OpenOpps

Our news, research and analysis.



To Bid or Not To Bid - An Interview with Philip Norman

To Bid or Not To Bid - An Interview with Philip Norman

Philip Norman

There are thousands of public sector tenders active at any given time in the UK alone and many could look like a good fit for your company. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely your sales or bid team will have the resources to chase after every opportunity, in fact if you’re a small company you might not even have someone devoted to bidding. So how do you prioritise to make sure you only bid where you have a good chance of winning? We spoke to Philip Norman, Director of Bidbetter, for adv...





Capita - Was 2016 a blip or the beginning of a downturn?

Capita - Was 2016 a blip or the beginning of a downturn?

Open Opps

Capita’s difficulties could continue as the public sector market hardens. Our research shows that tenders in Capita’s key categories are declining in average value while the volume of tenders is increasing, so Capita will need to bid more often for contracts that generate less revenue.

Capita’s public sector business in has grown significantly in four out of the five last years, from £497.3m in 2012 to £973.5m in 2016. However, from 2015 to 2016 there was a decl...





Upcoming Supplier Events

Upcoming Supplier Events

Pixabay

Public Sector Show

27th June

ExCeL London

This is the biggest event of the year for procurement teams from across the public sector. Over 2,000 delegates, all decision makers, will be there, making it a good place to make contacts in government. Businesses can purchase packages to be sponsors, exhibitors and speakers. For more information about the packages on offer and how to register, visit http://www.psshow.co.uk/packages/.

http://www.psshow.co.uk

 

Constructiononline - London M...





7 reasons SMEs should consider selling to the public sector

7 reasons SMEs should consider selling to the public sector

Pixabay

It can seem complicated and time-consuming, but there are lots of reasons for SMEs to sell to the public sector. Here are seven of them:

  1. The Government spends £200bn per year on goods and services with all sorts of businesses, from cleaners to hairdressers.

  2. There were over 220,000 public sector tenders in the UK in the last 12 months. That’s a lot of opportunities, even for small businesses.

  3. The Government is loyal to suppliers. Barriers to entry can work in your fa...





We're Open Contracting Innovation Challenge Finalists

We're Open Contracting Innovation Challenge Finalists

Open Contracting Partnership

Open Opps is delighted to be one of six finalists chosen for the Open Contracting Innovation Challenge, a competition run by the Open Contracting Partnership and the Open Data Institute to recognize groundbreaking data-driven ideas for improving public procurement.

Our project, ‘Joined up data’ will unlock new analysis opportunities of procurement data by linking and matching the data of buyers and government entities for our database of over 450 different sources from 76 countri...





Only 27% of public sector tenders are on Contracts Finder

Only 27% of public sector tenders are on Contracts Finder

Open Opps

At Open Opps we scour the web to publish every tender we can possibly find for our users. We pay a lot of attention to the UK, and we’re confident that we have every public sector tender that is published online.

Having compared all of the opportunities that we’ve gathered over the past two years, with all of the opportunities on Contracts Finder, we found nearly 100,000 tenders that never made it to Contracts Finder, that’s 73% of all the tenders published in England.1 Thi...





Upcoming contract: Public Sector Resourcing (Temporary Staffing)

Upcoming contract: Public Sector Resourcing (Temporary Staffing)

Pixabay

The Crown Commercial Service is planning a new framework agreement for temporary staffing to replace the existing ‘Contingent Labour One’ framework which will come to an end in June 2018.

About the contract

The current framework contract is split into three lots managed by Capita, Brook Street and Hays respectively.

The spend through Contingent Labour One (2013 - 2016) was:

  • Lot 1 Interim Managers and Specialist Contractors (Capita): £468m

  • Lot 2 Administrative an...





Back to Business… a focus on Deloitte

Back to Business… a focus on Deloitte

Ian Makgill

Deloitte is the largest professional services company in the world and one of the big four accountancy firms. So what does its public sector business look like? These slides show how much it has grown over the past five years.

Deloitte’s presence in government has grown significantly in the past five years, from £50m in 2012. to £73m in 2016. This is an increase of 32%, an average of 6.5% annual growth. While  turnover is increasing across both central and lo...





How to find tender opportunities (free or paid)

How to find tender opportunities (free or paid)

Ian Makgill

Here we review all of the available tools for searching for tenders in the UK and beyond. (Hey, we know we’re biased, but we think that we can still do a good job of representing the market).


