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Celebrating talent – staff awards

BiP Solutions is proud to announce our quarterly staff recognition award winners.

Our quarterly awards recognise staff excellence across our teams, with the team members nominated by colleagues.

We have three awards which celebrate staff throughout the company over the last quarter: the Sales Excellence Award, to recognise and celebrate exceptional sales performance, an Outstanding Performance Award, to recognise and celebrate exceptional performance, and our Values Award, which is open to all colleagues across the business and is designed to specifically recognise and celebrate colleagues who demonstrate positive behaviours in line with our values.

Once again, the quality of nominations received across each category was exceptional, and the spread of nominations across the different teams in the business, from old colleagues to those who have recently joined us, was impressive.  A great effort from all as always!

This quarter, our winner of the Sales Excellence Award was Dawn MacTaggart.

Dawn’s line manager Alan McMenemy, Head of Sales in Glasgow, said: “Dawn was nominated for this award for many reasons. First and foremost, she’s hit her quarterly target, and hit target for each individual month as well. She also navigated her way around a two-week break in the middle of the quarter and managed her own pipeline effectively to allow for this. Dawn has also been an early adopter of our new BI product suite, and got the first HCI, Tracker-Pro and Contact Data sales. She’s been able to do this by fully investing and immersing herself in the products. Dawn also led the line at P4H and Procurex Scotland, and delivered keynote speeches at both. Last, but not least, Dawn has been really open to coaching and adapting her style to GAP methodology over the past three months. An outstanding nomination for, and worthy winner of, our Q2 Sales Recognition Award.”

Well done, Dawn! Very well deserved.

Our second winner was our lovely Event Coordinator Mhairi MacNeil who won the Outstanding Performance Award.

Mhairi’s line manager, Laura Aitkenhead, had a few words to say: “Mhairi moved into a new role in the Events Team only three weeks before the start of our event season in Q2. The job and skill set are very different to her previous role, but Mhairi jumped straight in and picked up the GO Awards Scotland and Wales, showing a passion for these projects, and a commitment to making them the best events possible. She worked with stakeholders across the business to ensure all requirements were met, showing, after only a short space of time, a clear understanding of the key aspects of this new role. Mhairi really stepped up to the mark and I’m delighted to have her as Co-Ordinator in the Events Team”

Congratulations, Mhairi!

The final winner of our Q2 Awards was Rob Atherton, who was the worthy winner of the Values Award.

Rob’s line manager, Grahame Steed, said: “Rob is a highly deserving recipient of the Values award. He exemplifies our values with his consistently high level of professionalism and openness – whether dealing with external clients or colleagues. He is always willing to embrace change and try new approaches. He is also an excellent content creator who supports his colleagues and strives to deliver outstanding results. Anyone that works with Rob has only positive things to say about their experience, so it’s great to see this recognised.”

Well done, Rob!

The quarterly winners will go through to our finale, held at the annual staff awards dinner, where our overall winners will be crowned.

We look forward to seeing the nominations for next quarter.

Diolch Cymru!

BiP is delighted to continue our awards season, with celebrations at our second Gala evening hosting the GO Awards Wales.

Finally returning as an in-person event, following four years of disruption, our Welsh procurement teams certainly made the most of the event.

The GO Awards showcase the innovation and ingenuity that ensures public spend creates lasting social and economic benefit; and mark the extensive collaborations and partnerships that exist across supply chains. This is the 20th year of the GO Awards programme, which – apart from a national event covering the entire UK – includes Awards for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Celebrating public procurement in Wales at Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa on 9th November, the awards evening highlighted the amazing work that often goes under the radar.

Despite uncertainty and turmoil in the political and economic arena, public procurement simply continues to get on with the job: getting vital stuff done and making a genuine, real-world difference to people’s lives. No drama, no rhetoric, no nonsense: just purpose and delivery.

And the GO Awards Wales was here to do just that, celebrating the people and teams that make procurement happen.

The Awards were judged by leading procurement figures from across Wales and the UK. The panel included: Mark Roscrow MBE Programme Director, NHS Wales Shared Services, Professor Jane Lynch Reader in Procurement and Supply Chain, Cardiff Business School, Liz Lucas MSc, FCIPS Chartered Head of Customer and Digital Services, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Scott Parfitt BA (Hons) MSc FHEA MCIPS Senior Lecturer Procurement Lead, University of South Wales, Grahame Steed Content, Research and Communications Director, BiP Solutions and Eddie Regan Principal Consultant, PASS Procurement​.

