GO Awards Northern Ireland 2019/20

Northern Irish finalists took to the stage at the prestigious GO Awards Northern Ireland 2019/20 event at the Titanic Hotel Belfast on 13 March 2019, to celebrate the people behind the country’s procurement success.

Many success stories were shared on the day by the host, BBC journalist Holly Hamilton, as she guided guests through the afternoon of presentations.

Leadership Merit Award

Holly kicked off the event by announcing a surprise Merit award for Leadership, which Gus MacKenzie from Procurex Ireland presented to NI Water.

The NI Water team was recognised for their work on “The Commercial Excellence Portfolio” – one of the six business change portfolios created by NI Water – which has been established to deliver £17m annual opex and £17m annual capex efficiencies by the end of March 2021.

A huge amount of work is going into this initiative and the GO Awards judges believed that the event was the perfect platform to recognise NI Water for their efforts.

GO Awards Presentation

This year, the judging panel selected winners and highly commended entrants from organisations across Northern Ireland.

Those recognised have gone above and beyond normal standards in public procurement to make real differences to the quality of public services in Northern Ireland.

The full list of winners can be seen below:

GO Procurement Project of the Year

Winner: Translink Fleet Procurement

GO Innovation / Initiative of the Year

Highly Commended: Barclay Communications

Winner: Construction and Procurement Delivery (Supplies & Services Division)

GO Procurement Team of the Year

Highly Commended: Construction & Procurement Delivery (CPD) – Procurement Operations Branch

Winner: Procurement & Logistics Service (a subsidiary of the Business Services Organisation) partnering with all Health and Social Care Trusts and the Department of Health

GO Buy Social/Sustainable Procurement – Construction

Highly Commended: Kevin Watson Group (KWG)

Winner: Department for Infrastructure, Graham Farrans Joint Venture, AECOM.

GO Buy Social/Sustainable Procurement – Services

Highly Commended: Countryside Services Ltd

Winner: Translink and Sword Security

GO Excellence Award

The GO Awards Northern Ireland Excellence Award is unlike all other categories, as it cannot be entered. This category recognises the very best overall submission drawn from each of the winners in this year’s Awards and the winner is chosen by the judges.

Taking home the unique GO Excellence Award was the Procurement & Logistics Service (a subsidiary of the Business Services Organisation) partnering with all Health and Social Care Trusts and the Department of Health. When presenting the Award. Holly noted that:

“the winner of the GO Awards Northern Ireland Excellence Award demonstrated an outstanding example of effective, collaborative and high-quality procurement and is well deserving of this prestigious recognition. We believe this submission, like our other winners this afternoon, will stand every chance of further success at the UK National GO Awards in April.”


You can watch our video detailing the highlights of the event here:

National GO Awards

Entry is now closed for this year’s UK National GO Awards; however, all regional GO Awards winners are fast-tracked as finalists into the UK National GO Awards 2019/20, which will take place on 30 April 2019 at the Hilton Metropole, Birmingham.

To find out more visit the UK National GO Awards website.

Our thanks again to our headline sponsor Lyreco, and our category sponsors Buy Social and Farrans.


DPRTE 2019 champions innovation by bringing the defence community together

MOD at dprte

On Thursday 28 March the UK’s leading defence procurement and supply chain event, DPRTE, which is supported by the Ministry of Defence, took place at Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre.

The 2019 event reflected the diversity and profile of the defence supply chain and the UK’s position as a leader within this sector.

The event has received excellent feedback from delegates, presenters and exhibitors alike, and we are pleased to announce that DPRTE will be back in April 2020.

Learn more about the day below!


Driving defence innovation forward

Simon Burges, Chief Executive Officer at BiP Solutions, was delighted with the attendance at this year’s event as DPRTE welcomed over 1500 key decision makers from across the defence procurement and supply chain marketplace. Post-event, Mr Burges said:

“DPRTE plays a vital role in supporting collaboration and innovation across a hugely diverse set of requirements, within areas such as technology, equipment, support and infrastructure.”