OpenOpps

Url: https://OpenOpps.com

Cost: Free

OpenOpps is a free service for the UK and 76 further countries around the rest of the world, including a range of international government sources such as the World Bank. With 69% more data than Contracts Finder, OpenOpps is the best, free UK servic...





How are the outsourcing giants faring?

How are the outsourcing giants faring?

Ian Makgill

Capita up, Capgemini down: Is the market still strong?

We’ve used the open spend data published by government bodies for calendar years 2012 to 2016, available as of March 2017, to create a comprehensive picture of the growing  IT professional services market in the public sector.

The market is growing by an average of 5% a year and spend across government now averages around £50m a month. The rise is due to the increase in spending with key suppliers in central government,...





10 of my secrets on how to sell into the UK Public Sector

10 of my secrets on how to sell into the UK Public Sector

Mary McKenna

This article was originally published on LinkedIn on the 5th of October 2016 by Mary McKenna, tech entrepreneur & long time public sector SME supplier. You can follow her here: @mmarymckenna.

********

I recently delivered an impromptu talk on this topic at an unconference. Despite the unconference Law of Two Feet rule, my talk was well attended and generated such a volume of questions that I decided to jot down a few thoughts in this blog to continue the conversation and to gather any u...





Our Organicity Experiment: Where does public sector money go?

Our Organicity Experiment: Where does public sector money go?

Screenshot

Organicity encourages co-creating for smart cities through an exciting new set of tools for working with and sharing data. We were chosen as an experimenter to test out the platform with a project designed to improve understanding on public spending in London.

Back in February we shared our story so far and revealed the challenges we had encountered in enriching data through listing the government. Since then, we’ve been experimenting with Organicity tools to create data visualisations...





The £6.1bn nuclear contract debacle

The £6.1bn nuclear contract debacle

https://www.flickr.com/photos/martinrp/2047586869

There are few public contract bungles as egregious as the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) £6.1bn contract to dismantle 12 Magnox nuclear power stations. Not only will it be terminated ten years early, but two of the unsuccessful competitors are also being paid a hefty settlement by the UK taxpayer after a series of errors emerged in the tendering and bid evaluation processes.

The tendering process began in 2012 and lasted 18 months, with Cavendish Fluor Partnership (CFP...





Spare a thought for the buyers

Spare a thought for the buyers

Pixabay

We understand that it can be frustrating to bid for government contracts, but bear in mind how hard it can be to be a buyer in Government. In our view, outside of front line staff, buyers possibly have one of the hardest, and certainly most thankless, tasks in Government. Here’s why.

Procurement teams can face hostility from their colleagues who view them as the ‘business prevention unit’ because they have to follow stringent regulations. At the same time, they are expected...





Changes to European procurement legislation - a very short introduction

Changes to European procurement legislation - a very short introduction

Pixabay

European procurement legislation is complicated and regularly updated to account for legal judgements and new procurement initiatives. It takes a while to even begin to wrap your head around it, so this blog is aimed at making life easier by providing a short introduction to the latest changes in European public procurement directives.

Public procurement directivesoutline the process that must be followed before a public sector body awards a works, supply or services contract to suppliers wh...





Listing the Government

Listing the Government

Pixabay

It’s hard work to create a list of every government body in the UK, here’s what we’ve found so far.

The public sector covers a vast range of organisations: central government, councils, courts, prisons, the NHS, schools, universities, quangos, social housing associations, port authorities, fisheries, and more. It seems as if the longer you spend investigating the public sector, the bigger it becomes!

There is no openly available list of all the UK’s public sector bod...





Making the case for Open Contracting in Healthcare

Making the case for Open Contracting in Healthcare

Transparency International 2017

Transparency International have published a new report on the need for open contracting data in healthcare, which also features https://openopps.com.

http://ti-health.org/content/making-case-open-contracting/

This small paragraph sums up the need for open data in contracting very neatly:

"Transparency is a not an end in itself, but a means of securing engagement from civil society and the private sector. The disclosure of procurement information is only valuable to the extent that it is used. ...





The Power of Positive Bids - Advice from bidding expert Tony Zemaitis

The Power of Positive Bids - Advice from bidding expert Tony Zemaitis

Pixabay

It's always best to be positive when you're bidding for a government contract, it makes you sound confident and assessors will view you favourably.

But how do you get your bids to shine? 

Bidding expert  has put together a great blog on how to inject positivity into your tender responses by using positive language and providing concrete evidence of how you can deliver. His advice is simple to follow and will make a big difference to how you put your bids together.&nb...





