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Scottish Budget 2018

Against the backdrop of uncertainty caused by the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP has delivered the 2018 Scottish Budget (December 12th).

Describing it as a “fair and progressive budget” Derek Mackay presented a business-friendly package, while placing the protection of public services at the heart of this Budget Statement.

Below you can find a breakdown of key Scottish Budget 2018 figures in addition to which public sector opportunities await your industry.

SME

A £50 million ‘Town Centre Fund’ will provide much needed support for Scotland’s high streets. There will also be a cap put on business rates below inflation, providing a tax cut for small businesses, which Mackay described as “the most generous system anywhere in the UK”. The partnership between the private sector and the Scottish Government has played an important role in recent years, which was championed by the Cabinet Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn MSP at Procurex Scotland, in which he encouraged businesses to consider the welfare of local communities and the environment, calling on suppliers to “not be risk averse”.

Housing

An investment of £825 million -as part of an overall fund of £3 billion- will help deliver 50,000 affordable homes over the course of this parliament, which has been the cornerstone of Housing Minister Kevin Stewart’s construction agenda.

Education

Describing education as the Scottish Government’s “defining mission”, the Finance Secretary set out bold new proposals for Scottish schools. £180m will be used to close the attainment gap, including £120m, which will be directed towards headteacher budgets through ‘Pupil Equity Funding’. £600m will also be given to colleges and £1 billion has been secured for Scotland’s world-class universities. £214m has been set aside for apprenticeships and skills; providing a gateway in to employment for many of Scotland’s young people.

Healthcare

An increase of £730m will be provided to NHS Scotland, which is the equivalent to hiring 19,000 nurses, as Derek Mackay confirmed “health is a top priority for the government”, which accounts for almost half of the Scottish Government’s overall spending.

Local Government

The Scottish Government will provide “a real terms increase in the total local government settlement of over £210m” Mackay said, taking the local government budget to £11.1 billion. This will be welcome news for Fife Council executive director Keith Winter, who was a keynote speaker at Procurex Scotland, where he championed “social justice” as he encouraged councillors to adopt a global strategy moving forward.

BiP Spring 2018 Event Calendar

Go Awards 2018

Our Spring events are approaching and it’s all go for the BiP Events team!

With exhibitions and GO Award ceremonies across the UK and ROI, we are looking forward to meeting delegates, exhibitors and finalists over the next few months.

We have listed our Spring 2018 events below…

GO Awards Northern Ireland

Titanic Hotel, Belfast

14 March

This event is dedicated to recognising those individuals, teams and organisations that have gone above and beyond normal standards, to make real differences to the quality of public services in Northern Ireland.

There is still time to apply!

Closing date for GO Awards Northern Ireland submissions is 5pm on Monday 5 February 2018.

Goawards Northern Ireland logo

Procurex England South

Olympia London

15 March

Held in central London, this event is the largest annual gathering of pan-sector public procurement professionals and market leading suppliers.

This event is free to attend for the public sector, make sure that you and your organisation are seen at the South of England’s leading public procurement event of the year. Tickets for the private sector are just £95.

There is also limited exhibition space available for this event. To secure your stand at Procurex England South 2018 today, simply email exhibitions@procurexenglandsouth.co.uk.

Procurex England South logo

 P4H Scotland

EICC Edinburgh

20 March

The countdown is now on to Scotland’s NHS Procurement Event of the year, P4H Scotland. This event is supported by NHS & all 14 Scottish Health Boards. The inaugural P4H Scotland 2018 event will provide a unique promotional, educational and engagement platform, where professionals engaged within the delivery of NHS procurement and suppliers to the healthcare sector can connect and share best practice.

If you would like to invest in the development of new and existing business opportunities by participating in this hugely important event, you can call  0845 270 7066 to find out more.

P4H scotland logo

Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE)

Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

27 March

This event is officially supported by key procurement organisations such as DE&S.

Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE) is now firmly established as the UK’s leading annual defence procurement and supply chain event.

Focused towards both buyers and suppliers engaged throughout the whole defence acquisition supply chain, DPRTE 2018 will provide attendees and exhibitors with an invaluable opportunity to enhance knowledge, share best practice and showcase innovation, in addition to gaining an invaluable insight into the latest policies, initiatives and opportunities across the defence procurement and supply chain marketplace.

Those exhibiting get the opportunity to engage with defence sector procurement buyers from across the country. This one-day networking event will allow you to promote your product or service and build valuable relationships with buyers, giving your business a competitive advantage.

To discuss the exhibition packages available at DPRTE 2018 contact our team at: exhibitions@dprte.co.uk

 DPRTE 2018

UK Infrastructure Show

NEC Birmingham

17 April

Promote your innovative solutions to over 1300 decision makers at the UK Infrastructure Show 2018.

This event is officially supported by CompeteFor and many other major ongoing and future infrastructure projects. Participants at this event can engage, connect and collaborate with each other.

To discuss how your organisation can benefit from exhibiting at the UK Infrastructure Show 2018, email: exhibitions@ukinfrastructureshow.co.uk

UK Infrastructure show 2018

Procurex England North

Manchester Central

24 April

Would your organisation like to be part of the North of England’s Festival of Public Procurement?

Procurex England North, featuring the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Showcase, and followed by the UK National GO Awards, will give both procurement professionals from across all sectors and industry-leading suppliers a unique opportunity to explore and interact with the key themes of Innovation, Education and Collaboration.

At this event both buyers and suppliers will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills through the extensive networking and collaboration opportunities that are taking place.

Like Procurex England South, this event is free to attend for the public sector. Tickets for the private sector are just £95.

To secure your stand at Procurex England North, email: exhibitions@procurexenglandnorth.co.uk

 Procurex North 2018

UK National GO Awards

Hilton, Deansgate

24 April

The GO Awards truly are the ‘Oscars of Procurement’. All categories are judged independently and there is a strong focus on the endeavours of projects, organisations and teams that strive to lead the way in public procurement.

Closing date for submissions is Friday 2 March 2018.

National GOAwards

Procurex Ireland

RDS Dublin

April 26

Our last spring event is Procurex Ireland 2018. This unique event gives procurement professionals across all sectors and industry-leading suppliers from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland a unique opportunity to explore the key themes of Innovation, Education and Collaboration.

There is still time to register for your place for this event.

To find out further details of the exclusive sponsorship and exhibition opportunities available, email: sponsorship@procurexireland.ie

 

 Procurex Ireland

BiP Events

All events that are hosted by BiP Solutions are featured in our events diary. Attending and exhibiting at procurement events will allow your organisation to experience new and exciting procurement networking opportunities.

Ingenium Set to Deliver Digital Services for the Crown Commercial Service

digital - Ingenium IDS

In April, BiP announced the launch of our new North of England office in the Media City area of Manchester, which is now home to two of the BiP Group’s brands, Ingenium and Promark Media.

Over the past eight months, the Glasgow and Manchester offices have been working increasingly closely and we are delighted with the process so far.

Ingenium has recently announced some exciting news.  The team in Manchester has been contracted to deliver digital services for the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and will be creating a database for them. This innovative new project will support the delivery of a series of targeted e-marketing campaigns, designed to raise the profile of CCS.

What does Ingenium do?

Ingenium IDS specialises in lead generation, content creation, data, surveys and online events. The team has a list of high-profile clients including BT, Capita, KPMG, Deloitte, Hays, Apple and IBM.

Ingenium IDS is an established brand and has been helping businesses to communicate successfully with the UK public sector via digital marketing for over ten years. Unlike other digital specialists, Ingenium IDS works across all industries, combining data excellence with purpose-built technology.

What’s Next?

This new project will promote CCS across sectors including local government, the NHS, education, housing associations, and charities.

