Loading...

New healthcare market report: Beyond Collaboration and Transformation

Over £1 billion is spent every three days in the NHS. However, it can be a daunting and complex system to navigate when it comes to procurement. While there is a huge opportunity for procurement professionals, it’s important for both buying and supplying organisations to ensure they’re working together in the most efficient and effective way possible.

To help both NHS professionals and suppliers understand the healthcare procurement market in greater depth, BiP Solutions is pleased to announce Health Online’s latest market report, Current Trends in Healthcare Procurement: Beyond Collaboration and Transformation. Following the recent P4H England 2019 event, which took place at Birmingham’s NEC on 4 July, the report includes expert analysis and comment from procurement leaders who spoke at P4H on some of the major questions for contemporary healthcare procurement:

Collaboration across the NHS: what impact does the tension between centralised directives and devolved decision-making have on healthcare procurement, and how can trusts work together to cut costs while delivering on clinical requirements?

The buyer-supplier relationship: how do trusts ensure their frameworks are fit for purpose and attract the best supplier talent, while also ensuring that suppliers deliver to the terms of the contract?

Transformation: what is the relationship between large-scale, centralised transformation projects such as the new operating model for NHS Supply Chain, and continuous improvement at trust level?

Health Online is a new online community  bringing together NHS professionals and commercial partners from the world of healthcare. Offering the latest news covering all aspects of healthcare, features from thought leaders and media display opportunities, Health Online is a ‘one-stop shop’ for everything happening in healthcare today. Health Online Sales Director Sam Gilding said:

Our ambition is for Health Online to become the default social community for professionals to network, share ideas and build long lasting relationships in this key marketplace.”

This exclusive report also includes

  • the results of Health Online’s recent ‘Impact of Procurement in Healthcare’ research survey, revealing what healthcare procurement leaders think about the challenges and opportunities currently facing them
  • analysis of the highest-spending NHS organisations in the NHS, and their key areas of spend
  • a full review of the P4H England event
  • and more.

To download a full copy of the report, or to register with Health Online and keep up with all the latest NHS and healthcare news, click here.

BiP Knowledge Transfer Partnership examines search engine technology

BiP Solutions and The University of Strathclyde are currently undertaking a 2½ year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), part-funded by Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency.

The KTP project team is led by Dr. Stuart Mackie, who completed his Ph.D. in Computing Science at the University of Glasgow (2018), specialising in information retrieval, natural language processing, machine learning, and data science.  Here Dr. Mackie explains what the aims of the KTP are, and discusses his recent presentation of a paper on behalf of the KTP at the world’s leading conference on search engine technology.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership

BiP Solutions has partnered with the University of Strathclyde to access academic expertise in the areas of Information Retrieval, Machine Learning, and Data Science.  The aim of the KTP project is to embed key technical expertise within BiP Solutions in order to enable the development of the next generation of business intelligence products and services.  Specifically, the goal of the KTP project is to improve the relevance of search results of the procurement contracts search engine within BiP Solutions’ business intelligence solution, Tracker.  Further, the KTP project also aims to support data-driven decision making via promoting a culture of experimentation, evaluation and analysis.

The KTP project team is working to capture and leverage search user interaction data and deploy state-of-the-art machine learning technologies into BiP’s search engine products – to improve the relevance of search results for BiP customers. The KTP project team is also working to implement a redesigned search user experience, to deploy an online A/B testing infrastructure, and to develop evaluation metrics and an analytics dashboard for the Tracker product.

The KTP project builds on the work from a successful DataLab-funded project – focusing on search relevance engineering – where we built a domain-specific dataset (i.e., test collection) for evaluating Tracker’s procurement contracts search engine, and implemented a Lucene-based search engine evaluation framework for conducting a thorough evaluation of different search algorithms.

ACM SIGIR Conference

Recently, we participated in the ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval.  The SIGIR conference is the premier venue for the publication and dissemination of research relating to search engine technologies.  We presented a paper in the SIGIR 2019 Symposium on IR in Practice (Industry Track), along with presentations from Amazon Alexa, Netflix, Comcast Applied AI Research Lab, Facebook, University of Sheffield, Ancestry.com and Thomson Reuters, amongst others. You can read and download our paper here.