Why you should use OpenOpps.com

Why you should use OpenOpps.com

Pixabay

We want you to use us, so we’ve done our utmost to make sure we’re offering the best possible deal for you. Here’s why you should search for opportunities on OpenOpps.com:

  • We’re free to search

    • All our open tenders are free to search for everyone. We have advanced search options so you can search by buyer and industry code. Our fast, efficient search helps you to find the tenders that are relevant to you. This means it’s easier to find the opportunitie...





Open Opps is Free!

Open Opps is Free!

Pixabay

OpenOpps.com now has the world’s tenders to search for free. All you need to do is register and you’ll be able to search unlimited tenders from public sector buyers.

OpenOpps.com has the largest collection of UK public sector tenders available for anyone to search for free. On average, we have 50% more opportunities than Contracts Finder because we find our tenders from over a hundred different tender portals so you you don’t have to!

We’ve always been proud to ...





Experimenting with Organicity - Open Opps’ story so far

Experimenting with Organicity - Open Opps’ story so far

Organicity

Organicity encourages co-creating for smart cities through an exciting new set of tools for working with and sharing data. We’ve been lucky enough to be chosen as an experimenter to test out the platform with a data project designed to improve understanding on public spending in London. We’re now looking for people to test our offering, please get in touch to find out more: contact@openopps.com.

In November, we began our experiment on Organicity and, so far, most of our work has ...





Better search: Tip 1 - Use multiple terms

Better search: Tip 1 - Use multiple terms

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=53787&picture=rainbow-corridor

We've recently updated our search algorithms, so you're going to get fewer tender results when you search, but those results will be more accurate. That's good news, until you get the dreaded "no results" page.

So here’s a tip on how to broaden your search.

Whilst you might call something by a certain name, are you sure that buyers are using the same terms? You might be looking for cleaning services, but some buyers might decide that they’re looking for janitorial services. In t...





Better search: Tip 2 - Drop the quotes

Better search: Tip 2 - Drop the quotes

http://deathtothestockphoto.com

We've recently updated our search algorithms, so you're going to get fewer tender results when you search, but those results will be more accurate. That's good news, until you get the dreaded "no results" page.

So here’s a tip on how to broaden your search.

If you searched for a word or a couple of words that brought up no results, there are a couple of things you can do, firstly if you used quotes around a search term remove them. Our search is strict, so if you enter the search term...





Better search: Tip 3 - Combine with category

Better search: Tip 3 - Combine with category

YuMaNuMa [CC BY 3.0 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yumanuma/5421234992) via Flickr

We've recently updated our search algorithms, so you're going to get fewer results, but those results will be more accurate. That's good news, until you get the dreaded "no results" page.

So here’s a tip on how to broaden your search.

Use the CPV classification in the advanced search to locate opportunities across a whole category.

Categories allow you to explore the area that interests your business, they're a good way to identify the words that are commonly used by buyers in your i...





Better search: Tip 4 - Narrow your search

Better search: Tip 4 - Narrow your search

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/24/Veteran_Affairs_backlog_%282012-08-09%29.jpg/1024px-Veteran_Affairs_backlog_%282012-08-09%29.jpg

We've recently updated our search algorithms, so you're going to get fewer results, but those results will be more accurate.

To narrow down your results even further, here are some tips on how to get more relevant search results.

In our search results, we include results that are related to your search terms, but are not an exact match. For example, search for ‘consulting’ and you’ll see tenders for ‘consultation’ and ‘consult’. This usually makes o...





Better search: Tip 5 - Location search

Better search: Tip 5 - Location search

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Traquair_House_Maze.jpg

We've recently updated our search algorithms, so you're going to get fewer results, but those results will be more accurate.

To narrow down your results even further, here are some tips on how to get more relevant search results.

If you run a local business, you won’t want to see results from all over the country, just ones that are in your area. Our location search means you can restrict your search results to your area.

However, buyers aren’t always very good at explaining wh...





Better search: Tip 6 - Search for a specific buyer

Better search: Tip 6 - Search for a specific buyer

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/77/Pebbleswithquarzite.jpg/1024px-Pebbleswithquarzite.jpg

We've recently updated our search algorithms, so you're going to get fewer results, but those results will be more accurate.

To narrow down your results even further, here are some tips on how to get more relevant search results.