The big winner on the night was NHS Wales Shared Services and Partnership which took home the evening’s star category ‘The GO Excellence Award’ as well as succeeding in several other categories, while Mark Roscrow MBE was recognised by GO Awards with a hugely deserved ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’.

All outright category winners now gain automatic finalist status for the UK National Public Procurement Awards, where they will compete against Scotland, Northern Ireland & England, with the UK awards ceremony taking place next year in Birmingham.

BiP is delighted to continue our awards season, with celebrations at our second Gala evening hosting the GO Awards Wales.“Congratulations to all our winners and highly commended entries for their inspiring contributions, and to all our finalists who provided us with such strong competition for these awards. We hope everyone attending had a great evening!”

A big thank you must go to attendees who supported our charity raffle for The Trussell Trust, raising over £1,300.00 in support of their hugely important nationwide network of food banks.

Thanks must also go to our sponsors, Lyreco UK and IrelandCentrica Business SolutionsIDNS LtdJewson Partnership SolutionsPersonal GroupEssity, Mercateo (part of Unite) and Llywodraeth Cymru / Welsh Government, without all of whom the GO Awards Wales would not have been possible.

We look forward now to the UK National GO Awards, the winners of which will be celebrated at our final ceremony in June 2023.

GO Awards Wales 2022/23 winners:

  • Contract and Supplier Management Award (sponsored by Jewson) ‒ NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership
  • Collaborative Procurement Initiative Award (sponsored by Mercateo) Welsh Government – Musical Instruments Dynamic Purchasing Agreement
  • Social Value Award (sponsored by Essity) ‒ NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership ‒ Displacing single-use medical textiles with more effective zero-carbon zero-waste targeted circular solutions
  • Procurement Delivery Award (sponsored by Personal Group) – Joint winners: NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership – Cardiff and Vale Frontline Procurement
  •  Velindre University NHS Trust & NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership – Integrated Radiotherapy Solution for SE Wales
  • Individual of the Year Award (sponsored by Welsh Government) ‒ Jonathan Irvine – Director, Procurement Services, NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership
  • Procurement Team of the Year (sponsored by IDNS) ‒ Cardiff and Vale Frontline Procurement Team (part of NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership)
  • Outstanding Achievement Award (sponsored by Centrica) ‒ Mark Roscrow MBE
  • GO Excellence Award – (sponsored by Lyreco) – NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership ‒ Displacing single-use medical textiles with more effective zero-carbon, zero-waste targeted circular solutions

Highly Commended:

  • Collaborative Procurement Initiative Award ‒ Digital Health and Care Wales
  • Individual of the Year Award ‒  Helen Rees – Head of Procurement and Contracting, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

A spotlight on… Stephen Allan

We’re welcoming Autumn as the clocks go back and we’re commuting in the dark, so let’s catch up with another BiP team member, Stephen Allan in our finance department. Stephen joined in 2018 as a Trainee Management Accountant

In what capacity did you join BiP?

I joined straight from university (well technically whilst still studying).

What does your role in Finance entail?

My main duties include producing the monthly accounts and other financial reports, presenting financials to the SMT & Board, collaborating with different areas of the business, various financial analysis, assisting in the yearly financial audit and lots of different ad-hoc finance related tasks. I spend a lot of time using Excel, Sage & Salesforce.

What do you like most about your job?

I like looking for trends or the reason why things have moved in a certain direction, so the problem-solving element.  

What do you like most about working at BiP?

I have had the opportunity to learn, grow and progress whilst working at BiP. Also, the people really do make BiP – everyone is very welcoming and friendly!

What does a great day at work look like?​​​​​​​

Day one of month end – big cup of coffee and a lot of excel, sage & salesforce reporting!

Do you have any unusual hobbies?

I am really into sim-racing… basically its virtual car racing using VR headsets, motion simulators, wind simulators, fancy steering wheels & pedals – it’s very immersive!

Quick fire, choose one option:

  1. Coffee or tea – Coffee
  2. Book or film – Film
  3. Cat or dog – Dog
  4. Hot or cold – Cold
  5. Salty or sweet – Sweet
  6. Tattooed or not – Not
  7. Night out or night in – Night in
  8. Email or meeting – Either or!
  9. Teams calls: video call or audio? Video call
  10. Eating: al-desko, break room or break out altogether – Desko
  11. Mountain or beach – Beach

Awards season is GO

Recognising Excellence in Procurement and the Supply Chain

BiP Solutions has kicked off the 2022/23 edition of its GO Awards season in style with the presentation of the GO Awards Scotland at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Glasgow.

