Procurement and SME's

Common sense Procurement. Although the Procurement process has improved over the last 12 months, I still attend Supplier events, and am frustrated, that as a tax payer, and a Supplier, Procurement standing orders are still driving some Public bodies down the wrong route:

- If a solution or a service already exists, and has been succesfully delivered, then Procurement should be encouraging Public sector organisations, through DATS, ADDS or GCloud to speak to the Private sector organisation that delivered the service, to bid for the work or partner with someone on the Framework. The other suppliers, will soon work out, through their qualification criteria, whether they have a chance of winning and competing

- Buy local - there are a significant number of excellent SME's in Scotland, who can deliver brilliant solutions and services, but we happen to be poor, at writing tender responses, as we dont have the luxury of a large skilled Bid team to respond (if we did, our costs and overheads would go up!) - this results in the 'A' team being put in front of the customer from a large SI - when the 'C' team is then used to deliver the project, which quite often results in a failed project

- Create a Government Portal of all solutions developed in Scotland by Scottish SME's, so that Public sector bodies know who to speak to, and are encouraged to speak to SME's - a half year 'speed procurement with IT/Digital/CIO and not just procurement'

- Communication - the majority of Public sector bodies, will not let SME's arrange meetings to discuss future requirements, and how/if that SME could help - the solution is to set out a Portal for all Procurements over the next 24 months, with a high level view of requirements, budget, risks and timelines

- MEAT - please stop buying on the bases of MEAT, more than often, a large SI will ensure Change Control hits the Public purse - due to scope creep - buy, based on Quality and realistic Scope of Requirements

Why the contribution is important

Succesful Outcomes and Contracts. Sensible procurement. SI's are not always the answer - strongly consider local SME's , who are Agile, quality driven, creating local wealth and jobs in Scotland

by Brodie on November 07, 2016 at 05:15PM

Current Rating

Average score : 3.6
Based on : 3 votes


  • Posted by Sundiver November 14, 2016 at 10:39

    I think that there is a need for a discussion about how competitive prices are through purchasing portals like Oracle. Many Oracle-approved vendors face no competition and have prices that appear to be much higher than a free-market would allow. This means a lower value for public service providers and in turn for tax payers.
  • Posted by goutram November 14, 2016 at 19:13

    I'd also like to see procurement recognise agile as a delivery methodology. A majority of public sector tenders state agile however they have fixed deliverables, timeframes and budgets.
  • Posted by ScotGovDigitalPhilip December 14, 2016 at 13:03

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  • Posted by ScotGovDigitalPhilip December 14, 2016 at 15:25

    There are some interesting points here and it is good to hear that people think procurement has improved over the last 12 months.

    SMEs are winning public sector contracts and providing high quality products and services – this is reflected in some 48% of general procurement spend going directly to SMEs. We are keen to improve this and initiatives such as the Scottish Model of Procurement and the Supplier Development Programme are committed to engaging with SMEs to ensure that they are ‘tender ready’ – this should help to address comments that Scottish SME’s are losing out.

    We believe that good access to contracting opportunities and visibility of planned procurement activity go hand in hand. Recent legislation requires Contracting Authorities to maintain a register of contracts and produce annual reports to allow greater visibility of opportunities within the Scottish public sector. Similarly Public Contracts Scotland contains details of contracting opportunities and includes a forward plan which contains details of current and future opportunities – we hope that this helps to address comments around the creation of a portal to improve communication.

    With reference to the use of MEAT in awarding contracts, the Scottish Model of Procurement considers overall value for money to be an appropriate balance between cost and quality, as such contracts must be awarded based on a combination of cost and quality and cannot be awarded solely on the basis of price.

    We continue to support access to public contracts for all suppliers, and innovative and agile ways of working to deliver digital public services and public service reform.
  • Posted by AlexStobart December 15, 2016 at 10:16

    Recently there have been Public Social Partnerships discussed and then offered to the community, to interested individuals, third sector organisations and businesses to engage, have a dialogue,design equality at the beginning, and build relationships and work to consider outcomes.

    It allows for more thinking and joint working rather than a commission or procurement. It allows more 2 way rather than 1 way and could make a really positive impact in enabling person centred services across e.g. health & care ; employability ; social security ; prevention and early intervention.

    This method of PSP seems much more of a collaborative dialogue, with sharing and knowledge gathering to progress, and it is to be seen how it will succeed. It also supports a fairer Scotland as it's more inclusive and lots more local and community voices can take part to design equality into the system from the start.
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