A great deal of publicly funded opportunities for agencies are put out to tender. But where can we find them? And when we should be making bids for them?

Alex Footman co-founder of Stephen Alexander, joined us to talk about some of the places we can find these opportunities.

Bids and Tenders: Privately vs Publicly Funded

When we first think about it, publicly funded work doesn’t sound all that exciting. But as Alex notes, this perception couldn’t be more wrong.

“You’ve got everything from education, local authorities, social housing, various types of government agencies, healthcare. And then in terms of the types of opportunities, again, there is a vast array of diversity in terms of the types of briefs or projects that are available in terms of bidding opportunities.

Everything from large-scale web redevelopment, transformation projects, creative and design services. Multi-channel media campaigns, market research and much more.”


Where can I find these opportunities?

So far so good, but how do we get access to this information?

“The good news is, it’s mostly free. You’ve got the government’s own free-to-use public procurement platform which is known as Contract Finder.

It’s a great way of really dipping your toe into this space. It’s entirely free to use.

You can create your own account on the platform. You can also configure your account to receive certain alerts to particular types of opportunities.

It’s a really good place to start, and it doesn’t cost you anything other than the time you have to invest in it.”

“Typically, the vast majority of them are run through third-party portals. The opportunities are advertised on contracts finder. But they’re typically run on another third-party platform.

So Delta, proactis, MultiQuote, and that’s only a small range. There are a vast range of these portals out there. You can also register for free on these portals and also set up alerts for the types of opportunities that are available”


How do publicly run tender processes work?

Once you are registered on these platforms, what can you expect when tendering for these opportunities?

“There’s broadly speaking, three different types of opportunities.

A measured term contract. The awarding organisation is looking to appoint a single supplier. They’re looking for a creative agency or a web agency or maybe an integrated full-service agency to deliver a range of services.

The second type of opportunity is a framework. The contract is over a fixed period. Again, like an individual contract, they may give a fixed value in terms of the budget or range.

And in this scenario, they’re looking to appoint a number of suppliers.

As the opportunities or the individual projects or briefs are released, they’re only sent to those appointed suppliers. You can typically find anywhere between, a couple of suppliers up to 10 plus suppliers will be appointed onto that framework.

The final category in terms of opportunity types is known as a Dynamic Purchasing System or DPS.

These operate much like a framework. The only real distinction between the two is that the deadline for bidding to get onto A DPS remains open until the very end of the contract term.”

You can hear more from Alex’s Bids and Tenders 101 session, plus hundreds of other sessions from agency experts, by joining The Agency Collective.


To find out how, click here.

Alex Footman

Alex Footman is one of the directors of Stephen Alexander.

Stephen Alexander specialises in helping businesses win new work by providing expert advice and support on bids and business development.

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