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Spotlight On: Amy Bourne

This month our spotlight focusses on our Salford office, and a stalwart of the sales team there, Amy Bourne.

Amy began her BiP journey in 2013 starting as an Account Development Manager with what was Ingenium.

It was back in 2016 that the BiP family expanded with the acquisition of the public sector marketing specialist to help boost the BiP brand.

Now, six years on and an evolution of the department has seen our Cadence brand embed itself into BiP, with its direct engagement of the public sector reaping rewards. As SME spend becomes ever more crucial to government procurement, the department helps facilitate early engagement of buyers and suppliers, bringing new innovations to the public sector market.

amy bourne

How would you sum up your job at BiP, Amy?

New business management is the main aspect of my role, supporting clients with external marketing activity, I also help train any new staff that join the team.

When did your BiP journey begin?  

Through the acquisition of Ingenium.

In what capacity did you start? Why did you join BiP? Why did you stay?

I started as an Account Development Manager, worked my way through to Sales Manager, then back to a full time portfolio management role with an added training function.

I joined Ingenium originally because I saw how much Sam Gilding enjoyed the role and wanted a new challenge outside of the world of customer service. I had dabbled in sales and marketing a little in previous roles at BHS and Direct line (B2C), following the acquisition I stayed in the role as not too much changed at first – same people, same product. I’m still here now because I like the client engagement and both the internal and external relationships I’ve built up over the years.

It’s a completely different organisation to the one I joined, but I like to think that I’ve adapted to the change and continue to apply my knowledge and experience to the business.

When are you at your most productive?

Definitely in the morning (I should say all day, right?)

What are the major differences you’ve seen between Ingenium as was and becoming part of BiP?

With a few exceptions, a completely different team in the Manchester Office, it was a very informal office. BiP definitely has more ambition to grow the business unit and there are more progression opportunities now, which is a positive.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in sales and marketing throughout the years?

There’s been a big shift in process. Everything has become far more processed driven for onboarding clients and raising PO’s and measuring performance metrics.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Before becoming a mum, I would have answered with socialising, spending time with friends, day drinking, having a good laugh. Now its spending time with my daughter, watching her develop into a little character and teaching her new things. Of course, the other stuff would be nice but I’m still finding my feet post lockdown.

Quick fire:

  1. Joggers or Jeans – Jeans
  2. Ties or T-shirts – T-shirts
  3. Coffee or tea – Coffee
  4. Lager or ale – Lager
  5. Book or film – film
  6. Football or rugby – Football
  7. Cat or dog – dog
  8. Hot or cold – Hot
  9. Salty or sweet – sweet
  10. Tattooed or not – Tattooed
  11. Night out or night in – Night in​​​​​​​

Join us next month for our spotlight on Software Developer – Alvaro Sanchez.

Celebrating public procurement at GO Awards Scotland

Hundreds of procurement experts gathered at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow to celebrate their achievements at the GO Awards Scotland.

Organised by BiP Solutions and sponsored by Lyreco, the GO Awards celebrated the delivery of critical public services in Scotland over the past year, with eight different awards up for grabs.

Nick Ford, Director of Procurement and Commercial at the Scottish Government delivered the opening address while Sarah Heaney was host for the evening.

“I think it’s fair to say that the profile and importance of public procurement has never been higher; in Scotland and across the rest of the UK”, Heaney stated. “So these are an awards for everyone involved – buyers and all involved in the supply chain that delivers vital public services.”

“But of course, we must recognise the achievement of each of our finalists. Regardless of the outcome tonight, each has taken the time to put their work in the spotlight and to help progress standards in procurement for all.”

Winning the biggest prize of the night – the GO Excellence Award, was Scottish Government Digital, in partnership with NHS National Services Scotland and Public Health Scotland for creating a service to collect contact data from visitors for various venues during the height of the pandemic.

They were eligible for this award after also winning the COVID Outstanding Response Award (Public Sector) for the same project.

Also picking up double accolades, The City of Edinburgh Council, won the Continuous Improvement Award and the Health and Wellbeing Award for their Thrive Edinburgh project, which helped to simplify the delivery of vital mental health services in the city.

The first award of the night, the Social Value Award, went to Aberdeen City Council, who along with Aberdeenshire CouncilNHS Grampian and Neos Networks, were rewarded for their work relating to the ‘Gigabit Connectivity Framework’ to improve and deliver digital connectivity to public sites.

