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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

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.

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”

20 years of the GO Awards

Celebrating public procurement professionals – the 2022/23 procurement awards season is GO!

The 2022/23 GO Awards season is underway, and this year BiP Solutions is proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the awards, which were established in 2002 with the aim of recognising excellence in public procurement across the UK.

Celebrating procurement across the UK at the UK National GO Awards.

The first event this season will be the GO Awards Scotland this autumn, shortly followed by the GO Awards Wales. Entries for both are now open, so if your organisation has achieved great results in the past year and your procurement team deserves recognition for their fantastic achievements then we’d love to hear about it. Register to enter today.

Celebrating 20 years

Having worked extensively in public procurement since it was founded in 1984, BiP established the GO Awards as a means of showcasing best practice from organisations across the public, private and third sectors, especially those whose innovations, initiatives and advancements in the delivery of public services have helped to make the UK a world leader in smart and effective procurement.

We’re delighted to announce the launch of GO Awards Scotland 2022/23, alongside an exciting new website, we've also launched our 22/23 categories.

Even before the events of the past couple of years, procurement was rapidly evolving as part of its transformation from back-office function to strategic player. Then it became front page news as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, and even as we head back towards normality, public service delivery will be at the forefront of the economic recovery.

That’s why, 20 years on from its beginning, the GO Awards is now more important than ever before, and has gone on to become the leading public procurement excellence awards in the UK, where the standard of entries continues to rise every year.

New awards

The GO Awards has a range of categories, recognising achievements in everything from contract delivery to COVID-19 response. To mark its 20th anniversary, and to keep in line with the latest evolution in procurement, four new categories have been launched for Scotland and Wales:

  • Best Net Zero Initiative
  • Contract and Supplier Management
  • Supply Chain Diversity
  • Collaborative Procurement Initiative

Enter today

If your team in Scotland or Wales has demonstrated outstanding work in procurement then an evening at the GO Awards makes the perfect reward, as well as offering you the chance to learn from other excellent examples of best practice and set new goals for the future.

©Sandy Young / scottishphotographer.com

Entries for the GO Awards Scotland, which are supported by the Scottish Government, close on 6 September, after which all entries will be judged by leading procurement figures from across Scotland and the UK. The big night will then take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow on Thursday 27 October 2022.

For Wales, entries will close on 21 September, with the GO Awards Wales being hosted at the Mercure Hotel in Cardiff on Tuesday 8 November 2022.

Organisations can register on the GO Awards website, where they will be able to write and submit their entries, learn more about this season’s awards, and be the first to receive updates and exclusive registrant benefits.

Good luck, and we’ll hope to see you this autumn!

Celebrating success at the BiP ONE Annual Employee Awards

Friday 10th June saw BiP Solutions come together to celebrate the achievements of its amazing staff.

As part of the BiP ONE Recognition programme, the Annual Employee Awards were back with a bang after a two-year pandemic related hiatus.

Colleagues were more than ready to celebrate the achievements of the past few years in person again. Seeing colleagues from both our Glasgow and Manchester offices enjoying their evening and building relationships across our many diverse teams was fantastic.

Taking place at The Village hotel in Glasgow, our Annual Awards provided the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the amazing contribution of individual colleagues and teams across the last period.

Simon Burges, CEO of BiP Solutions said: “It was a real pleasure to bring our colleagues together once again for this very special evening of recognition and celebration. With our Award winners and many other talented individuals in our team we’re looking forward with confidence to an exciting future.”

Seven Awards were presented on the evening, culminating in the main category of our Employee of the Year. All categories were keenly contested with strong nominations in each.

Our winners were:

New Employee of the Year – Rachel Neil (Events)

Manager of the Year – Chris Logue (Business and Client Services) and Simon Inman (IT Operations)

Sales Employee of the Year – Ben Trail (Business Intelligence)

Team of the Year – Events & Exhibitions

Sales Team of the Year – Customer Success (Business Intelligence)

This year, we announced a new award, the BiP Values Award, designed to recognise colleagues who embody the spirit of BiP. The inaugural winner was Stephen Donlan, from the Digital Content Marketing and Communications (DCMC) team.

As part of BiP ONE Recognition, the Annual Employee Awards were back with a bang after a two-year forced hiatus.

Stephen Donlan

Simon said: “I’d like to congratulate Stephen on being voted the very deserved winner within this category, as he continually and positively demonstrates our core company values within his role as Production Manager within the DCMC.”

The culmination of the evening was the highly-anticipated Employee of the Year Award, with three places up for contention. Rob Atherton (DCMC) and Claire Young (eSourcing and Supply Chain) secured third and second places respectively, while the overall winner, with a cash prize of £1250, was Rachael Connor-Laughlin from the Marketing team.

As part of BiP ONE Recognition, the Annual Employee Awards were back with a bang after a two-year forced hiatus.

Rachel Connor Laughlin

“Huge congratulations to Rachael Connor Laughlin on being crowned Employee of The Year – a thoroughly well-deserved award.” said Simon.

Further events and incentives are planned as part of the BiP One programme, which also focuses on areas such as personal development, giving back and engagement in addition to recognition.

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.

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