CCS-Logo

Sam Gilding, Head of Sales at Ingenium IDS, is incredibly pleased with the contract win.

“In September 2017, Ingenium IDS was invited to respond to a Crown Commercial Service (CCS) mini-competition. CCS was interested in contracting with a supplier that could provide licensed access to a third-party database of organisation and individual contacts across the whole of the public sector.

I’m delighted to share that Ingenium delivered a response that demonstrated, coverage, quality and compliance and has now contracted to deliver this service.”

To find out more about BiP’s products and services, please visit our website.

Spring Budget 2017 – Industry Highlights

Spring Budget 2017 – Industry Highlights

spring budget 2017

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond presented the Government’s Spring Budget on 8 March, focusing on national productivity, social care, changes to self-employment regulations and business tax rates, as well as investments in infrastructure to boost economic growth.

The £23 billion National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), which was announced in the last Autumn Statement, is starting to be allocated, with £300 million committed to science and innovation research, £270 million to researching the disruptive technologies of the future, £16 million to a 5G mobile technology hub and £200 million to the Government’s National 5G Innovation Network.

The Spring Budget, which was Mr Hammond’s first and is to be his last with the Government moving towards a single fiscal event taking place each autumn, also announced fresh investment into a number of sectors.

Read on to discover what public sector pipelines of work await your industry sector.

Regional Government:

Local Authorities:

  • Local authorities will benefit from a £300 million fund to deliver discretionary relief to target individual cases in their local areas.

 Infrastructure:

  • National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) to provide £23 billion of infrastructure additional spending, to ensure that the UK’s economy is ‘fit for the future’.
  • The NPIF will provide major additional spending in areas that are key to boosting productivity, including:
    • Transport
    • Digital Communications
    • Research and Development (R&D)
    • Housing
    • Infrastructure funding for roads in the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine, as well as a fund to tackle urban congestion; there was also a welcome emphasis on technical skills.
  • NPIF will invest £740 million in digital infrastructure by 2020/21 to support the next generation of fast and reliable mobile and broadband communications for consumers and businesses. This includes:
  • Creating a new National 5G Innovation Network to trial and demonstrate 5G applications, and for the UK to become a world leader in the next wave of mobile technology and services.
    • The first phase will invest up to £16 million in a cutting-edge 5G facility with the technology to run the trials, delivered through cooperation between leading 5G research institutions. A new centre of 5G expertise within government will oversee this programme, working with public and private sector partners. Funding for future trials will be awarded on a competitive basis.
  • £200 million for local projects to leverage private sector investment in the Government’s National 5G Innovation Network.
  • £250 million to be invested over the next four years, with plans to build the pipeline of high-skilled research talent necessary for a growing and innovative economy. This includes:
    • £90 million to provide an additional 1000 PhD places in areas aligned with the Industrial Strategy, 85% of which will be in STEM disciplines with 40% directly helping strengthen collaboration between business and academia through industrial partnerships.
    • £160 million to support new fellowships for early and mid-career researchers in areas aligned to the Industrial Strategy.
  • £500 million investment in technical education for 16 to 19 year olds with new ‘T-levels’ to be introduced in autumn 2019. Students will be able to choose from 15 different routes such as construction, digital or agriculture; as part of the course, all students will take part in an industry work placement.
    The Government will also provide maintenance loans for students doing higher-level technical courses at National Colleges and Institutes of Technology – like those available to university students.
  • £210 million will create new fellowships, including programmes to attract top global talent to conduct research in areas such as bioscience and biotechnology, quantum technologies, and satellite and space technology.
  • £2 billion for adult social care over the next three years, with the aim of providing high-quality social care to more people to help ease pressure on the NHS.
  • £425 million investment in the NHS over the next three years, including:
    • £325 million to be invested in a first set of the best local Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) to improve patient services in local regions.
    • £100 million to go to A&E departments in 2017/18, to help them manage demand ahead of next winter, and help patients get to primary care faster.
  • £216 million to be invested in school maintenance projects.