For businesses wishing to tender for competitive opportunities, finding relevant procurement contract notices presents a challenging professional search task.  This search task involves business users searching for economic opportunities, with high value associated with the outcomes.  Our paper outlined the “Challenges in Procurement Search”:

  • Query specification – search queries are user-curated complex Boolean expressions, often many hundreds of terms in length. How can we best capture user information needs?
  • Commercial Relevance – a contract matching a customer’s query terms may not be commercially relevant due to many business factors. How can we shape the relevance function to reflect this?
  • Temporal Relevance – businesses need to find contracts as soon as they are published, to maximise bid preparation time. How can we ensure customers receive relevant contracts as soon as they are available?
  • Data Sparseness – with lower click volumes observed compared to commercial web search engines, how can we bootstrap supervised machine learned models with less user interaction data?
  • Bias & Regulation – public procurement is a highly legislated area. How can we ensure that machine learned models and recommender systems are fair and unbiased?

The challenges we highlighted in this paper will be addressed throughout the KTP project as it continues.

 You can learn more about BiP’s range of digital business intelligence solutions here.

Procurement training at your own pace – one month to go

BiP Solutions are pleased to announce a launch date for our new online procurement training portal, building on the 35 years of experience and knowledge of the PASS Procurement team.

On 12th September we will be launching PASS e-Learning with the following six courses, with a further three scheduled for October:

  • Introduction to Public Procurement
  • Writing a Tender Specification
  • Contract Management
  • Evaluation Techniques
  • Preparing Perfect Tenders
  • Implementing the Selection Process

The PASS e-learning portfolio will continue to grow organically to deliver a variety of different procurement courses for both buyers and suppliers, as well as providing you with the latest best practice guidance and downloadable resources. Once purchased, the e-learning courses are available immediately, and can be completed at your own pace.

All courses will be available to buy individually starting at only £195 per course – or if you are looking to build a bespoke training programme for your organisation, then an Enterprise License allows up to 20 users and an unlimited number of courses for only £4800.

To  keep up to date with the launch of our new e-learning procurement service, along with an exclusive introductory offer that will only be available to people on our mailing list, register your interest now by clicking here.

New report: Social value, supply chain ethics and procurement legislation

BiP Solutions is pleased to launch our latest market report, ‘Is Procurement Good Business? Social value, supply chain management, legislation and innovation in the current procurement landscape.’

This report examines three of the most pressing themes in contemporary procurement: social value, ethical supply chains, and the relationship between legislation and innovation. Aside from specific political events, these three themes are perhaps the major issues that have the potential to reshape how procurement is practised across the UK in the near future.

Following Procurex National 2019, the flagship event in the UK public procurement calendar, hosted by BiP Solutions, this report includes expert analysis and comment from procurement leaders from the day. The clear message from both attendees and the expert speakers at Procurex National is that legislation, like social value and ensuring an ethical supply chain, can prove to be a source of opportunity to procurement. Rather than stopping competition or innovation, or enforcing arbitrary boundaries, all three key themes can in fact make for better business.

  • Social value is not only a legal requirement, but is also increasingly weighed into procurement requirements in many different sectors. We discuss how organisations can shape their own ‘social value’ position.
  • Supply chain ethics are important in an ever-more transparent age. Learn how buyers can make sure ethical business is factored into every stage of the supply chain.
  • Legislation and innovation can seem like they are at odds in procurement, but we look at how procurement legislation can work to spur innovation and improve efficiency.

The report includes comment from figures including Malcolm Harrison, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply; Simon Tse, CEO of the Crown Commercial Service; and Mark Roberts, Continuous Commercial Improvement Director at the Cabinet Office. The report also describes key ways in which BiP Solutions can help you get ahead in procurement by supporting you to stand out in terms of social value, ensuring a robust and ethical supply chain, and working in the best way within the legislation.

Download your full copy of the report here to find out how to maximise your opportunities by keeping abreast of the latest burning issues in procurement.

Transforming healthcare procurement at P4H England

The UK’s premier healthcare procurement event, P4H England, returned to the NEC, Birmingham on 4 July 2019. The event welcomed over 1500 delegates from the NHS, the wider healthcare sector and the private sector supply chain, with a packed schedule including keynote talks, training and knowledge exchange sessions, and many opportunities for buyers and suppliers to meet and discuss their needs.

Many of the day’s sessions had standing room only, demonstrating both the quality of the talks on offer and the enthusiasm of the P4H audience.

