AquAid Wins 1st Contract
AquAid is a supplier of bottle fed, mains fed coolers and hot water boilers. AquAid also works very closely with two charities: Christian Aid and The Africa Trust. The small business is based in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, and has 14 employees. Beginning in May 2019, AquAid will supply 53 mains-fed water coolers at Glasgow Caledonian University. AquAid is SDP’s featured SME business for the month of April 2019.
AquAid began bidding for public contracts in 2017, but struggled to complete the tenders on Public Contracts Scotland and its bids were always unsuccessful. Clare Miller, AquAid National Sales Manager, first engaged with the Supplier Development Programme (SDP) at various events. Clare said: “I attended various events where SDP delivered talks and seminars. These were when I discovered the help and support SDP gives to SMEs, and I booked to attend Meet the Buyer in Edinburgh in June and South Lanarkshire’s Meet the Real Buyer event in November 2018.”
Clare gave more thought to attending training, and after speaking to SDP at a Procurement Event in West Dunbartonshire in January 2019, she booked a place on the “Introduction to Working with the Public Sector” webinar at the beginning of February and on the “Introduction to Tendering” webinar in March 2019. Clare said: “I realised what information is important when completing a tender. I remembered that we were advised not to just write words for the sake of it, but to always keep responses relevant to what we are being asked. Since then, I spend more time re-reading the questions in the tenders and making sure everything is relevant to our business. Through the webinars, I also gained more confidence and increased my understanding of the tenders we are submitting.”
Attending the free webinars offered by SDP training has paid off for AquAid, when it won its first public sector contract in April 2019 to supply 53 mains-fed water coolers at Glasgow Caledonian University. Installation is planned for early May 2019.
Clare said: “I would advise anyone thinking about getting involved with public sector tendering to just make the time at the outset to attend the free training offered by the Supplier Development Programme. The support from the SDP team and trainers is exceptional.”
She continued: “The trainers explain everything clearly and take you step-by-step through the process, and you never feel that any question you may have is a silly one. They also make sure you fully understand everything before moving on. The training and resources SDP gave me have been invaluable and have given me the confidence to submit tenders I once thought I would be unable to do…and we already won our first!”
Read more case studies from the Supplier Development Programme.