Fife - Case studies

Community Benefits Supporting Social Impact; Pallet By Design

What Can You Do With Waste Pallets?

When a new lighting contract for Fife Council meant delivery was made on wooden pallets the Procurement Team engaged the assistance of Economic Development to identify an innovative solution to avoid the pallets going to landfill.

Fife Council are aware of the impact their policies have on residents, local businesses and the environment and when a replacement lighting programme was recently procured, it was identified that there was going to be an unexpected surplus of wooden pallets. As the Procurement Team were working in partnership with a number of services across the council on how to implement community benefits within council contracts – it was suggested that this would be an ideal time to put this to the test – Pallets By Design was borne!

By including community benefit clauses, Light and Energy Distribution Limited (who won the new lighting contract) were able to gift pallets to 8 secondary schools in Fife and through collaborative working the Economic Development and Education teams created an enterprising project which saw second year pupils being challenged to design and create an item made primarily from wooden pallets. The Roads & Transportation teams in Fife Council supported the delivery of the programme so pupils could develop their communication and team working skills as they created a product they believed would be desirable for their chosen market. One team per class brought their product to a showcase event to pitch to a panel of expert judges.

Read more and see the winning designs!


Supplier Development Programme; Backing for SMEs

Recent figures published by the Scottish Government revealed that nearly eight out of ten public-sector contracts in Scotland are now awarded to small and medium-sized (SMEs) businesses. In 2017/18, of the 22,000 contracts advertised through Public Contracts Scotland, 17,500 were awarded to SMEs, of which 13,500 were Scottish businesses.

Fife Council’s Economic Development Team has played a key role in supporting SMEs in Fife to tender for public sector contracts. It has delivered this through its Supplier Development Programme, offering business support using training and information to improve the competitiveness of local businesses.

One such SME, which has won a public-sector contract through its engagement with SDP is Secureshred Scotland.   The confidential waste and recycling company, has won Fife Council’s confidential shredding contract, collecting from over 300 locations.

Secureshred Scotland, which employs ten people, engaged with Fife Council Economic Development’s Supplier Development Programme (SDP) with the aim of bringing in new clients. It attended a number of events to understand the bid process and engaged with Business Gateway Fife, to receive Expert Help with its application. The one-to-one procurement support ahead of the tender submission gave Secureshred Scotland the insight and understanding of the public sector contract opportunity.

Fife Business Matters spoke to Secureshred Scotland’s Managing Director, Steven Black, who commented:

“The time and effort that we’ve invested in attending training seminars delivered by the Supplier Development Programme has been extremely beneficial. We got considerable insight and I believe it was instrumental in securing this significant contract with Fife Council.”

Also successful in the procurement process is Anderson Swan Hunter Ltd (ASH). The business, which was formed at the start of this year and is based at the Enterprise Hub Fife in Glenrothes, engaged with the Supplier Development Programme to seek pointers on the tender process. Following this engagement, the environmental consultancy and advisory business has secured its first contract to deliver Expert Help through Business Gateway Fife.

The trio of business women behind Anderson Swan Hunter, have attended a range of procurement seminars and workshops, as well as attending a number of Meet the Buyer events. This has opened doors for the business, generating awareness of its services and ultimately, opportunities to tender.

Eleanor Swan, Director of ASH, said:

“In establishing ASH we strived to create a robust structure from which to build on. As such, we’ve taken our time, and have engaged in a range of professional and business training, including some with Business Gateway Fife and SDP. The advice, support and guidance that we’ve had has been invaluable. We were delighted to secure our first large contract, which was a direct result of engaging with SDP – I’d recommend the programme to others!”

www.andersonswanhunter.co.uk

www.secureshredscotland.co.uk

Through the Supplier Development Programme, Fife Council’s Economic Development Team helps local businesses access work from the public sector. So, whatever your business, products or service, there could be an opportunity for your company to benefit by joining this programme. For more information, please email: Dorothy.smith@fife.gov.uk or visit: www.sdpscotland.co.uk/fife


Supplier Development Programme; taking smaller companies to a larger stage

Cupar-based Horisk Leslie Development engaged with the Supplier Development Programme to transform its tender success.