You can see some of the day’s highlights here, and read more below:

Keynote Arena

The Keynote Arena witnessed a plethora of talks from procurement leaders from throughout the healthcare sector, as well as a motivational lecture from world-famous explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Chair Glen Hodgson kicked off the day by suggesting that “our job today is to avoid the noise and think strategically – focusing on the great work done by colleagues to make the NHS safe.” Stephen Foulser, Customer Engagement Director at NHS Supply Chain, delivered the first talk of the day, reflecting on a year of the new NHS Supply Chain Operating Model. Next up, Michael Pace, Managing Director of Corporate Services at the NHS London Procurement Partnership, stressed the importance of collaborative work to efficient procurement. Mr Pace said that despite the huge changes that have come to bear on NHS procurement over the last 12 months, and what he understands as areas where improvements still need to be made, there was much to be positive about.

“I’m more excited by the opportunities in front of me than I ever have been as an NHS procurement professional before.” – Michael Pace, Managing Director, Corporate Services, NHS London Procurement Partnership

Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ lecture proved to be the day’s main draw for many attendees, with delegates queueing several rows back from the Keynote Arena to hear about the explorer’s experiences over more than 50 years across Oman, the River Nile, Vancouver, Antarctica and the Arctic Circle. Sir Ranulph emphasised the importance of teamwork, framing all his expeditions as the achievements of a dedicated team. Aside from the focus on collaboration, the relevance of Sir Ranulph’s talk to a healthcare audience was made obvious through his sharing of several graphic photos detailing the after-effects of severe frostbite!

ranulph-fiennes-p4h-england

Sir Ranulph Fiennes delivers his keynote lecture

The afternoon at the Keynote Arena was equally busy, with talks including Pia Larsen, Director of Procurement and Supply Chain at University College London NHS Foundation Trust, delivering a detailed case study of what transforming procurement at a particular trust looks like. The theme of asking what ‘collaboration’ looks like, and how it can change NHS procurement, continued with two talks about the experience in different parts of Greater Manchester, from Neil Hind, Procurement Lead at the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, and Joe Lever, Group Procurement Director at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group. The final keynote talk of the day saw Tom Wynne, Head of Procurement for London at NHS Improvement, talking about the forthcoming Procurement Target Operating Model, allowing delegates to see some of the ways in which NHS procurement is set to be reshaped in the coming months and years.

Market Support and Engagement Zone

The Market Support and Engagement Zone at P4H England 2019 allowed suppliers to understand how they could best engage earlier with buyers across the NHS and beyond. Teams representing Tracker, Supply2Gov, Cyber Essentials and Market Engagement heard first-hand about some of the challenges faced by the private sector and were able to offer expert advice on how to leverage best-in-class tools to improve tender win rates and identify strategic business opportunities. Delegates were also able to visit the on-stand juice blend bar, which proved unsurprisingly popular on a very warm day!

“We’d like to say a massive thank-you to Tru Foo, our juice suppliers, for keeping us and the delegates refreshed throughout the day. We had some really insightful conversations with suppliers looking to increase their visibility in the public sector market, and we hope that each of them left the stand with actionable information that helps them grow their business in this market.” – Susan Staley, Head of Digital Marketing, BiP Solutions

BiP Solutions customers were also offered exclusive access to the VIP lounge, providing a quiet space throughout the day to catch up with colleagues and emails, enjoy refreshments and attend several VIP-only talks.

Health Online

As the official media partner of P4H, Health Online was proud to be represented at the event. Interest in Health Online’s dedicated online healthcare community proved high, with a talk from Health Online Sales Manager Soafyaan Zia seeing delegates literally queueing out of the door to attend! You can learn more via Health Online’s own P4H review.

Soafyaan Zia delivering a talk on Health Online at P4H England

Soafyaan Zia’s talk introduced delegates to Health Online

What’s next?

Scotland’s and Wales’ procurement communities will come together later this year at Procurex Scotland on 29 October in Glasgow and Procurex Wales on 7 November in Cardiff. Register today or learn more about sponsorship opportunities here.

There’s also still time to enter your procurement team or project for the prestigious GO Awards, with presentation ceremonies taking place on the evenings of Procurex Scotland and Procurex Wales. Share your procurement success stories here!

New report – Transforming Infrastructure: Building Britain’s Future

BiP Solutions is pleased to announce the launch of its new market report - Transforming Infrastructure: building Britain’s future,

BiP Solutions is pleased to announce the launch of its new market report – Transforming Infrastructure: Building Britain’s Future, a must-read report for those working or looking to work in the infrastructure marketplace.

The infrastructure sector provides a wealth of opportunities for businesses in the know, with key supply chains currently being built up for the megaprojects scheduled to be built in Britain over the next decade. This report shows where those opportunities will become available so you can plan how to build your business strategy.

