seek to source goods, services or works with a reduced environmental impact. This is now going to feature prominently as a criterion for supplier shortlisting. Every small business will need to look at its green credentials as part of its tender strategy.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published guidance on green procurement. This document is a practical resource tool, designed to assist procurers to build green criteria into public tenders. It covers eight sectors: Road transport vehicles and services, Energy, Construction, Food and Catering services, Cleaning products and Services, Textiles and Uniforms, Office IT Equipment, and Paper.
A free online training programme by Donncha Hughes, Business Advisor
This is a free course – create a free thinkific account – so I sincerely hope that it is of benefit to small business owners and their senior management to include finance, marketing and business development personnel, along with their technical experts – who want to start the process of leveraging opportunities presented by Public Procurement tenders in Ireland.