The event’s Keynote Arena welcomed an impressive line-up, with speakers from several defence organisations:

  • Jim Carter – Commercial Director, Supply Chain, MOD
  • Dr Lucy Mason – Head of the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA)
  • Jacqui Rock – Commercial Director, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO)
  • Tracy Buckingham – Head of Operations and Security Exports, DIT DSO

After a packed-out morning in the Keynote Arena, industry thought leaders were also joined by Jason Fox from Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins.

Jason gave an inspiring talk about his own military experience, and before arriving at his Keynote session he visited the Defence Engagement Hub to take part in BiP’s VR Challenge… unluckily for him, he was not our tournament winner!

jason fox

Supporting the defence supply chain

The defence supply chain is a vital and growing part of the UK economy. It directly and indirectly supports thousands of skilled jobs across the entire country, creating income that in turn underpins the delivery of a wide range of public services.

Mr Carter spoke about ‘Improving MOD’s Industrial Engagement’ during his session in the Keynote Arena, and give an overview of the MOD’s journey towards Strategic Partnerships. He also discussed how the organisation wants to make it easier for suppliers to do business with defence.

During his Keynote session he said:

“Harnessing the innovation of SMEs is absolutely critical. To have the best military capability we need that diversity of input. Innovation is really high on our customer’s agenda and we need to find a way as a commercial organisation to engage with a wide range of SMEs and bring them into our supply chain.”

Over the next decade the MOD is committed to spending over £178bn on equipment and support.

Networking and development

This year DPRTE hosted five unique Knowledge Transfer Zones, each designed to increase the knowledge and skills of both buyers and suppliers at the event. Spread across the conference hall were the following zones:

  • Technology & Innovation
  • Supply Chain & Partnering
  • Buyer Excellence in Procurement
  • Export & Business Growth
  • Doing Business with the US DoD

Speaking in the Supply Chain & Partnering Zone about the Crown Commercial Service’s collaboration with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation was David Wharton, Head of Account Management at CCS.

David said that his session gave him the opportunity to gain feedback from clients and gave them the opportunity to put their questions to him directly. Speaking to the DPRTE content team, he said:

“It is often very difficult to have all of your suppliers in the one place but here at DPRTE you get to hear of innovations that you wouldn’t normally hear of at a normal market engagement event.

“It is also really useful that the defence supply and buying communities have pulled together to help each other understand more about requirements on both sides of the fence.” 

Early engagement opportunities

DPRTE aims to bring the defence buyer and supplier communities together, and this year it was achieved on an international level!

Hundreds of suppliers had the opportunity to meet with buyers from each of the UK’s frontline commands as well as members of the US and Australian defence departments – making the event one of the best yet for defence networking opportunities.

DPRTE does not only benefit suppliers that are looking for opportunities in the defence sector, but is also vital to organisations like the UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) that are always looking for innovative ideas and suppliers to work with.

Dr Lucy Mason, Head of DASA, spoke to the DPRTE content team after delivering her keynote session about her experience at the event. She noted:

“We are really keen to be here at DPRTE; these kinds of event are crucial to allow government and industry to cooperate and work together, get together and network – which is always really valuable!”

Dr Mason has plans for continued growth in DASA and says that the organisation is looking for businesses in the defence marketplace that need support with innovation. She encourages these businesses to reach out to DASA.

Join us at DPRTE 2020

The main focus of the DPRTE event is to showcase research and technological developments that can be used to benefit society.

Grahame Steed, Director of Business Intelligence & e-Sourcing at BiP Solutions, is excited about the future of DPRTE. He said:

“At a time of increased and emerging threats to the UK, the defence supply chain helps to protect our interests at home and abroad – in addition to driving valuable research and innovation in areas such as cyber security, biometrics and life sciences.”

If you would like to join us at DPRTE 2020, the event will take place on 1 April at Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Your business can also invest in the development of new and existing business opportunities by participating in this important event. Contact us today to discuss booking your 2020 exhibition or sponsorship package – call 0845 270 7066 or email exhibitions@dprte.co.uk.

Thank you to our DPRTE 2019 sponsors: RPAS Service, Commerce Decisions, Dell Technologies, NetApp, Farnborough International Airshow, CDS Defence Support, CAPTEC, Miele, KME and Scotwork.

Collaboration is key – the main message from P4H Scotland 2019

P4H Scotland 2019 brought together over 700 key decision makers from across Scotland’s NHS procurement marketplace to Edinburgh in March.