This new market report from BiP highlights the latest trends and opportunities within the sector, and follows the hugely successful UK Infrastructure Show (UKIS) hosted by BiP at the NEC in April. The show, held in conjunction with Procurex – the UK’s premier public procurement event – saw 1400 delegates enjoying over 30 free training sessions, five leading industry figures speaking in the Keynote Arena, plus network and collaboration zones and a wealth of exhibition stands.

Talking points from the show, together with results from the survey conducted by our media partner, Construction Online, into the infrastructure marketplace, have inspired deeper research into the market, to help identify opportunities for buyers and suppliers within the sector. This has resulted in our new market report, which identifies these trends.

Infrastructure has been one of the better performers for the construction industry throughout this unsettled political and economic period with the National Infrastructure Pipeline inspiring confidence in the sector that is perhaps lacking elsewhere.

The National Infrastructure Pipeline evidenced a buoyant infrastructure sector over the next decade, confirming over 700 projects which will see over £600bn worth of investment in the UK. The National Infrastructure Commission produced its own analysis of the figures and statements and responded with an assessment of how the pipeline will be delivered.

This new report considers both the pipeline and assessment and how such huge transformation can be achieved in the timescales required. As well as a copy of the key findings from Construction Online’s Infrastructure Survey, the report includes an in-depth review of UKIS 2019 and the discussions that took place.

Download the full report now to find out how BiP Solutions can help you to access the huge opportunities within this £600bn sector.

Introducing Health Online – a new, dynamic healthcare community

BiP Solutions is proud to announce the launch of a new online community – Health Online.

Health Online is the latest way in which BiP assists both buyers and suppliers in their procurement journey – focusing specifically on the UK healthcare industry. Sitting within BiP’s Media & Marketing Solutions division, Health Online is designed for early engagement within both the public and private sector.

Providing the latest news on all areas of interest to healthcare buyers and suppliers, from accommodation and administration to vehicles and water, Health Online offers a unique, bespoke experience to each user. The site allows you to tailor your interests so that you see more of what you want to see – and less of what is less interesting to you. Whether it’s the latest news on medical equipment, pharmaceuticals or NHS recruitment, Health Online can keep you updated on it all, highlighting the areas that you care about.

Health Online also allows healthcare professionals and respected commercial suppliers to share news, trade ideas and build connections. It helps commercial suppliers to gain exposure within an ever-evolving marketplace that spends over £1bn every 3 days, by providing a wide portfolio of marketing and advertising tools – enabling suppliers to increase brand awareness and generate opportunities within the sector. For healthcare professionals, Health Online provides a platform for exposure among your peers, by offering the possibility of uploading your own features and examples of best practice, as well as enabling you to contribute to discussions created by others.

Sam Gilding, Director of Media & Marketing Solutions, said:

We’re really excited to bring to market this fresh and innovative approach to buyer/supplier engagement in the healthcare industry. Our ambition is for Health Online to become the default social community for professionals to network, share ideas and build long lasting relationships in this key marketplace. BiP Solutions are committed to supporting best-in-class procurement processes across UK healthcare, and our development of Health Online helps to facilitate this.

To learn more about Health Online and register your profile, visit www.healthonline-uk.com.

BiP Solutions offers a suite of digital solutions to bring together buyers and suppliers, from sector-specific data communities to the most comprehensive source of tender notifications in the UK. To learn more, visit www.bipsolutions.com.

Introducing Promitto, a new comprehensive email marketing solution

Promitto logo in purple

BiP Solutions is proud to announce the launch of the new self-service email marketing platform Promitto.

Drawing on BiP Solutions’ 35 years of experience in the public sector marketplace, Promitto allows for easy contact with thousands of stakeholders and leaders from local and central government, the NHS, the education sector, UK enterprise and more in just a few clicks.

Designed with ease of use in mind, Promitto offers two key advantages for those looking to promote to the public sector or to business. The intuitive email design tools mean that users new to marketing can easily build distinctive, professional marketing emails, while more experienced marketers will benefit from the flexibility the platform offers. In addition, Promitto’s unmatched data community – one of the biggest in the UK – affords contact with over 160,000 public sector decision makers, as well as stakeholders from thousands of the biggest organisations from throughout UK business and enterprise. All data can be segmented by job function, geography and more, allowing for easy contact with the best and most receptive audience.

Promitto aims to be a comprehensive email marketing solution, offering everything needed for successful marketing campaigns in a ‘one-stop shop.’

Simon Burges, CEO of BiP Solutions, said:

I am delighted to announce the launch of Promitto, which for the first time provides customers with the opportunity to access BiP’s market-leading contact data communities, via our new self-service email marketing solution.