Sometimes you might want to see the tenders from a specific buyer, for example, when you know that a specific Government Department is about to advertise something relevant to you.

We use a strict search for buyer names, which means we only show results where the ...





Better search: Tip 7 - Search for types of buyer

Better search: Tip 7 - Search for types of buyer

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/69/Old_skool.jpg

We've recently updated our search algorithms, so you're going to get fewer results, but those results will be more accurate.

To narrow down your results even further, here are some tips on how to get more relevant search results.

If you want to sell to a certain type of buyer, say local government or NHS Trusts, you can use the buyer search to restrict your results.

Some broad search terms will help you restrict your search to certain types of buyer.

To find local government buyers, searc...





Why transparency is good for government and its suppliers.

Why transparency is good for government and its suppliers.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lemons_(5836497465).jpg

Bear with us for a moment here, we’re going to show you why all Government procurement is prone to failure and what can be done to make it better. 
 
In 1970 the economist George Akerlof wrote a seminal paper called “The Market for Lemons” which analysed the effects of unequal information in the second hand car market. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Market_for_Lemons
 
Akerlof along with Spence and Stieglitz won a nobel prize for their work on...





A rigged system? Corruption in European government buying

A rigged system? Corruption in European government buying

Spend Network

Spend Network features in this new article from the Economist on the scale of corruption in public sector procurement in Europe.

37 businessmen and former politicians are on trial in Spain for directing public sector construction contracts to favoured companies in return for kickbacks including callgirls and Caribbean holidays. The cost to the taxpayer is estimated at €120 million.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority was found to have blocked an American compan...





10 Expert Recommendations for Selling to Government

10 Expert Recommendations for Selling to Government

Pixabay

If you’re an SME wanting to learn how to sell to the UK government, there are few better people to ask than John Fernau. John was the head of procurement for the London Olympics before running procurement for the Home Office. He has now moved to the private sector where his company, Fernau Solutions, offers assistance and support to sell to government.

On Thursday 8th of September, John spoke at a breakfast event organised by Open Opps on Winning Government Business. John provided &nbs...





Completing Tenders - Analysis of Contracts Finder

Completing Tenders - Analysis of Contracts Finder

By Dumitru Rotari. Original uploader was Bogdan salaj at ro.wikipedia - Transferred from ro.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Kurpfalzbilder.de using CommonsHelper., CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5055341

When the new Contracts Finder was launched in February 2015, public sector buyers in England and Wales were required to publish all tenders opportunity notices worth over £25,000. Central government departments and its agencies are required to publish opportunities over £10,000.  The opportunities are in every category including construction, recruitment and ICT. Once the buyers have received bids and awarded a contract, buyers are required to publish details of the cont...





Why good procurement data does more than fight corruption

Why good procurement data does more than fight corruption

By National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy - https://sam.nrel.gov/files/content/documents/pdf/DOE%20Forrestal%20Building%20Rooftop%20PV.pdf ; page 1, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20001886

Much of the focus of the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) has rightly been on the capacity for open data to act as a mechanism for countering fraud, but effective use of the data standard has the capacity to improve operational procurement both within government and externally with its suppliers. Adhering to the standard greatly improves the ability to move, compare and analyse procurement data, it makes record keeping more effective and  strengthens the quality of data held on cont...





Winning Government Business - Breakfast Event

Winning Government Business - Breakfast Event

Pixabay

Open Opps helps find opportunities for your business to sell to government.

On the 8th of September, join us at Sussex Innovaton, Croydon for a free breakfast with John Fernau & Emma Jones.

John Fernau:

  • Former Head of Procurement for the Olympic Delivery Authority

    • Delivery of a huge range of procurements including  on and off park construction, park wide logistics and security, transport, security and other corporate professional services.

  • Former Commercial Direc...





How to engage small business, guidance for public sector buyers

How to engage small business, guidance for public sector buyers

Image credit: Pixabay

Bringing more SMEs into the supply chain requires only small changes in the way buyers operate, but it is an initiative that can’t be ‘tacked on’ to a procurement. Making a tender friendly to SMEs (small and medium enterprises) is something that has to be considered at the outset of the project. Here are ten steps that buyers can implement to help them open up their procurements to SMEs.

  1. Don’t let contracts that are out of the scope of small business. The size of ...





Bid managers

Bid managers

Image credit: deathtothestockphoto.com

The challenge of bidding for public sector business can be a challenging one, many of our customers like to use the services of third-party bid managers or bid advisors. Typically, bid managers are either ex-public sector professionals who have chosen to work on their own, or they have previously worked for large companies, as part of their corporate bid management team.
 