The GO Awards showcase the innovation and ingenuity that ensures public spend creates lasting social and economic benefit; and mark the extensive collaborations and partnerships that exist across supply chains. This is the 20th year of the GO Awards programme, which – apart from a national event covering the entire UK – includes individual Awards for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

October 28th saw Scottish procurement celebrated, alongside the organisations and individuals involved, at an Awards dinner and presentation in Glasgow.

Judged by leading procurement figures from across Scotland and the UK, including: Nick Ford Director of Procurement and Property, Scottish Government​, Julie Welsh Chief Executive, Scotland Excel, Claire McCallum Head of Operational Procurement and Compliance and Deputy Chief Executive, APUC, Paul Hansen Head of Account Management, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland & Crown Dependencies, Crown Commercial Service, Gordon Beattie Director of NHSS National Procurement, National Services Scotland, Grahame Steed Content, Research and Communications Director, BiP Solutions, Eddie Regan Principal Consultant, PASS Procurement​ and Mark Elliot Director, CivTech Scotland, Scottish Government, these are the awards everyone wants to win.

BiP Solutions has kicked off the 2022/23 edition of its GO Awards season in style with the presentation of the GO Awards Scotland at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Glasgow.

The big winner on the night was Police Scotland, which won both the Procurement Delivery Award and the overall GO Excellence Award for its outstanding work in supporting the COP26 event, hosted in Glasgow.

The University of Strathclyde also had a night to remember with four category wins to celebrate.

All outright category winners now gain automatic qualification to the UK National Public Procurement Awards, to compete against Wales, Northern Ireland & England, culminating with UK awards ceremony taking place in June 2023.

“Once again, Scotland has proved itself to be at the forefront of innovation and best practice within public procurement. It’s been an absolute pleasure to review the many great submissions into this year’s Awards. Each of our winners – and those who were highly commended – deserve huge praise for their achievements. Well done to them and each of our finalists.” said Grahame Steed, Chair, GO Awards Scotland Judging Panel.

The evening also saw a charity raffle take place with more than £3,000 raised for The Trussell Trust, in support of their hugely important nationwide network of food banks.

With such an impressive field of entrants, judges made a number of Highly Commended awards in addition to selecting winners for each category.

BiP Solutions has kicked off the 2022/23 edition of its GO Awards season in style with the presentation of the GO Awards Scotland at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Glasgow.

Winners:

  • Best Net Zero Initiative Award (sponsored by Centrica): University of Strathclyde – Learning and Teaching Building
  • Digital Service Delivery Award (sponsored by Vodafone): University of Strathclyde – Resource Efficient Supply and Manufacturing Environment (RESuME)
  • Contract and Supplier Management Award (sponsored by Apogee): NHS Scotland National Procurement Covid Testing Team – Manufacture, Supply, Distribution and Collection for COVID-19 Test Kits across Scotland
  • Collaborative Procurement Initiative Award (sponsored by Pertemps): Scotland Excel – Energy Efficiency Contractors Framework
  • Social Value Award (sponsored by Softcat): Morrison Construction, British Association for Supported Employment (BASE) & Scottish Prison Service – Women’s National Facility Project
  • Supply Chain Diversity Award (sponsored by APS Group): Scotland Excel – Improving Local Capability and Economic Growth through Community Wealth Building
  • Best Infrastructure or Capital Project Award (sponsored by CR Smith): University of Strathclyde – Learning and Teaching Programme
  • Procurement Delivery Award (sponsored by SPA): Glasgow City Council – Education Counselling & Police Scotland – COP26 Glasgow Procurement Delivery
  • Individual Achievement of the Year Award (sponsored by Service Graphics): David Taggart, Category Manager, NHS National Services Scotland & Fiona Hughes, Deputy Director of Finance, Procurement, University of Strathclyde Services Scotland
  • Procurement Team of the Year Award (sponsored by Epson UK): ScotRail Trains Limited – ScotRail’s Journey to Public Sector Procurement
  • GO Excellence Award (sponsored by Computacenter UK): Police Scotland – COP26 Glasgow Procurement Delivery