The event, which was officially supported by NHS National Services Scotland (NHS NSS), championed collaboration between buyers and suppliers and encouraged conversations on how teams can work together to collectively achieve more for patients.

Feedback from stakeholders and delegates who attended this event has been excellent as many of the sessions provided were incredibly well received. We now look forward to our English P4H event in July!

Did you miss P4H Scotland 2019? Learn more about this event and NHS NSS plans below.

NHS National Procurement

P4H Scotland’s official partner NHS National Procurement is Scotland’s largest procurement body, buying and supplying the myriad items that keep Scotland’s hospitals running.

The organisation works across the healthcare sector, reaching out to partners that have shared innovative ideas which can help the NHS to grow and drive forward added value and benefits for service users.

Martin Street, Strategic Sourcing Director at NHS National Procurement joined suppliers and many other NHS employees at the P4H event. Mr Street has been working hard during his time at National Procurement to support the needs of patient care by thinking more innovatively, sustainably and compassionately.

Events like P4H Scotland can support this by bringing the buyer and supplier communities together. When asked by the P4H content team why it was important for his organisation to attend events like P4H, Mr Street said:

“Having senior presence from NHS Scotland National Procurement really shows that we understand value and want to invest time with our suppliers to take things forward”.

Procurement plays a big part in supporting the quality of a patient’s experience of care and the discussions which took place at the event indicate there is considerable opportunity out there for suppliers and industry innovators.

“Supporting Scotland’s health and care priorities”

Alongside the Product Showcase Exhibition, a wealth of knowledge was demonstrated in the three training zones at the event, where 20 training sessions took place, covering everything from cyber security to bid writing.

At the heart of the event was the Keynote Arena, where Colin Sinclair, Chief Executive at NHS NSS, was the first of six keynote speakers. He gave delegates an overview of the NSS operating landscape and set out NHS Scotland’s immediate priorities:

  • mental health
  • waiting times
  • health and social care integration

Mr Sinclair said that NHS National Services Scotland wants to enable people who live and work in Scotland to live longer, healthier lives at home or in a homely setting but to do this they must find the right partners.

Collaboration was a key theme throughout all the Keynote Arena sessions. Focusing on this area, Mr Sinclair urged suppliers in the audience to think about what they could offer the healthcare procurement market. He discussed the challenges that NHS NSS faced and how the organisation would tackle them, noting that NHS NSS cannot do it alone:

“Our supply partners are fundamental to the delivery of our services and to the ability for the NHS in Scotland to provide excellent care.

So, thank you – but here is a challenge.

What more could you do?

What more could we do?”

“The Pledge”

Jim Miller, Director of Procurement Commissioning and Facilities at NHS Scotland, also spoke in the Keynote Arena. He spoke in depth about trust between buyers and suppliers, noting that the “five C’s” – credibility, competency, consistency, commitment and creativity – are considered throughout the decision-making process and are all factors that NHS Scotland considers when adding suppliers to its frameworks.

To achieve these “five Cs”, Mr Miller understands that both communities must work together and to this end he pledged that he will begin scope for a supplier development programme and meet with a key supplier every month to help build on these relationships.

As part of this “pledge” he also plans to attend and support the running of P4H Scotland 2020. Speaking to the P4H content team, Mr Miller said:

“I love supporting this event, I think it’s one of the few opportunities where we can be health-specific in our conversations…

It’s the second year that we have done it, I hope to be able to say it’s the third year we have done it next year, I think it’s really important”

Event highlights

Our post-event highlights video has just been released! BiP Solutions would like to thank all our event partners, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and delegates for making P4H Scotland 2019 such a great event.

BiP Solutions is delighted to announce that P4H Scotland will be held again in Edinburgh on 22 April 2020. We look forward to seeing you all next year!

Visit the P4H Scotland website: www.p4hscotland.co.uk

Business Growth in a Post-Brexit world

Many businesses may feel it is difficult to prepare for the coming months without knowing what will change on or after 29th March. Although the date the United Kingdom was scheduled to leave the European Union is fast approaching, it may seem that there is still relatively little certainty as to what Brexit means – either politically, or for business.