Working with a bid manager allows you to bring in short-term expertise for the duration of a bid, helping you to...





Winning Government Business - Open Opps at the Innovation Eat Up

Winning Government Business - Open Opps at the Innovation Eat Up

Sussex Innovation, Croydon

Ian Makgill of Open Opps shows how to find the right opportunities to win government business. You can watch his talk here and view the slides here.


Open Opps  works from Sussex Innovation Centre in Croydon, which helps innovative businesses to grow. One way they do this is through running monthly ‘Eat-Ups’, lunchtime sessions where you can learn new ways to improve your business. In July, Ian Makgill, founder of Open Opps, and Terri Hudson of Baker Wanless gave a presenta...





How to Implement OCDS — What publishers need to know

How to Implement OCDS — What publishers need to know

Image credit: Deathtothestockphoto

In one year’s time, all UK government contract data for contracts administered by a central purchasing authority, the Crown Commercial Service, will be published to the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS). OCDS is a format for openly publishing public contract data. It guarantees uniformity in this data, making it easy for anyone to compare contract data and scrutinise public contracting.

This scrutiny means OCDS makes corruption much more difficult. This is vitally important be...





Introducing Open Opps

Introducing Open Opps

Image credit: Openopps.com

At Spend Network, we’ve been gathering public tenders for over five years. Now we’re making them available for everyone to search for free. Forever.

That’s why we’ve launched Open Opps: https://openopps.com.

Open Opps is the only place where you can view the world’s tenders for free. We publish tenders from across the globe openly, so you can access a world of opportunities.

We want to make public procurement opportunities open to all. We believe assisting mor...





The 6 golden rules for selling to Government

The 6 golden rules for selling to Government

By Nelson Minar — Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17458582

Globally, public sector contract spending is $9.5 trillion a year (£6.54 trillion). This is a great opportunity for all kinds of businesses from consultancies to caterers, so naturally there is no shortage of advice available. After reviewing dozens of these articles, we’ve stripped them down to these golden rules:

 

1. Know the rules

Before getting started, you must understand the the basic rules governing how to bid for government tenders. Policy papers guide everyt...





Success for Open Contracting at Anti-Corruption Summit

Success for Open Contracting at Anti-Corruption Summit

Image credit: www.gov.uk

Public procurement is particularly vulnerable to corruption. $9.5 trillion a year is spent on public contracts and the Omidyar Network estimates that around 60% of the world’s bribes centre around public contracts.

 

Open Contracting gathers support

Open Contracting advocates were celebrating success at the close of the Global Anti-Corruption Summit held in London last week. 14 countries, Afghanistan, Argentina, Bulgaria, Colombia, France, Georgia, Ghana, Italy, Malta, Mexico, N...





Opening up tender notice data

Opening up tender notice data

Image credit: Deathtothestockphoto

We’re working on a new project to open up tender notice data. We know that there are already a bunch of services offering aggregated tender notices, but we feel that many of them are missing a crucial point: that this data will, increasingly become open.

It is not sustainable for software companies to exercise their copyright over the material published by Government, if you are searching for a construction contract or a cleaning tender, you have the right to access that information in t...





Why is it so hard to find public sector opportunities?

Why is it so hard to find public sector opportunities?

Image credit: US Navy Archives Personnel, Bess Glenn in foreground, August 14, 1942. (catalog.archives.gov/id/3493249)

Why is it so hard to find public sector tender opportunities?

Why is it so hard to find the right public sector tender opportunity for your business? We’ve been looking at some of the reasons.

 

1. There’s a lot of them

We estimate that there are around 2,500 tenders published a week by UK public sector; working on a rolling eight week programme, means that there will be 20,000 live tenders at any given moment. That is a non-trivial amount of data to process without speci...





Why the Open Contracting Data Standard matters

Why the Open Contracting Data Standard matters

Image credit: Unfinished Monorail Suspension Bridge, Malaysia (https://www.flickr.com/groups/urbex-malaysia/)

Open Contracting, a project to encourage the open publication of public sector contracting data, is working to establish a data standard for contracting and procurement data (http://standard.open-contracting.org/). Much of this work has been done by the prolific and highly talented Tim Davies, who is breathing life into the standard.

We’re strong advocates of the standard and will soon be publishing all of the tender data we gather openly and in a format that complies with the sta...






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