 Housing:

  • £36 billion to be spent on housing and environment in 2017/18.

 

Health & Social Care:

  • £149 billion to be spent in health in 2017/18, with an additional £425 million for investment in the NHS to come over the next three years. This includes:
    • £100 million to go towards accident and emergency departments in 2017/18 to help them prepare for winter and provide more on-site GP facilities.
  • An additional £2 billion earmarked for adult social care spending over the next three years.

Transport:

  • £37 billion to be spent on transport in 2017/18.
  • £690 million to be spent on new local transport projects, with £490 million made available by early autumn 2017.
  • This funding is allocated through the National Productivity Investment Fund with the aim of improving congestion on roads and public transport, and includes:
  • £220 million to improve congestion points on national roads.
  • £90 million going to the North.
  • £23 million going to the Midlands.
  • Supporting improvements on the A483 corridor in Cheshire and on the Leicester Outer Ring Road.
    • More details of individual schemes to be announced by the Department for Transport shortly.

Defence & Security:

  • £48 billion to be spent on defence in 2017/18.

Research & Development:

  • £4.7 billion from the NPIF spent on R&D, to support the UK’s world-leading research and ensure that the next generation of discoveries are made, developed and commercialised in Britain.

Education

  • £102 billion to be spent on education in 2017/18.
  • £320 million to fund new free schools and £216 million to be invested in school maintenance.
  • Free transport scheme for children from poorer families to go to selective schools.

Technology:

  • £270 million invested to launch the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) to develop disruptive technologies that have the potential to transform the UK economy. This includes investment on projects such as:
  • Leading the world in the development, design and manufacture of batteries that will power the next generation of electric vehicles, helping to tackle air pollution.
  • Developing cutting-edge artificial intelligence and robotics systems that will operate in extreme and hazardous environments, including offshore energy, nuclear energy, space and deep mining.
  • Accelerating patient access to new drugs and treatments through developing brand-new medicine manufacturing technologies, helping to improve public health.

Oil & Gas:

  • A panel of industry experts is to be established to mull how tax can assist sales of North Sea oil and gas fields, with a report of the findings due at the Autumn Budget 2017.

SMEs:

  • Small businesses and landlords under the VAT threshold will have an extra year to prepare for Making Tax Digital (MTD).
  • Unincorporated businesses (businesses owned privately by one or more people) that have an annual turnover below the VAT registration threshold will have until April 2019 to prepare before MTD becomes mandatory.
  • Under MTD, businesses will use digital software to keep tax records and update HMRC quarterly.
  • £435 million to support businesses affected by the business rates relief revaluation. This means no small business that is coming out of small business rates relief will pay more than £600 more in business rates this year than they did in 2016/17.
  • Funding for local authorities will allow them to provide £300 million of discretionary relief to provide help to businesses most affected by the revaluation.
  • From April 2017, pubs with a rateable value up to £100,000 will be able to claim a £1000 business rates discount for one year.

Brexit: A Buyer Perspective

Brexit Buyer Perspective

The possibilities for post-Brexit public sector procurement are endless: for instance, it could reduce the legislative burden on suppliers or allow UK buyers to favour national goods/services.

While there is real potential for positive change, nothing will be known for sure until Brexit negotiations are completed. However, if you are working within the UK marketplace it is natural to want to prepare for the future.

So instead of listening to the naysayers, why not listen to public sector buyers who have sound knowledge of the subject?

Brexit: A Buyer Perspective hears from UK public sector buyers, revealing their forecasts for post-Brexit procurement reform, as well as opinions on how changes could be capitalised upon.

Written in layman’s terms, A Buyer Perspective shows the survey results from a cross-section of UK procurement officials, with detailed analysis of the results.

The report examines public sector buyer opinion across a range of topics including Brexit’s impact on future procurement activities, thresholds and procedures, along with the possibility of favouring bids from UK suppliers.

