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Considerate procurement to feature at Scottish Government's 16th National Procurement Conference

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Attendees at the Scottish Government's 16th National Procurement Conference, due to take place on Tuesday, 27 October, will have the opportunity to engage with supplier views through the Supplier Development Programme at a workshop in the Procurement Skills Zone. Programme Manager Gillian Cameron will host the virtual workshop, and delegates will also hear from Zoe Fance, Service Lead - Procurement at South Ayrshire Council, and one of SDP's expert trainers, Julie Caughey.

"SDP is often asked about how we can share supplier views on tendering back to the buyer community, and we have created a training module with this in mind," said Gillian Cameron, SDP Programme Manager.

"Many of SDP's trainers have walked in buyers' shoes, and fielded thousands of questions from suppliers with this perspective. This know-how proves invaluable within our existing tender training offer to suppliers. SDP's new online workshop offers buyers a unique opportunity to turn procurement practice on its head by considering procurement exercises from a supplier's point of view."

The Supplier Development Programme trains hundreds of Scottish micro, small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) each year, and the feedback is consistent: there are certain aspects that buyers could consider amending to streamline the tendering experience for bidders.

During this workshop, public sector buyers will benefit from turning procurement on its head by considering procurement exercises from a supplier point of view.

"Are your tender requirements proportional to the spend? Can you identify what makes a tender specification inclusive and available to local SMEs and supported businesses? What do suppliers struggle with? What does “good” really look like?"

"These are some of the questions we hope to answer," Gillian continued. "We hope to help buyers consider procurement exercises from a supplier point of view, and share how a positive approach to supplier engagement can help support local suppliers to bid for public sector contracts. It’s a win-win situation, as better tenders equal better bids!”

As part of the session, Zoe Fance, Service Lead - Procurement at South Ayrshire Council, will outline some of the benefits and practicalities of SDP’s early engagement model.

Zoe Fance said: "By proactively including the Supplier Development Programme within South Ayrshire Council's supplier engagement model, we have found benefits that lead to inclusive and sustainable procurement. As a public sector buyer, I look forward to sharing our operational examples of how to include supplier engagement into procurement and to facilitate best practice procurement."

A trainer for the Supplier Development Programme, Julie Caughey of Caughey Solutions Ltd. will lead a practical training session that aims to help buyers with the tools and information they need to build a more inclusive pool of tender-ready local SME suppliers.

Further Information

Considerate Contracting: Writing Tender Documents with the Supplier in Mind can be accessed on Tuesday, 27 October from 3:00pm - 3:40pm in the Procurement Skills Zone at the Scottish Government's 16th National Procurement Conference.

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