However, there are many areas of opportunity available to businesses regardless of the outcome of the coming weeks’ political decisions. Drawing on our 35 years of experience in public procurement, BiP Solutions have produced a new guidance document, ‘Opportunities and Trends for Business Growth in a Post-Brexit World.’ Drawing on recent announcements from the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, current guidance about the various possible outcomes for Brexit, and our expert knowledge of industry trends, the seven-page guidance document covers key areas that are set to provide multiple opportunities, both in the UK and across the world, over the months ahead.

Grahame Steed, Business Intelligence and e-Sourcing Director at BiP Solutions, said:

While the UK’s exit from the EU is creating a degree of uncertainty for businesses, the growth potential provided by the public sector at home and internationally remains vast. Now is the time to focus on identifying the right opportunities within this multi-billion pound sector, and engaging with the right organisations to ensure they are aware of what businesses can do to solve their challenges.

Read and download the latest guidance on upcoming trends and opportunities by clicking here.

To learn more about how BiP Solutions can help your business access opportunities in a range of sectors, visit www.bipsolutions.com.

UK National GO Awards finalists announced

UK National GO Awards logo

The finalists for the UK National GO Awards have been announced.

Celebrating the best in all aspects of public procurement, the UK National GO Awards presentation ceremony will take place at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham on 30th April. The standard of entries this year was very high, so we would like to extend our congratulations to all nominees, and thank everyone who entered.

All entries have been reviewed by our judging panel comprised of experts from across UK procurement. You can learn more about the judges here. We would like to thank all members of the panel for their time.

The full list of finalists is as follows:

GO Best Service Award – Medium and Large Organisations

  • Lyreco
  • Warmworks Scotland
  • Crown Commercial Service
  • NHS Shared Business Services
  • Hays and Birmingham City Council
  • EDF Energy, CCS, SP, TEC and NEPO
  • GRI

GO Best Service Award – Micro and Small Businesses and Third Sector Organisations

  • Re-Tek
  • AdviseInc Ltd.
  • NHS Shared Business Services
  • Ingenica Solutions and Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cadence Innova Ltd

GO Emerging Procurement Talent Award

  • Leidos Supply Limited
  • Cardiff Council
  • Scotland Excel

GO Infrastructure Project of the Year Award
Sponsored by Site Diary

  • Milton Keynes Council
  • Transport for Wales, Infrastructure Advisory UK Ltd, Steer and Mott McDonald
  • Transport Scotland:  A737 Dalry Bypass Project
  • Transport Scotland: A9 Dualling: Kincraig to Dalraddy
  • Transport Scotland: Forth Replacement Crossing

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – Health and Social Care
Sponsored by Blue Badger

  • CPD
  • Clonallon Laboratories Ltd
  • Angus Council/Angus Health & Social Care Partnership
  • Leicester City Council and Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Thames Valley Police
  • Leicestershire County Council
  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • North Lincolnshire Council
  • Scan4Safety, Department of Health and Social Care

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – NHS Health and Social Care
Sponsored by Blue Badger

  • Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHS Wales Informatics Service
  • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and North West Shared Infrastructure Service and others
  • NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit
  • University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
  • NHS Lancashire Procurement Cluster
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: Managed Service for the Provision of Digital Transformation Solutions
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: On-site Surgical and Medical Capacity Solutions
  • South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Integrated Care System
  • NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support and NHS England
  • NHS Shared Business Services and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
  • NHS Wales Informatics Service

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward: Local Government, Central Government and Other Organisations
Sponsored by Statkraft 

  • Angus Council/Angus Health & Social Care Partnership
  • West London Alliance
  • Crown Commercial Service
  • National Commercial Board
  • Public Power Solutions, Swindon Borough Council
  • Kent Police and Essex Police
  • Sandwell Council
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Transport Scotland
  • Kirklees Council
  • Bank of England

GO Procurement Leadership of the Year Award – Local Government & Other Organisations
Sponsored by Lyreco 

  • Angus Council
  • University of Strathclyde, DHI, NHS NSS and the Scottish Government
  • Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
  • Scotland Excel
  • STAR Procurement
  • North Yorkshire County Council

GO Procurement Leadership of the Year Award – Central Government & Healthcare Organisations

  • Office for National Statistics
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bank of England