Free to download as a PDF, Brexit: A Buyer Perspective can be consumed on the go or easily printed.

report download button

LGPE 2016 Review

LGPE

Leading the way in local government procurement, LGPE (Local Government Procurement Expo) returned for a second year at London Olympia on 2 November 2016.

Opening the event, Public Sector Consultant Colin Cram said:

“Local government is going to be at the heart of public service delivery transformation; it is getting more and more devolution from Whitehall, so local government will be responsible for more and more public services.”

Reflecting on this change was Tower Hamlets Council CEO Will Tuckley, whose LGPE keynote explained the importance of devolution in reshaping UK healthcare.

Mr Tuckley said:

“Devolution creates lots of opportunities to use the best expertise we have in local government and the NHS – across the public sector – to get better value.

“In these hardened times we still spend a lot of money ensuring that people have better chances in their lives and one of the ways people have better chances is by being healthier; so it is all of our responsibilities to work together to produce better outcomes. Devolution enables us to do this by taking decisions closer to these communities.”

Also keen to improve local government spend was Malcolm Harbour CBE, who outlined his hopes for the future in the LGPE keynote ‘Innovation in Procurement’.

He stressed:

“Public sector procurement people should be more ambitious, not too prescriptive; they should think about the big problems they want to solve then bring big ideas together to solve them. This is the way that we are going to get better public services that are more efficient at a better cost, doing a better job.”

While Mr Harbour recognised the importance of budget efficiencies, he added that procurement reform required more.

He explained:

“Procurement tends to be seen as a technocratic and bureaucratic exercise, whereas actually it is far more important than that; so procurement leaders need to ensure that they combine innovation in their strategy for the communities that they serve.”

Echoing this sentiment was Eastleigh Borough Council CEO Nick Tustian, who spoke at the LGPE Adding Value Training Zone.

Mr Tustian said:

In recent years I have noticed how you have to go through quite a massive cultural and organisational change to get to be commercially minded in procurement and I don’t think most public sector organisations really appreciate the level of change needed.”

He added: “Events like LGPE are essential to help people share their knowledge; everyone is on the same journey, just at different points along the way. I love coming to these events because I love listening to others; there is a lot of good practice out there.”

Best practice tips were shared in the LGPE keynote as well as in the Adding Value, Professional Procurement Skills, Social Value and Supplier Training Zones. Between training sessions, both buyers and suppliers took to the conference floor to network.

Peter Marshall, Professional Services Director at Commerce Decisions, said:

“I hosted a talk at LGPE about the development of appropriate evaluation criteria and after hosting the talk I got lots of people coming up to my stand, looking to chat about their projects and organisations.”

He continued:

“Partnering at an event like LGPE is a very important part of starting to understand your supply base and partners. If you want to ensure that you are getting the best value for money out of your bidders then you need to engage with them as early as possible.”

Reflecting on the conference, Social Value UK’s Communications and Membership Coordinator Christina Berry-Moorcroft commented in a similar vein:

“We managed to chat to people who are in charge of procurement as well as businesses that are tendering bids.”

Echoing this sentiment was Sims Recycling Solutions Business Development Manager, Guillaume Maricourt.

He said:

“I have most enjoyed networking at LGPE; sometimes we have talked to people in procurement who are not in IT but have helped us get in touch with the IT procurement department for their companies.

“If you want to get involved with procurement in the public sector then LGPE is definitely a good show to be at.”

Register your interest in next year’s event by visiting the LGPE website

 

Securing public and private cyberspace: Procurex Wales

cyber security

A recent report from McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC estimated that globally cyber crime costs $400 billion a year. Here – ahead of his talk at Procurex Wales – Paul Clarke, Managing Director of cyber security firm Xenubis, tells BiP journalist Julie Shennan how the threat is evolving and what the supply chain can do to tackle it.