Software development consultancy Horisk Leslie Development has secured its biggest tender to date with help from Fife Council Economic Development’s Supplier Development Programme.

The opportunity posed by The Scottish Government’s Application Design and Development Framework was significant and had the potential to transform the Cupar-based business’ fortunes over the next few years. So, rather than take a chance, Horisk Leslie Development engaged with the Supplier Development Programme for help, support and guidance with the tender process.

Brian Horisk, Director at Horisk Leslie Development, said:

“Our public sector tender success has always been a little sporadic. Whilst we always had a good technical story to tell and had good solutions to offer, we didn’t seem to be express that in the way buyers wanted to hear.

“The Supplier Development Programme’s specialist showed us a better way to present the business – providing evidence for every claim, including lots of examples and using diagrams and screenshots rather than just text. They also stressed the importance of maximising our score in non-technical sections like workforce matters and framework management.”

Building on its experience from the Framework tender, Horisk Leslie Development has also secured a significant project with Historic Environment Scotland.

Brian added:

“Our success shows that Economic Development’s Supplier Development Programme services can help smaller companies like us to compete on a larger stage.”

Through the Supplier Development Programme, Fife Council’s Economic Development Team helps local businesses access work from the public sector. So, whatever your business, products or service, there could be an opportunity for your company to benefit by joining this programme. For more information, please email: Dorothy.smith@fife.gov.uk or visit: www.sdpscotland.co.uk/fife


Bidding Better

Seeking out new business opportunities or even knowing where to start can be daunting. But, for one local company the frustration of missing out on a local contract, was the prompt it needed to join Fife Council’s Supplier Development Programme.

McDonald Engineers UK, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of hot water storage solutions for a wide range of domestic and commercial installations, is reaping the rewards of engaging with Fife Council Economic Development’s Supplier Development Programme.

From a feeling of frustration, believing it was missing out on local contracts, McDonald Engineers UK has transformed its fortunes and is now celebrating two new contract wins. This is the direct result of engaging with the Supplier Development Programme, which offered expert training, support and information to help it win work and grow the business.

As part of the process, McDonald Engineers UK’s Public Contract Scotland (PCS) presence was reviewed and a number of improvements identified in its tender process.

Bill Stewart, Managing Director of McDonald Engineers UK, said:

“Having missed out on local work, we took positive steps to engage with Fife Council and its Supplier Development Programme and have turned our fortunes around.

“In a short space of time, we’ve hosted a visit from Fife Council Procurement to showcase our products and services; met with key Fife Council personnel to discuss the challenges facing local, innovative companies; and worked on improving the quality and performance of our tenders. All of this has resulted in us winning two new contracts to provide hot water cylinders in primary schools in Fife.”

McDonald Engineers UK, which has over the years seen its Scottish sales drop from 90% to around 50% of its annual sales, will continue to engage with PCS to further improve its tender processes. This, and regular engagement with Fife Council’s Economic Development Team, will ensure it’s ready and easily accessible to local buyers.

Depute Council Leader Councillor Lesley Laird, spokesperson for Economy and Planning, added: “Having visited McDonald Engineers UK, I am hugely impressed with the quality and standard they have achieved through continual innovation and investment in the organisation.

“We’re working with local companies in a whole host of ways to help make Fife the best place to do business. Part of that work is to give support and advice to ensure that Fife companies have the tools and skills they need to compete for important contracts. Our Supplier Development Programme helps small and medium sized business become aware of the opportunities that could exist for them from the public sector, and ensure that they are ready to seize new opportunities.”

Through the Supplier Development Programme, Fife Council’s Economic Development Team helps local businesses access work from the public sector. So, whatever your business, products or service, there could be an opportunity for your company to benefit by joining this programme. For more information, please email: Dorothy.smith@fife.gov.uk or visit: www.sdpscotland.co.uk/fife


Fife Company L & M Plumbing and Heating wins place on Scottish Government Warmworks framework

L & M Plumbing and Heating are the sole Fife company to win a 5 year contract on the Scottish Government’s Warmworks framework to provide insulation, efficient heating and renewable technologies in the homes of households who are struggling with the cost of high energy bills

The Kirkcaldy- based company, has over 25 years’ experience providing plumbing and heating services, joined the council’s Supplier Development Programme (SDP) in February 2015 and have attended several different training workshops to build and enhance the skills of their organisation.