GO Procurement Project of the year award (above £20m value) – Local Government and Consortia
Sponsored by Epson 

  • Angus Council/Angus Health & Social Care Partnership
  • NEPO
  • North Yorkshire County Council and Nynet
  • London Boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Redbridge (WELR)
  • Taunton Deane Borough Council
  • North Lincolnshire Council
  • London Borough of Waltham Forest
  • Kirklees Council

GO Procurement Project of the year award (above £20m value) – Other Organisations
Sponsored by Epson 

  • NHS Wales Informatics Service
  • Police Scotland
  • Translink
  • NHS Wales Informatics Services
  • Crown Commercial Service: Facilities Management Marketplace
  • Crown Commercial Service: Media Buying “cutting-edge” procurement
  • Department for International Development
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • North of England Commissioning Support Unit and NHS England (Specialised Commissioning, North Region)
  • Transport for Wales, Infrastructure Advisory UK Ltd, Steer and Mott McDonald
  • Translink

GO Procurement Project of the year award (sub-£20m value)
Sponsored by PlanLink 

  • Renfrewshire Council
  • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, North West Shared Infrastructure Service and others
  • NHS Midlands and Lancashire CSU
  • Birmingham City University
  • NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit, West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, and East Leicestershire & Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Scotland Excel and SEEMiS
  • Thames Valley Police
  • NHS Wales – Shared Services Partnership
  • Sedgemoor District Council
  • NHS Shared Business Services and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – Health and Social Care Organisations

  • NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership – Procurement Serivces
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH)
  • North of England Commissioning Support Unit
  • NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support and NHS England
  • Northern Care Alliance Procurement Team (Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust & Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust)
  • NHS Wales – Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP)
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – Local Government, Central Government and Other Organisations
Sponsored by Banner

  • Translink: Future Ticketing System (TFTS)
  • Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Services
  • Network Homes
  • Crown Commercial Service
  • Translink: Procurement Team
  • Crown Prosecution Service: Digital Commercial Team
  • North Yorkshire County Council
  • National LGPS Frameworks
  • Crown Prosecution Service: Procurement and Commercial Services Team
  • Kirklees Council
  • Transport Scotland
  • Leicestershire Police FHQ
  • Procurement & Logistics Service (a subsidiary of the Business Services Organisation) partnering with all Health and Social Care Trusts and the Department of Health
  • NHS Scotland National Procurement Equipping Sourcing Team, working with NSS Health Facilities Scotland Equipping Team
  • University of Strathclyde

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award – Local Authority, Consortia and Housing
Sponsored by Edenred

  • Welshpool Town Council
  • Wirral Council
  • NEPO
  • Cardiff Council
  • North Yorkshire County Council
  • Liverpool City Council: Liverpool Parklife
  • Liverpool City Council: Liverpool Adult Learning Service
  • Tai Tarian

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award – Other Organisations
Sponsored by Edenred 

  • Construction Impact Framework, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and University of Salford
  • Re-tek UK Ltd
  • NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership – Procurement Services
  • Birmingham City University
  • St Georges University Hospital Foundation Trust
  • NHS Arden & GEM CSU, West Midlands Combined Authority, NHS Wolverhampton CCG and Social Finance
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Scottish Government – SG Procurement, Contract Management & Capability Team
  • Translink
  • Department for Infrastructure, Graham Farrans Joint Venture, AECOM

P4H Scotland 2019

On Tuesday 12 March our premier healthcare procurement event, P4H Scotland, which is supported by NHS National Services Scotland, took place at Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

The second P4H Scotland was as well received as the first, with excellent feedback from delegates and presenters and exhibitors.

Marie-Claire Miller, Customer Engagement Commodity Manager, NHS National Services Scotland, spoke to BiP Solutions on the day and said that:

It was a really great event, lots of enthusiasm in the room and lots of discussion. Let’s see how many of the discussions we can turn into positive actions. See you at P4H Scotland 2020!”