“I can’t take the credit for this project but it was a real team effort and they will all be delighted back at the office. With any collaborative project there is always difficulties but they did a great job and this award is testament to that”, said Fiona Conti, Strategic Procurement Manager at Aberdeen City Council.

Scotland Excel were crowned winners of the Best Procurement Delivery Award for their support in the delivery of the Scottish Government’s £3 billion Affordable Housing Supply Programme, while Sykes Global and NHS National Services Scotland won the COVID-19 Outstanding Response Award (Private Sector) for their creation and delivery of COVID test kits.

“It has been fantastic to be back at government awards and to celebrate the success of the team together. The biggest challenge on this project was the sheer scale of delivery with so many people involved, but we were driven by wanting to get the best outcome for people and we’re proud to have one that”, said Steve Brannagan, Head of Customer & Business Services at Scotland Excel.

Finally, Glasgow City Council won the Procurement Team of the Year Award following their successful procurement of a new fleet of green vehicles for their city.

Among those presenting the awards was Grahame Steed, Content, Research and Communications Director at BiP Solutions. “Given the challenges we have seen facing public procurement in recent years, the GO Awards Scotland were a fantastic opportunity for some teams to earn the recognition they deserve for their hard work in such difficult times, and the standard was as high as ever.”

“It was great to see everyone in person again, and we congratulate all those who took home a GO Awards Scotland trophy, as well as all the finalists who submitted such strong entries. We look forward to seeing all our category winners again in Birmingham on 25 May for the UK GO Awards.”

For those hoping to join Scotland’s winners at the GO Awards UK, the deadline for entries has been extended to Monday 25 April, so submit your entry while there’s still time, and we may just see you at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham on the big night!

Find out more about entering here, and good luck! https://www.goawards.co.uk/national/

Mental Health Awareness Week at BiP

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and here at BiP Solutions we’re conscious that our people are our most important asset.

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and here at BiP Solutions we’re conscious that our people are our most important asset.

Helping them keep happy and healthy, both physically and mentally, is crucial to our success.

Stepping up

As part of the range of BiP ONE activities in May we are promoting and encouraging colleagues to take part in National Walking Month, and the challenge of walking 80 miles in May. Owing to the connection of physical health in supporting overall wellbeing, this is something we are keen to get behind and support.

Several of our colleagues have taken on the challenge and are stepping up their game. With more than 50 miles walked between them this first week!

Always learning

In addition to the positive role that physical health plays, we also recognise the significance of mental health within the workplace, and our Senior Management Team have recently been undertaking Mental Health Awareness for Managers training.

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and here at BiP Solutions we’re conscious that our people are our most important asset.

This is just a part of our commitment to evolve our overall approach to wellbeing in the workplace, which includes fruit and healthy snacks available in each of our offices.

Throughout the week, BiP will be encouraging colleagues to take part in mental health activities, creating more awareness of this aspect of our wellbeing programme.

Engaging with the community

Colleagues will also be reminded that we provide free community days to allow them to help a favourite charity – helping others is often hailed as a good route to improving your mental health.

Lucy Roue at the RSPCA

We have seen colleagues volunteer for the RSCPA, as well as take on preparations for the gruelling 4x4x48 challenge. That is, running 4 miles, every 4 hours over 48 hours for National Cancer Survivors Day.

As a company, we’re committed to evolving our approach to mental health and encourage colleagues to work with our management team to develop new ways to support overall wellbeing.

Useful links

For more details on the Mental Health Awareness Week, visit the below link to the charity’s website.

This contains some really interesting information and tips on supporting overall wellbeing and we encourage anyone who is struggling or wants to help someone who is struggling, to take a look at the useful resources provided.

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

Eleanor Rigby – All the lonely people

This year the theme of this year’s week is loneliness.

The Mental Health Foundation says that one in four people in the UK experience loneliness and tackling this problem within communities is essential to mental health.

The week will focus on what we can do to tackle loneliness within communities, raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental health and the practical steps we can take to address it.

The Mental Health Foundation started Mental Health Awareness Week 21 years ago and it has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally.