The launch of Promitto shows that BiP Solutions are committed to innovative ways to suit our customers’ needs through our ever-growing digital portfolio.

To register and learn more about Promitto, visit www.pro-mitto.co.uk.

BiP Solutions offers a suite of digital solutions to bring together buyers and suppliers, from sector-specific data communities to the most comprehensive source of tender notifications in the UK. To learn more, visit www.bipsolutions.com.

New guidance document: Procurement after ‘no deal’

Figurines of construction workers move star on EU flag

As the political and legal situation around Brexit remains dynamic, the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union without a negotiated Withdrawal Agreement – a ‘no-deal Brexit’ – still exists. Until an alternative is legally formalised by both the UK and the remaining EU Member States, the current default position is for the UK to leave the EU without a deal.

Many businesses will have questions around the possible implications of a ‘no-deal Brexit’ and how they can prepare for this eventuality. Therefore, drawing on our 35 years of procurement experience, BiP Solutions is pleased to announce the publication of our new factsheet, ‘Procurement after “no deal”: What buyers and suppliers need to know about preparing for a “no deal Brexit” scenario.’

The seven-page document sets out clearly and simply the key questions that both buyers and suppliers are likely to have around the possibility of ‘no deal’ – and the current guidance that exists in these areas. The factsheet answers such questions as:

  • Where will public sector organisations publish tender notices if there is a ‘no deal Brexit’?
  • How might the procurement process change, and what will the effect be for supply chains?
  • Where will suppliers be able to find tender opportunities?
  • What steps will businesses need to take to continue to supply services to EU Member States?

Download your copy of the factsheet here.*

To view the latest procurement news and updates, visit BiP Solutions’ dedicated news and Brexit pages.

*Updates will follow to reflect the changing situation.

Spring Statement 2019

Red briefcase

The Chancellor has today delivered his Spring Statement. Against the background of continued uncertainty around the UK’s departure from the EU, what will probably be seen as the main message of the Statement is that the Chancellor’s so-called ‘war chest’ of around £26.6bn is earmarked for preparations for a ‘no-deal Brexit.’

If the possibility of a ‘no deal’ exit is removed with the EU’s agreement, it will free up a significant amount of money to be spent in areas such as healthcare and education. However, as our last update noted, ‘no deal’ remains very much a possibility, in spite of this week’s parliamentary vote.

If a Brexit deal is agreed, the Chancellor has committed to a full, three-year spending review before Parliament’s summer recess, ahead of the next budget.

We look at a few other key announcements from the Statement below.

Housing & construction

The Government has made up to £3bn available to housing associations in England, through the Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme, to support delivery of around 30,000 affordable homes.

In addition, £717m is earmarked for constructing 37,000 homes in London, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and Cheshire.

The Chancellor also said that a National Infrastructure Strategy will be published along with the Autumn Budget.

For more on the implications of the Statement for the construction industry, see the latest Construction Online update.

Local areas

Alongside the above-mentioned areas for housing development, the Statement announces up to £260m for the Borderlands region, which comprises which comprises Dumfries and Galloway, the Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City. There will also be £60m of investment in ten cities and local areas across England, from the ‘Transforming Cities Fund.’

Technology & innovation

While the major news in terms of technology may be around the Government’s planned reviews of digital advertising and the dominance of ‘tech giants’, there were announcements in other areas too, with over £200m earmarked for science and innovation projects. Major funding has been granted for state-of-the-art laser technology projects in Oxfordshire, genomics research and industry in Cambridge, and £79m for a supercomputer to be developed in Edinburgh.

Skills & jobs

The last Budget included updates to apprenticeship reforms. These mean that, from 1st April, employers will see the co-investment rate they pay reduced from 10% to 5%, while levy-paying employers are “able to share more levy funds across their supply chains”, with the maximum amount rising from 10% to 25%.

The Chancellor also reiterated that the previously-announced £37bn National Productivity Investment Fund, covering areas such as roads, the rail network and full-fibre networks, will help boost productivity.

Sustainability & environment

Sustainability and efficiency are one of the major areas of focus in the Statement, with the Chancellor pledging to increase the amount of ‘green gas’ in the National Grid. Additionally, from 2025, all new homes will be ‘future-proofed’ with low carbon heating, as opposed to fossil fuel-based heating systems.

The Statement also announced a ‘call for evidence’ specifically focusing on the benefits of energy efficiency and carbon reduction for SMEs. The results of this will lead to SME-specific investment commitments.