Keynote Arena

P4H Scotland delegates packed into the Keynote Arena at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre to join in the debate. Thought leaders and industry experts took the stage and presenters on the day included:

Duncan Eaton – Executive Advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Health Group

Colin Sinclair – Chief Executive Officer, NHS National Services Scotland

Jim Miller – Procurement Commissioning & Facilities Director, NHS Scotland

Professor Jacqui Reilly – Director of Nursing, NHS National Services Scotland

Jaime Hill & Jess Cronin – Customer Innovation Team, Johnson and Johnson

Nicole McGlennon – Representing the SDMA, Business Unit Director UKI – Wound Care and Infusion Devices, ConvaTec

The Opening Keynote Address yesterday was given by Colin Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer at NHS National Services Scotland.

Colin spoke in great depth on how supply partners are fundamental to the delivery of healthcare services and gave delegates an insight into how NHS National Services Scotland is supporting Scotland’s health and care priorities.

On Twitter Mr Sinclair posted:

“I was delighted to open the keynote sessions at the P4H Scotland event. A great opportunity to highlight the challenges for health and care in 2019 and demonstrate how procurement can be part of the solution”

Jim Miller, Procurement Commissioning & Facilities Director, NHS Scotland, said that the event was a “great day with a real buzz in the room”.

During his session he reflected on P4H Scotland 2018, urging delegates to carry on having broader conversations around issues like the collapse of Carilion, global warming and Brexit.

He also spoke about his “Pledge” ahead of P4H 2020 stating that he will begin scope for a supplier development programme and that moving forward he aims to meet with key suppliers once a month. After sharing his “pledge” he then asked the audience what procurement and supply partners can do collectively to support Scotland’s Health sector.

Event Highlights

Alongside the Keynote Arena, the event hosted 15 training sessions across 3 training zones and 4 Networking Zones, where professionals met to discuss the wealth of innovation shown in the Product Showcase.

Our event sponsor GHX also hosted a session in the Professional Procurement Skills Zone. Chris Norman, Key Account Manager, presented “Delivering Patient Safety and Efficiencies through Inventory Management and Web Requisitioning” which was incredibly well received.

Other sponsors on the day included: Dionach, Rathburn Chemical Ltd, +us, Medline and Cannon Hygiene.

Join us at a P4H event near you…

The main focus of the P4H events is to enhance the capabilities of procurement personnel and showcase innovative suppliers across the UK & Ireland.

Simon Burges, Chief Executive Officer of BiP Solutions, is excited about the future of the P4H events. Post P4H Scotland he said:

“Now in its second year, P4H Scotland – The Procurement Event For Health in association with NHS National Services Scotland, plays a vital role in connecting industry with Scotland’s leading NHS procurement professionals. This year we welcomed over 700 delegates, who collectively and in collaboration play a vital role in achieving today’s public procurement objectives.”

Would you like to join us at a P4H event?

P4H Ireland takes place on 4 April and P4H England takes place on 12 July. Tickets are FREE for public sector delegates.

For private sector prices, visit the P4H Ireland and P4H England websites.

If you would like to invest in the development of new and existing business opportunities by participating in this important event, call 0845 270 7066 to find out more.

DCI V7 is here!

We are delighted to announce our latest product upgrade, DCI V7!

Our business tool for the defence sector, Defence Contracts International (DCI) delivers insight that is second to none. The latest version of this tool gives users a competitive edge that will support their business in every major marketplace.

What’s new?

The latest version of DCI has new modules that have been implemented to help users expand their opportunities with the MOD, the UK security sector and the international defence marketplace.

New to DCI is the Dynamic Purchasing System tool, designed to provide suppliers with straightforward and flexible access to DPS contracts.

The benefits of DCI’s Frameworks and DPS tools are that users can:

  • Easily find new framework notices
  • Research active and prior frameworks
  • View call-off notices and awards within an active framework
  • Discover competitors that may be on an active framework
  • Identify any supply chain opportunities with private sector contractors
  • Access related documents to gain further insight into requirements

Early engagement

Early engagement has been something of a hot topic in the world of public sector procurement lately, with buying organisations increasingly putting early supplier engagement at the top of their priorities.

There has been significant demand for a solution that can help enable such communication as DCI customers fed back that they want more meaningful engagement with buyers, and they want this as early as possible.

Through potential and confirmed business leads, the V7 model of DCI now supports them in this objective.

DCI breakfast launch

To celebrate the launch of V7, the business hosted an internal breakfast celebration – with bacon rolls and a very special DCI V7 cake to go with the occasion.