Team BiP cover the distance of the English Channel (and back again) for charity

Plucky BiP colleagues from across the business have stepped up to raise £1,620 for charity. 

Sixteen colleagues in Glasgow went head-to-head with staff from The Village Hotel on the rowing machine, putting in an impressive performance.

Marketing Manager Alex Jolly is ready for the Red Nose Day challenge

What was the challenge?

The original objective was to row the English Channel – but they did ‘a bit’ better than that – rowing there and back again. 

Stand out performances on the day came from Finance Director Linda Andrews, who led the charge, with Customer Success Manager John Dennett and Senior Credit Controller Vinny Short following closely behind.

While in Manchester, 13 colleagues put the pedals to the metal to smash their 150-mile relay target for Red Nose Day. 

Graphic Design Lead Seamus Norton put in an exceptional individual performance – clocking up 12.01 miles in 30 minutes, followed by Marketing Manager Alex Jolly (10.12 miles) and Production Executive Al Roberts (10.03 miles).

Content and sales teams take part in our Manchester office

What did the team raise?

Together the overall competitors raised £810 in donations which the business has agreed to match – bringing the total to a fantastic £1,620. 

People Director Alan Mathie said: “A huge thank you and well done to all our BiP colleagues who took part in the challenges on the day. 

“And a special mention also to those who provided the much-needed vocal support and encouragement. 

“It was great to be able to put on this type of event and see how it contributed to a great atmosphere across both offices. Most importantly, and the reason why we did it, we were able to raise a lot of money for Comic Relief.

Sales director Stuart McAndrew takes to the bike for his second stint of the day

CEO Simon Burges added: “As part of our annual BiP Solutions Giving Back programme, it was great to see our colleagues across Manchester and Glasgow raising funds and supporting this year’s Comic Relief appeal.

“As a company we were also delighted to match fund each donation, in support of this extremely important charity.”

For more information on our people and culture at BiP Solutions follow us on LinkedIn

Spotlight On: Eddie Regan, PASS Procurement Consultant

Eddie Regan is one of BiP’s longest serving employees and a font of procurement knowledge

Starting at the company in 1984 as a salesman, Eddie is now our PASS Procurement consultant, sharing his experience in and knowledge of government procurement with clients and colleagues alike.

How would you sum up your job at BiP, Eddie?

I suppose a bit of a “Jack of all Trades” would be a good description. I deliver training, consultancy, webinars, occasional blogs, speak at conferences, judge the GO Awards, assist sales when they need my input, work with the Events Team, annoy IT Dev and generally try to keep out of trouble.

When did your BiP journey begin?

In 1984, back before many of our colleagues were even born. I saw an advert for a salesman, came for an interview and Ron and Leslie decided to offer me the job and the rest, as they say, is history. From sales, I moved into production and eventually into delivering training and consultancy.

Why did you stay?

I like the job, my colleagues, the variety of my role and the challenges it presents. Over the years, when you catch up with some of the people who’ve left, they often tell you how much they enjoyed BiP.

When are you at your most productive?

When given a challenging task and a deadline, just like most people I suppose. The thing about my role (and a shout out to Phil here as well) is we’re often up against deadlines and that’s probably when we enjoy it most.

We have all heard the tales of the legendary Portakabin® where BiP was born, but what was it really like?

Just that, a cold draughty Portakabin® on a Building Merchant’s site. One long room, with three small offices off it, with one of them containing the equipment we used to publish Contrax Weekly, the great grandfather of Tracker and everything else.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in the company and in procurement over the years?

In terms of the company, it’s grown beyond comprehension. From the Portakabin® all the way to our Glasgow and Manchester offices and from half a dozen people to currently around 140 people. It’s also been one hell of a journey.

In terms of procurement, no-one understood it in the early days. We would get letters and calls from public authorities threatening legal action against the company for publishing their notices, as they didn’t want suppliers from all over the country bidding for work. Thankfully, buyers and suppliers are a lot more attuned to the regulations these days and I think it’s fair to say that BiP played a major role in opening up the public procurement marketplace.

Are there any major changes in procurement on the horizon we should know about?

There are major reforms coming in England and Wales in the next 12-18 months and Scotland and N. Ireland will probably, at the very least, tweak some of their current regulations. However, procurement never stands still, which is one of the interesting things about my role.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Spending time with my wife Roseann and walking Mac, our Westie.