Xenubis is a global IT firm that provides intelligence and security solutions to identify cyber espionage and criminal activity across the physical, human and digital dimensions. Managing Director Paul Clarke is a passionate advocate of cyber awareness, speaking at events such as DPRTE and Procurex Wales on the topic.

Mr Clarke’s concern is well reasoned; earlier this year internet service provider (ISP) Beaming surveyed over 500 UK firms and found that one in eight had suffered malware attacks costing an average of £10,516 to manage.

Mr Clarke noted: That is only the cost that we know of; a lot of companies don’t make their breaches or attacks public knowledge. This cost also does not count the effects on reputation and customer confidence.”

He went on to explain that globally cyber crime was outpacing traditional crime.

He said: “It is bigger than the global drugs trade. Cyber crime is more convenient to criminals than analogue crime; they don’t have to leave home or smuggle anything, so there is no way that the criminals are going to stop committing it.”

Hacktivist culture is also making cyber breaches easier to commit.

Mr Clarke warned: “Cyber attackers’ skills and tools are more advanced than ever; you can go to the Dark Net now and get a hackers kit which comes equipped with a fully managed helpdesk, allowing people with no experience to attempt a breach. So the threat is not now just from state-sponsored activists, it is also from organised criminals and collectives, such as Anonymous, who might have other motives.”

This increasing range of hacker types, Mr Clarke observed, is facilitated by the mobilisation of the Internet of Things. “The increasing connectivity of smartphones will in turn provide an increased marketplace for criminals,” he cautioned.

“So if you are thinking of making your business mobile-responsive then you need to think about cyber risk and cyber security. This threat is not going to go away; it is just going to get more advanced.”

Mr Clarke speaks from years of experience – having worked as a security advisor to government, as a private cyber security consultant and as a former Serviceman. However, he explained that the facts of the cyber threat were plain for all to see.

He said: “There is a lot of information out there on cyber breaches; TalkTalk, LinkedIn and the Panama Papers data leak all show how common cyber attacks are. Every bit of information in the news shows that the cyber threat is real and will affect most people at some point.”  

SMEs, Mr Clarke added, are no exception.

He emphasised: “SMEs, especially non-finance SMEs, might be tempted to think that they are too insignificant to be targeted, but this not the case. Money is going lost in normal transactions and through breaches of customers’ emails.”

With that in mind Mr Clarke urged suppliers of all sizes to invest in good cyber security.

He said: “The threat is real; it’s a case of when not if an attacker will target your company. Companies need to approach the topic of cyber security, understand how cyber threats manifest themselves in their business and how they can protect themselves at the highest level possible.”

This means prime contractors examining their whole supply chain and identifying any soft spots that hackers could target. “Attackers will target the easiest route into this supply chain, so it is up to the prime contractors to ensure that their partners are protected,” he explained.

Mr Clarke also urged the CEOs of all companies to take ownership of their organisation’s cyber security.

He said: “CEOs must start from the top down and implement education, training and awareness to ensure that everything possible is being done to protect data, money and reputation.

CEOs and senior executives need to understand that it is up to them to protect their own and their customers’ data by mitigating risk. Ministers are now discussing the consequences for company leaders who do not protect their data, such as fines from regulatory boards.”

While cyber security failures could be cause for punishment, cyber vigilance could equally be cause for reward, with the Government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme (CES) recognising responsible organisations.

Mr Clarke explained: “If you want to be on government supply chains you need to ensure you are signed up to the Cyber Essential programme. You must also ensure your IT team have the relevant external tools – to understand where the cyber threat come from and how to mitigate the threat – and if the IT team don’t have these tools then they must outsource them.”

Mr Clarke recognises the UK cyber skills shortage, saying not enough operational and academic training is currently on offer – to the right people – to tackle the cyber threat head-on. However, he remains optimistic that the public and private sectors can work together to make up this shortfall.

He concluded: “Government should work with the private sector to help suppliers raise awareness, increase compliance with Cyber Essentials and increase access to cyber protection tools.”