Highly Commended Awards went to:

  • Best Net Zero Initiative Award: Commercial & Procurement Shared Service & Aberdeen City Council
  • Contract and Supplier Management Award: Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Supplier Development Programme & Robertson FM
  • Collaborative Procurement Initiative Award: NHS National Procurement Scotland, Scottish Microbiology Virology Network, Public Health Scotland, Scottish Government Covid Testing Policy, Covid Regional Hubs, NSS Clinical Directorate & NHS Assure
  • Social Value Award: NHS National Procurement, National Services Scotland & Public Health Scotland
  • Procurement Team of the Year Award: Scottish Government Procurement, Capability and Contract Management Team
  • Special thanks to all our sponsors, without whom this event would not be possible: Vodafone Business, Centrica Business Solutions, Apogee, Pertemps, Softcat, APS Group, CR Smith Manufacturing, Scottish Procurement Alliance, Service Graphics, Epson UK, Computacenter UK

Our next awards night is GO Awards Wales, we look forward to welcoming all the finalists to Mercure Hotel, Cardiff, on 8th November 2022.

A spotlight on… Aimee Crawford

This month’s spotlight falls on our new scrum master, Aimee Crawford. Having joined the business in August Aimee is working hard with our tech teams on developing BiP tech and keeping up with the latest developments.

If you caught the knowledge sharing session earlier this year, you’ll have an idea of how she fits into the BiP family – but what does a Scrum Master really involve? And has it got anything to do with rugby?

Thanks for joining me, Aimee, first off:

What does your job as Scrum Master entail

My job is a bit of a mix of things and fortunately for me, doesn’t involve anything to do with rugby! I work to remove any impediments from the development teams, help them become more productive and efficient. Capacity planning and stakeholder management is key. It’s often compared to the work of a Project Manager. However, I’m also responsible for coaching and training in agile ways of working. Ideally, not just in IT, but across the whole business.

What are the biggest challenges you have in your role – how could your colleagues help?

Currently my biggest challenge is learning what is going on in here! I’m still pretty new. I need to learn more about how our products are built and what the future looks like for us. However, that aside, I guess the challenging aspect of this role can often be communicating with stakeholders. Often you have to bridge a gap between the development world and the wider business. I think the best was for colleagues to help is to be open to learning about other people’s roles within our company. A better understanding of what each other do, and what impact it has, will bring people together and communicate better.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What do you like most about your job?

While the communication side of things can be challenging, it is also my favourite part. I like to work with all different areas of the business as well as my team. I also like working with a variety of personalities and finding ways to make them all work together more effectively.

Who/what has had the most positive impact on your career?

This can sometimes be a hard one to talk about, but I truly believe that this is the case…my Dad passing away when I was 18, has and continues to have the greatest positive impact on my career. I am more determined, ambitious and empathetic. I proved to myself some things I didn’t think I was; resilient and brave. It’s given me a different outlook on life and continues to make me want to work hard to achieve my dreams, while not losing who I am.

With IT and software changing before I can comprehend them, what major developments do you think are on the horizon?

I really do feel like anything is possible and things are changing very quickly as you say. Technology has developed extremely fast over the last number of years, and I feel this is only set to increase. Over the next few years, I think there will be greater use of machine learning and artificial intelligence. I also think we will see more companies moving to a distributed infrastructure model and heighten their attention to cyber security.

Achieving a more diverse workforce in some areas, such as tech and construction, has been a priority for government and sectors for a number of years, can you tell me what led to your career in tech?

I was always interested in technology and engineering from a young age. I do think it was heavily influenced by my parents. After university, I was offered a dream job in Woking but I knew I wasn’t quite ready to leave home. So, I looked around at what was booming in central Scotland, with good opportunities and quite literally thought, that sounds interesting, I’ll give it a go. I was fortunate to get the opportunity to try many different roles within the IT/Digital sector and now I’m here!

Are there any changes or initiatives you’d like to implement into BiP?

I’d like to help bring more women into our IT workforce for sure. I’d also like to help the business as a whole move to more agile ways of working and promote knowledge sharing.

What initiatives could make tech a more appealing career for women?