Grahame Steed, Director of Business Intelligence and eSourcing, spoke at the event, having played a major role in the development of the upgraded product. He said:

“The global defence and security marketplace is a huge and diverse sector, with massive potential for all types of innovative products and services.

“The launch of DCI V7 is an important step in increasing the visibility of these international opportunities, and – through our intelligence and insight – helping businesses engage earlier to increase their chances of success.”

Product Marketing Manager David Young was also an integral part of the V7 project; during the launch event he was just as excited about the future of the service:

“V7 allows us to deliver a much clearer picture of what opportunities are out there for our defence sector customers, as well as giving them the insights they need to gain a competitive edge.”

Visit the new DCI website here.

Cyber Security Awareness Week

In recent years cyber security has become ever more of a pressing issue. The after-effects of the devasting WannaCry attack that affected major organisations in 150 countries around the world, including the NHS, are still being felt, and the scale of cyber interference in worldwide democracy is starting to become apparent – if not fully realised yet. Gone are the days when ‘cyber security’ simply meant individual users not clicking links in scam emails; cyber attacks are becoming ever more insidious, sophisticated and large-scale. The National Cyber Security Centre has said it defends the UK from an average of ten cyber attacks per week.

Bearing all of this in mind, the need for companies to become aware of the risks, and to ensure that they are as they are as secure as possible, should be apparent. In this post, we’ll discuss about how BiP Solutions can help, and give a round-up of our cyber security-related updates from this week.

Cyber Essentials

Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed and industry-supported scheme that helps both businesses and public sector organisations protect themselves against cyber attacks and provides a clear statement of the basic controls organisations should have in place to protect themselves. The certification defines clear guidance on basic cyber security for organisations of all sizes, and offers a solid foundation of cyber security measures that all types of organisations can implement at a low cost.

Being Cyber Essentials certified is mandatory for any organisation bidding for central government and MOD contracts that deal with the handling of personal information and/or the provision of certain IT products and services. Therefore, if you’re looking to bid for these contracts, you must hold Cyber Essentials certification.

For Cyber Security Awareness Week we’re offering the chance to become certified for £250 plus VAT, through using the code ‘Cyberaware50’ at the checkout. See Cyber Essential’s top ‘next steps’ tips here, and for more details, see https://www.cyberessentialsonline.co.uk/.

Expert analysis & opinion

To learn more about how cyber security is currently affecting procurement, download our two most recent reports. Our 15-page ‘Challenges & Opportunities for Local Government Procurement in a Digital World’ includes a feature on key digital trends in procurement, including cyber security and its links to blockchain technology. Our survey report, ‘Procurement Approaches Across the Public Sector: Challenges & Opportunities 2018-19’, produced in collaboration with our colleagues from iGov Survey, brings together research and opinions from throughout the public sector. Key statistics include the fact that 63% of respondents said that they now have a designated cyber security lead.

Cyber security has a huge crossover with the Defence sector, not only in terms of active national security operations – an ever-growing area of focus – but also in areas that affect every business or organisation, such as ensuring transactions are secure. Each day this week our Defence Online site has been featuring special contributions from industry experts on how cyber security affects many different areas of the Defence sector. Read all the features here. And for more on how the Defence sector in particular needs to consider the ease with which cyber attacks can be conducted, see this post from our Defence Contracts International site, along with more cyber security top tips.

To learn more about BiP Solutions and our full range of solutions and how they can help ensure you’re working as securely as possible, visit our homepage.

BiP’s apprentices: where are they now?

Image result for national apprentice week

Here at BiP, we are strong supporters of the Modern Apprenticeship Programme. We have a proud history of developing apprentices throughout the business and have certainly reaped the benefits of doing so.

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we want to take this opportunity to reflect on the successes of our employees who joined the business through the programme.

Our apprentices – where are they now?

Scott McKechnie

Joined Business: September 2007

Apprenticeship programme: SVQ Level 3 Business Administration

Current role: Scott came into BiP as a Business Administrator and after completing his apprenticeship, moved to a role within our Helpdesk team. In 2012, Scott moved to our Public Sector Sales Team as a Customer Relationship Manager and progressed tremendously within the team. After spending a number of years as a Business Development Manager travelling all around the country to promote our services, Scott is now Sales Manager for the Public Sector Sales Team. What a success story!