For more information come to see Mr Clarke speak at Procurex Wales Digital Procurement Zone    on 6 October 2016.

Digital Strategies in Government Procurement: Procurex Wales

CarenFullertonIn anticipation of her presentation at Procurex Wales Live on 6 October at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, entitled Digital Strategy for Welsh Government, Caren Fullerton, Chief Digital Officer at the Welsh Government, spoke to BiP Solutions journalist Domhnall Macinnes about the importance of having a good digital strategy in central government procurement.

Caren Fullerton worked for the Welsh Government as an analyst for 15 years before moving on to such roles as Head of ICT for the Welsh Government’s agriculture department and Head of Corporate Services at the International Property Office, among others.

She said: “In my current role I’m responsible for providing leadership on the Welsh Government’s own digital services and digital delivery and also for some aspects of data. My team are also looking at opportunities to do things differently with respect to ICT services and unified communications.”

In April 2015, the Welsh Government published Digital First, a strategy outlining the Government’s approach to driving digital change in the public sector. Digital First aims to stimulate the provision of a variety of good-quality online services for citizens and businesses in Wales.

Mrs Fullerton explained: “A key principle underpinning Digital First is the ability to use digital to generate efficiencies and deliver value for money. Digital First is not overly prescriptive and instead provides a framework to drive improvements; we are already beginning to see some really tangible deliveries as a result of the strategy. We have also recently published an open data plan for Welsh Government, the principles of which are repeatable across the public sector. We already publish a vast amount of open data and the plan will stretch us even further. A USP for Welsh Government is that our data is bilingual and therefore valuable to a variety of people all over Wales.”

Mrs Fullerton also noted that the introduction of the National Procurement Service has had a positive impact on how suppliers and government do business all over the UK.

She continued: “I think it’s important to remember that Wales has a distinct policy agenda when it comes to digital development and digital approaches. Nevertheless, our citizens and businesses receive many of their services from Whitehall departments so I think it’s important that suppliers of services in Wales understand both the differences and our common ground in order to deliver the best quality products for us. This also helps their credibility when they look at developing themselves as suppliers to the rest of the UK.”

Mrs Fullerton touched on the vital importance of having a well thought-out digital strategy in central government procurement, benefiting both government and the supply chain.

She commented: “You want your suppliers to have done their homework up front when they are bidding for work so that the procurement process goes quickly and smoothly for them and for you. Also, these days it’s more likely that our procurements involve limited competition with a group of suppliers who themselves have already been through a framework contract procurement process.”

Mrs Fullerton briefly explored what the Welsh Government looks for in a supplier.

She said: “I’ve met suppliers that have come with really great products they’re potentially interested in trying to sell to Wales, but because they haven’t done their research on a lot of the things that matter to the public sector in Wales and the Welsh Government, they’re not really able to compete for that work. Do your research first!”

Rounding off the session, Mrs Fullerton provided a snippet from her upcoming talk at Procurex Wales and discussed the value of Meet the Buyer events.

Discussing the importance of digital change, she said: “I think the talk is mostly going to be around how digital change is about completely transforming the way in which your business operates. It is about rethinking how you deliver your service, sometimes through a very different business model. Examples from the private sector include Uber and Airbnb, where people have completely rethought how the transaction between the buyer and seller takes place and then built an IT system and new processes to deliver that. This radical rethinking also applies to how we need to transform the public sector.”

She concluded: “I think for buyers, events like Procurex are an opportunity to step back a bit and think about what it is you’re doing, while learning from the past experiences of others.”

Procurex Wales will be a hub for opportunity when private sector delegates and key public sector representatives descend onto the floor of the Motorpoint Arena for a day of networking. To gather fantastic tips about digital change from Mrs Fullerton’s speech and to seize the opportunity to gain much more, register for Procurex Wales Live 2016 today.