I actually think a lot of perspective starts very early in life. I fortunately grew up knowing I could give anything a go, but many young girls believe maths and other subjects alike, are ‘boys’ subjects. I recently was part of an Empowering Women to Lead Digital Transformation course where we done some primary school level research, and this view really came through. I remember feeling so shocked and disappointed. So, we must let our young women know that nothing is out of their reach! I also believe in showcasing the female talent we have and how they got into their current role, sometimes it’s not a path you would have expected. I think encouraging women to take up a career in tech could be helped with something as simple as talking about and celebrating the women already there.

Quick fire, choose one option:

  1. Coffee or tea – Tea
  2. Book or film – Film
  3. Cat or dog – Dog
  4. Hot or cold – Hot
  5. Salty or sweet – Sweet
  6. Tattooed or not – Not, not brave enough!
  7. Night out or night in – Night in
  8. Email or meeting – Meeting
  9. Teams calls: video or audio? Video

BiP – Giving back

BiP takes its commitment to community seriously. Giving back is always a priority for the company, and September has seen BiP colleagues take part in several charitable activities as part of the BiP ONE Giving Back programme.

Ladies who lunch

Earlier in September we had some of the BiP Solutions Ltd ladies attend The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice Ladies Lunch held in Glasgow.

The ladies enjoyed a lovely afternoon hosted by Loose Women’s Kaye Adams, who was joined by BAFTA nominated Scottish film and television actor John Hannah, and Lisa Snowdon.

The afternoon saw guests enjoy fun and frolics with an amazing lunch, retail therapy and some first-class entertainment provided by The Globe Girls.

The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice is a registered Scottish charity that provides palliative care and support for people living in South Glasgow and East Renfrewshire. The daily running costs at the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice are £16,000 and BiP are proud to support this local project.

CEO Simon Burges said: “I’m very pleased that as a company we could support such a fantastic charity who do some amazing and hugely important work.

“Equally it was also great for some of our hard-working BiP ladies to enjoy a well-deserved afternoon together, with perhaps a few drinks along the way.”

Champions!

A more vigorous outing came next with our team’s entry to the STV Children’s Appeal 5-a-side tournament.

Not only did we take part, but we’re delighted to announce that the BiP team were victorious in lifting the trophy.

Massive congratulations go to Captain Chris Logue, Brandon Coghill, Garry Taylor, Ciaran Crawford, Mark Breakenridge and Fraser Neilson. After navigating their way through the highly competitive group and knock-out stages, the team won the final 5-2. Well done to everyone involved.

It was a great day and huge thanks go to the STV team for hosting a brilliant event. We were proud to be part of it and to support the charity and the work they do in helping make a positive difference to the lives of children affected by poverty.

BiP Bake off for Macmillan

As part of BiP ONE Giving Back programme, 30th September saw colleagues in both Glasgow and Salford Bake Off for Macmillan.

A number of intrepid home-baking colleagues generously donated their time to create baked treats for the rest of us to enjoy! And to raise both awareness and funds for people living with cancer.

Alongside the baked goods, colleagues have also taken part in a raffle with prizes on offer ranging from vouchers for food and drink, bottles of wine, a Costa Voucher and the hot ticket of the day – An extra day off!

Our wonderful colleagues raised a whopping £550 for Macmillan on the day and our stomach’s are now aching from all the sweet treats.

Teeing off

And finally, alongside our friends at The Village, we were delighted to take part in their Golf Day at The Carrick on Loch Lomond – supporting them raise awareness for www.calumscabin.com.

Competing as Team BiPONE, Adam Hughes Colin Stewart Damien Freel Fraser Neilson posted a very respectable round of -11. Whilst falling just short of the prizes, it was a great day played in glorious weather and in the amazing surroundings of Loch Lomond.

Most importantly, it helped support a great charity and the amazing work that they do.

Inform, prepare, deliver

Procurement Reform programme launched

BiP Solutions Ltd is pleased to announce the official launch of our new Procurement Reform programme, providing both buyers and suppliers with invaluable access to a range of continually updated content, events, training, guidance and support, all focused on the Procurement Bill as it transitions into reality.

BiP Solutions Ltd is pleased to announce the official launch of our new Procurement Reform programme helping you understand the Procurement Bill.

Two new conferences and exhibitions in partnership with the Cabinet Office have also been launched as part of the programme, taking place in London and Manchester next March.

Free registration to the programme is now open, providing all stakeholders with access to the latest announcements and support opportunities around the forthcoming changes.