Rory Denny

Joined business: November 2012

Apprenticeship programme: MVQ Level 3 marketing

Current role: After moving into the sales team of our Market Engagement division, Rory has now progressed to the role of Key Account Manager, driving revenue and managing strategic relationships with some of BiP Solutions’ key customer accounts.

Jodie Pratt

Joined business: January 2013

Apprenticeship programme: SVQ Level 3 Business Administration

Current role: Jodie currently works in our Accounts department as a Credit Controller and is undertaking training to become an accredited member of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM).

Heather Cooper

Joined business: April 2014

Apprenticeship programme: Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship

Current role: Having moved into the role of an Editorial Assistant after her apprenticeship, Heather has now been a Senior Client Services Executive for the past two years, particularly overseeing our client research survey projects.

Kyle Dearie

Joined business: August 2014

Apprenticeship programme: SVQ Level 3 Business Administration

Current role: Kyle now works in our Accounts department as a Business Administrator. In 2018, Kyle also completed the Digital Applications Advanced Modern Apprenticeship programme to further develop his digital skillset.

Robert Gough

Joined business: November 2016

Apprenticeship programme: SVQ Level 3 Business Administration

Current role: Robert originally joined the business as a Credit Controller. After receiving his Business Administration qualification, Robert also completed the Digital Applications Advanced Modern Apprenticeship programme and has since progressed to the role of Data Analyst.

Laure McGill

Joined business: April 2017

Apprenticeship programme: SCQF 6 – Digital Applications Advanced Modern Apprenticeship

Current role: Laure now works in our Research team as a Content Researcher where she is responsible for producing and editing content for a number of our business intelligence solutions.

Paul Docherty

Joined business: July 2017

Apprenticeship programme: SCQF 6 – Digital Applications Advanced Modern Apprenticeship

Current role: After 18 months of working in our Research team, Paul has now progressed to the role of Technical Helpdesk Advisor with responsibility for first line user support on our portfolio of products and services.

Christopher Doolan

Joined business: April 2018

Apprenticeship programme: SCQF 6 – Digital Applications Advanced Modern Apprenticeship

Current role: Chris, whilst working in our Accounts team as a Business Administrator, is currently in the process of completing the programme with one more module to go – nearly there Chris!

Each of these individuals demonstrate the importance, contribution and value of the Modern Apprentice model within the business. We look forward to the continued development of these employees as they develop their career within BiP!

To learn more about our business, roles that are currently available and apprenticeship opportunities, visit our Careers page.

International market remains open after Brexit

Business people shaking hands in airport with world map

It has been confirmed that British businesses will be able to continue bidding for contracts from across the world after the UK leaves the European Union.

In the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the UK will join the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) as an independent member, as confirmed by the members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The 19 members of the GPA include such major economies as Japan, the USA, Canada, Israel and the EU. The UK’s membership of the Agreement will mean that British businesses will be able to continue to bid on public sector contracts from other countries on much the same terms as currently. The reciprocal agreement allows businesses from across the world to continue to bid on £67 billion worth of public sector contracts in the UK, while British suppliers will be able to bid on £1.3 trillion worth of contracts in many different countries.

Grahame Steed, eSourcing and Business Intelligence Director at BiP Solutions, said:

“Clarity on the UK’s membership of the General Procurement Agreement post-Brexit is positive news. The international market for public sector contract opportunities is massive, so businesses should be encouraged that this market remains open, even after the UK exits the EU.”

If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, the UK will join the GPA as an independent member as quickly as possible. There may be a short delay for the GPA to take legal effect in the event of a ‘no-deal’ exit, but this is likely to last less than a month and the Government assures that “disruption to businesses is likely to be minimal.” If a negotiated withdrawal deal between the UK and EU includes an Implementation Period, the UK will remain a member of the GPA under EU schedules.

To learn more about the full effect of different potential Brexit outcomes on UK procurement, and what suppliers can do to reduce the level of action they’ll need to take, read our updated guidance document, ‘Procurement After Brexit: Deal or No Deal’ here.

The full Government press release on GPA membership can be read here.