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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.

Celebrating public procurement at GO Awards Scotland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other key highlights this week include:

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

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

The report can be viewed in full here

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

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

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

Other key highlights this week include:

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

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

The report can be viewed in full here

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

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

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

Other key highlights this week include:

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

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

The report can be viewed in full here

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

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

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

Other key highlights this week include:

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

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

The report can be viewed in full here

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

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

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

Other key highlights this week include:

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

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

The report can be viewed in full here

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

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

The report provides an update on activities between 14th – 20th February and shows that 40% of contracts were for less than £100,000 – clearly indicating a continued opportunity for SMEs throughout the public sector.

Other key highlights this week include:

  • Local Government is once again the most active sector, followed by Education & Central Government
  • 2081 contract notices were published this week, a 5.2% decrease from the previous week
  • 1015 different buying authorities published contract notices this week

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

The report can be viewed in full here

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

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

The report provides an update on activities between 7th – 13th February and shows that 38% of contracts were for less than £100,000 – clearly indicating a continued opportunity for SMEs throughout the public sector.

Other key highlights this week include:

  • Local Government is once again the most active sector, followed by Health & Education
  • 2196 contract notices were published this week, a 1% decrease from the previous week
  • 980 different buying authorities published contract notices this week

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

The report can be viewed in full here

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