P4H 2016 review

P4H 2016The air was electric with possibility at the NEC, Birmingham on 13 July for this year’s P4H conference and exhibition. Representatives from both the public and private sectors descended on the venue from across the UK to learn about the latest developments in healthcare procurement, network with their peers and build new and lasting business relationships. Here, BiP Solutions journalist Domhnall Macinnes recounts some of the events of the day.

Opportunity began in the keynote arena at P4H 2016 – The Procurement Event for Health, held on 13 July at the NEC, Birmingham.

Kicking off the keynote speeches was meeting chair Professor Duncan Eaton, Executive Advisor at the All-Party Parliamentary Health Group, who launched the audience into an enthralling series of addresses which set the tone for the day and encapsulated the value of P4H, attracting delegates from all corners of the venue.

Professor Eaton said: “The event today intends to bring together those from the procurement world and suppliers to listen and talk and be informed and contribute to the future of health procurement. This keynote arena is a major part of the programme. We’ve put together a range of speakers to tell us about current initiatives and their views of the future.”

Renowned names in procurement such as Managing Director of Marc1 Ltd Colin Cram proceeded to inform the packed arena about emerging developments in the healthcare procurement landscape. Mr Cram’s talk, entitled ‘Brexit – The challenges and opportunities for NHS procurement’, was one not to be missed.

Following his speech, Mr Cram commented: “What I’d really like for people to take from my speech today is that they need to raise their game in procurement. Instead of looking at ways of just saving procurement costs and reducing prices, see what opportunities and what products there are available that will help reduce NHS costs overall.”

He continued: “All of the smaller companies find it almost impossible to engage with NHS hospitals as they’d have to try and sell to them one by one. Small companies do not have the resources to do so.

“I reckon that if procurement people took advantage of the opportunities out there – doing things differently – the potential savings for the NHS and the benefits to patients would be immeasurable.”

Professor Eaton also introduced Pat Mills, Commercial Director, Department of Health, who delivered a stimulating address enititled ‘NHS Procurement – The National Programme’. Mr Mills discussed the value of making savings within the NHS and the immeasurably valuable things that could be done with these savings.

Later in an interview, he reflected on his speech: “The key message I would like people to take away with them today is about money. Money is critical. We want to go about making savings, and procurement is a great way of doing that. The procurement community as a whole in general can deliver maybe £1 billion worth of savings. That’s two hospitals a year. But we’ve got to work together.”

Within the event’s dedicated buyer and supplier zones, stakeholders from across the public and private sector took advantage of the various hubs offering networking and advice. At the Best Practice Case Study Zone, delegates were offered a unique opportunity to learn from the past successes of others through explanatory presentations. Nick Hodgson, Supplier Development Advisor for the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, was at the zone co-presenting on the Savings Swap Shop, a programme which has enabled ten NHS trusts in the south west of England and beyond to save in excess of £850,000 through sharing ideas for efficiencies in procurement.

Mr Hodgson said: “It’s important for people to attend events such as P4H for the same principle as our message today. It’s about collaboration – getting together and realising that everyone in different hospitals and different organisations is actually working on the same projects. So they may have a better way of working on things which can help us save time, find efficiencies and ultimately save money as well.”

On the arena floor, partners, exhibitors and sponsors networked throughout the day with stakeholders, meeting delegates at their stands to plant the seeds of blossoming new relationships.

Naomi Clews, Senior Category Lead at the Crown Commercial Service, mused on the vital role P4H plays and why the CCS acted as an official partner to the event: “We absolutely want to make ourselves visible to as many suppliers and customers, especially within the NHS, as possible. Bringing buyers and suppliers together is really important. It’s the only way that we can learn and innovate and get better for our customers in the NHS. The information that we gain at P4H is the information that we take back to redevelop some of our strategies.”

Building upon this year’s success, next year’s event promises to deliver even more opportunities to buyers and suppliers in the healthcare sector. With yet another busy schedule of engagement, advice and professional development, P4H will return in summer 2017.

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