Quick fire round:

  1. Joggers or jeans – Joggers for lounging about the house, jeans for weekends
  2. Ties or t-shirts – Love my t-shirts
  3. Coffee or tea – Tea, but only first thing in the morning, then it’s usually water
  4. Lager or ale – Lager, but only craft or imported – British lager is awful
  5. Book or film – Book every time
  6. Football or rugby ‒ Football
  7. Cat or dog ‒ Dog
  8. Hot or cold – Hot, but not too hot
  9. Salty or sweet – Savoury for me
  10. Tattooed or not ‒ Nope
  11. Night out or night in – Night in mostly

In our next spotlight we will be chatting with Amy Bourne in our Media City office about her role in BiP.

Public Sector Procurement Trends Update (21st – 27th March)

This week’s Public Sector Procurement Trends report, produced in association with Tracker Intelligence, has been released.

The report provides an update on activities between 21st – 27th March and shows that 38% of contracts were for less than £100,000 – clearly indicating a continued opportunity for SMEs throughout the public sector.

Other key highlights this week include:

  • Local Government is once again the most active sector, followed by Education & Central Government
  • 1811 contract notices were published this week, a 9.7% decrease from the previous week
  • 894 different buying authorities published contract notices this week

The report also shows the top three highest value awards published this week and those awarded to more than 1,300 suppliers; contract volume broken down by sector; and top buyers by contract volume.

The report can be viewed in full here

Public Sector Procurement Trends Update (14th – 20th March)

This week’s Public Sector Procurement Trends report, produced in association with Tracker Intelligence, has been released.

The report provides an update on activities between 14th – 20th March and shows that 36% of contracts were for less than £100,000 – clearly indicating a continued opportunity for SMEs throughout the public sector.

Other key highlights this week include:

  • Local Government is once again the most active sector, followed by Education & Health
  • 2006 contract notices were published this week, a 3% increase from the previous week
  • 977 different buying authorities published contract notices this week

The report also shows the top three highest value awards published this week and those awarded to more than 1,300 suppliers; contract volume broken down by sector; and top buyers by contract volume.

The report can be viewed in full here

Public Sector Procurement Trends Update (7th – 13th March)

This week’s Public Sector Procurement Trends report, produced in association with Tracker Intelligence, has been released.

The report provides an update on activities between 7th – 13th March and shows that 39% of contracts were for less than £100,000 – clearly indicating a continued opportunity for SMEs throughout the public sector.

Other key highlights this week include:

  • Local Government is once again the most active sector, followed by Health & Central Government
  • 1947 contract notices were published this week, a 3.9% decrease from the previous week
  • 969 different buying authorities published contract notices this week

The report also shows the top three highest value awards published this week and those awarded to more than 1,300 suppliers; contract volume broken down by sector; and top buyers by contract volume.

The report can be viewed in full here

Public Sector Procurement Trends Update (28th February – 6th March)

This week’s Public Sector Procurement Trends report, produced in association with Tracker Intelligence, has been released.

The report provides an update on activities between 28th February – 6th March and shows that 37% of contracts were for less than £100,000 – clearly indicating a continued opportunity for SMEs throughout the public sector.

Other key highlights this week include:

  • Local Government is once again the most active sector, followed by Education & Health
  • 2026 contract notices were published this week, a 4.4% increase from the previous week
  • 957 different buying authorities published contract notices this week

The report also shows the top three highest value awards published this week and those awarded to more than 1,400 suppliers; contract volume broken down by sector; and top buyers by contract volume.

The report can be viewed in full here

Public Sector Procurement Trends Update (21st – 27th February)

This week’s Public Sector Procurement Trends report, produced in association with Tracker Intelligence, has been released.

The report provides an update on activities between 21st – 27th February and shows that 41% of contracts were for less than £100,000 – clearly indicating a continued opportunity for SMEs throughout the public sector.

Other key highlights this week include:

  • Local Government is once again the most active sector, followed by Central Government & Education
  • 1941 contract notices were published this week, a 6.7% decrease from the previous week
  • 939 different buying authorities published contract notices this week

The report also shows the top three highest value awards published this week and those awarded to more than 1,300 suppliers; contract volume broken down by sector; and top buyers by contract volume.

The report can be viewed in full here

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