When the UK left the EU on 31st January 2020 the government embarked on a consultation programme with buyers and suppliers in the public sector, aimed at reducing red tape and making public procurement simpler and more transparent. The outcome of the consultation has been developed into the Procurement Bill – currently going through Parliament – which will see some 350 rules condensed, a single digital platform created for public procurement and a level playing field for SMEs developed.

These reforms are big news for buyers and suppliers – so we look forward to supporting everyone through the forthcoming transformation.

The Procurement Reform interactive programme for both buyers and suppliers, designed by BiP Solutions, will provide invaluable access to a range of continually updated content, events, training, guidance and support, all focused on the Procurement Bill as it transitions into reality.

The Programme is aligned to the shaping and implementation of the Reforms, with a focus on informing all stakeholders about the forthcoming changes and enabling effective preparation and delivery within the new environment.

‘We’ve been tracking the proposed reforms to public procurement with interest and see these as a tremendous opportunity to maximise the benefits of public spending in the UK. There will be challenges and opportunities ahead, so our programme aims to provide maximum support as we navigate what will be an unfamiliar landscape’ – Grahame Steed, Content and Research Director, BiP Solutions.

Delivered in partnership with the Cabinet Office, our Procurement Reform Conferences feature presenters and subject matter experts from the very heart of Procurement Reform; providing actionable insight and practical guidance for public sector buyers.

This event is the perfect blend of knowledge sharing and hands-on practical guidance. Whether you influence or are directly involved in the procurement process, attending will give you the confidence to turn the challenges presented by the Reforms into opportunity.

Confirmed speakers for the conferences include:

  • Lindsay Maguire, Head of Engagement for Procurement Reform, Cabinet Office
  • Joshua Pritchard, Deputy Director, CBI
  • Lucy Sydney, Head of Strategic Relationships, Procurement Reform, Cabinet Office
  • Adam Hill, Head of GCF Digital
  • Kimberley Rice, Commercial Subject Matter Experts, Commercial Capability Faculty, Cabinet Office
  • Ellie Wilkinson, Commercial Subject Matter Experts, Commercial Capability Faculty, Cabinet Office
  • Eddie Regan, Principal Consultant, PASS
  • Phillip Kinnell, Senior Consultant, PASS
  • Darren Knowd, Head of Procurement, Sales and Business Services, Durham County Council

Register free today to keep up to date with the latest announcements and available support. 

Moving on up

Celebrating talent at BiP

At BiP we are focused on nurturing and developing our talent. Looking after our colleagues and ensuring they have the right development path in front of them is one of our goals to make this a great place to work.

We’re delighted to share the continued success of this professional development as several of our colleagues have cemented their role or moved up in the business over the last quarter.

We’re really pleased to see Ryan Maloney move into his new role of Product Owner, supporting the development of our future services. Having originally joined BiP as a Software Developer we are delighted to be able to support Ryan’s development with the move into our Product team.

Within our Events Development Team, Mhairi MacNeil progresses from the role of Event Support to Event Coordinator.

Mhairi’s promotion arrives as she approached her first-year anniversary at BiP and is well deserved for all of her hard work in this time.

Another colleague, Laure McGill will also be joining the Events team, moving from her current role within our Research team. Having originally joined BiP in 2017 as part of our Modern Apprentice programme, it is great to see Laure’s continued development at BiP.

Our Events team is a fast-paced environment with plenty going on as we delve into our season of procurement and supply chain focused live events and awards nights.

Laure’s development from Modern Apprentice demonstrates that BiP is committed to providing opportunities in support of government schemes. The company has been part of the Government’s Kick Start Scheme since 2021, designed to provide opportunities for 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

As part of the scheme, BiP brought Ariadna Raducanu on board last year, and we’re delighted to announce that she has now moved on to a permanent contract with the business.

Alan Mathie. HR Director commented: “Having originally joined BiP under the Kick Start scheme, it’s great to have Ariadna remain with the business and we know she’ll be great in the new role, supporting the delivery of our wider Data strategy”

A spotlight on…Simon Inman

This month finds our spotlight back on Media City and part of our Senior Management Team, as we have a chat with Simon Inman, our Head of IT Operations.

Simon was a fairly new face to the old Ingenium business when BiP Solutions bought the company. He has since made himself an invaluable part of the team – and not least because he keeps the Media City office in coffee and loo roll! (We’re very grateful, Simon!)

He’s also an i-serve master and knows how to fix computer problems with witchcraft – he tells me it’s a ‘picnic’ issue?

Simon was also a winner at this year’s annual awards, coming joint ‘Manager of the Year’ – a popular and well-deserved choice for this accolade.

In what capacity did you join BiP?

I joined BiP on the first day back from Christmas of 2017, in a cosy, unglamorous office in Stockport as “Web Development Manager”, with a team of just me. Although it felt like I’d already been there some time after having my interview a few months prior and stealing Donnys ticket to attend the Christmas party.

What does your job as Head of IT Operations entail?

This month finds our spotlight back on Media City and part of our Senior Management Team, as we have a chat with Simon Inman, our Head of IT Operations.

Simon Inman, Head of IT Operations at BiP.

My role at BiP covers our network infrastructure, desktop support, Cyber Essentials, and our organisation’s quality and information security management. My team and I ensure our products remain live and on modern, secure systems, our colleagues have the technology and support to do their jobs and that our organisation is continuing to improve with effective quality management.

I also change the odd toilet seat, which I like to roll out at dinner parties when my partner’s trying to impress people.

With IT and software changing before I can comprehend them, what major developments do you think are on the horizon?

IT and software are growing massively every day, with offensive and defensive developments in information and cyber security but also in more at home areas like artificial intelligence. The growth of AI, is beginning to take away manual effort and user error from many everyday tasks and we will see this really take off to automated intelligent workflows, predictive services supporting report and content writing and even intelligent defences. Roll on Skynet!

Are there any changes or initiatives you’d like to implement into BiP?

We’ve changed so much in the past couple of years and are in such a better place than when I joined Ingenium, we have our innovation day coming up and I think if we’re really able to grow that, it could be spectacular.

When are you at your most productive?

Definitely at the start of the day after a couple of coffees.

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

Swift half with Stephen Donlan (DCMC) to break up our magical commute, catch up on any of the days gossip, or just simply talk about the up-and-coming town of Stockport. That, or I’ll be often found on away missions with some chums drinking Romulan ale. So… In the pub or in a different pub.

Quick fire:

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

Celebrating disruption as BiP hosts first Innovation Day

Last week (Friday 5th August), BiP Solutions held its first ever “Innovation Day”. The day was dedicated to providing staff with the chance to collaborate, disrupt old ways and create something new to help address problems and improve performance and productivity within the company, as well as improving services to customers.

Staff were invited beforehand to submit ideas for problems and processes they wanted to improve and ideas for addressing those issues. Many great ideas were put forward, and after much debate and deliberation, three areas were chosen to focus on for the day:

  • Developing a product to improve Cyber Essentials processing and increase integration with Salesforce
  • Finding ways of enabling staff to evidence their achievements throughout the year, record performance reviews and track career progression
  • Attempt to create a content aggregator to collect news around B2G marketing or innovation in the Public Sector from different sources automatically

New Ideas

Teams were assigned to work on and present new and innovative solutions to address each of the challenges, from conception through to a basic implementation of a product. The aim of was to find the origin of a brilliant idea for a future BiP internal app or customer facing product.

The day flew by and was a great success as everyone involved threw themselves into the day and took the opportunity to ideate and develop new ideas for improving their working process and the customer experience.

Collaboration

Innovation Day was the brainchild of BiP’s Head of Software engineering (and resident wine connoisseur) Alvaro Sanchez, who explained the reasoning and inspiration for the day:

“I’ve worked on similar days like this before at previous companies, but they tended to be more technically-focused, so we wanted to focus this day on product development, which would allow more areas of the company to get involved, and make it more fun.”

“We also wanted to give staff the chance to work on different projects from their usual day-to-day work, and enable staff from teams who wouldn’t always work closely with each other to collaborate and pool their knowledge and experience to create new ideas and solutions, and allow them to play with technology, try different things, new frameworks and new approaches.”

“It was a really good day, everyone had a lot of fun and were very passionate about the improvements they wanted to make. We’ll definitely look to do this again in the future, maybe even expand it to a week or a month to allow more time for people to develop their ideas in more detail and gives us more margin to change approach, but I’m very happy with how the day went.”

Alvaro Sanchez, Head of Software Engineering

Future innovation

Going forward, BiP’s technical brains will use the key findings and insights from Innovation Day to further develop those ideas generated and turn them into finished products, keeping BiP at the cutting edge of technical innovation.

Thanks again to everyone who organised and took part in the event, and we can’t wait to do it all again soon.

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