Attending several procurement workshops and gaining access to Supplier Development Programme’s network with both Fife Council procurement and local procurement specialist’s has provided invaluable support.

It’s this relationship with SDP and building on the benefits of being involved with the Programme organised by Fife Council’s Economic Development Team which has added up to big differences for the company in accessing public and private sector markets.

But their impressive success in Warmworks framework perhaps speaks for itself!

Stevie MacDonald, at L & M said: “This is a great achievement for L & M Plumbing and Heating. Through Supplier Development Programme I have gained more knowledge of the tendering process and gained access to local procurement specialists.”

“We are now a Pas 2030 and Safe contractor accredited company.”

“The contract has allowed us to create an office manager who was unemployed due to redundancies at his last job. We are taking on a local 17yr old school leaver who applied for a plumbing apprenticeship and an and a 25yr old who would like to retrain as an Electrician. So it has been very beneficial not only for us but for the local community as well.”

For more information and to register for the Supplier Development Programme to open up new opportunities for business, log onto http://www.sdpscotland.co.uk/fife or by emailing Dot Smith at Fife Council’s Economic Development team on Dorothy.Smith@fife.gov.uk


Matrix Fife – Maximising opportunity Matrix Fife Logo

FIFE based Social Firm, Matrix Fife, is building upon the support, guidance and benefit of improved access to the procurement networks offered by participating in Fife Council’s Supplier Development Programme (SDP). The Dalgety Bay-based company, formed in 1991, has 44 employees; 37 of whom are supported through the Work Choice programme.

The company has attended several workshops SDP workshops since 2013 including “Meet the Buyer” events, “Find it, Win it, Keep it” workshops and has accessed the “Expert help” initiative.

This helped them win a place on the Scottish Government Supported Business Framework to supply furniture and associated products and to hold a showcase event in their premises for procurement staff. With a passion for investing in their staff and an average score of 9.8 out of 10 via Trusted Trader, an impressive client list including Scottish Enterprise, National Library, Scottish prison services and City of Edinburgh Council means Matrix Fife has a lot to be proud of!

The confidence gained through SDP support has enhanced the ability of the company, which supplies high quality bespoke products, traditional and contemporary furniture to public sector, private sector and to the general public, to bid for contracts.

Iris Kernaghan, Manager at Matrix said: “The relationship with SDP has really helped Matrix at every stage of the tender process. The support and guidance received as part of SDP has given us more confidence to face the challenges in bidding and successfully win contracts for the business.”

“Our unique selling point is that we happen to employ people who have disabilities or health issues which had made it difficult or caused a barrier for them to find employment in the open market. This means that by purchasing from Matrix Fife, as well buying high quality products, business are fulfilling their Corporate Social Responsible obligations.”

In 2015/16 Matrix will be working towards ISO certification which will open new markets for further tendering opportunities.  .

For more information and to register for the Supplier Development Programme to open up new opportunities for business, log onto http://www.sdpscotland.co.uk/fife or by emailing Dot Smith at Fife Council’s Economic Development team on Dorothy.Smith@fife.gov.uk


Fife Company Extant Exhibitions wins Fife Council Market Development Programme tender worth over 50K

FIFE company Extant Exhibitions has successfully tendered with Fife Council’s Market Development Programme to design and construct exhibition stands for Fife Council at various events throughout the UK.

The Glenrothes- based company, who have been designing and building bespoke exhibition stands for over twenty years throughout the UK and Europe, joined the council’s Supplier Development Programme (SDP) in August 2013 and have attended several different training workshops to build and enhance the skills of their organisation.

Attending Maximise You Tender Score, Value Add and Innovation, Expanding your Procurement Horizons workshops and receiving support through SDP’s Expert Help programme have proved a useful investment of time for Extant Exhibitions.

It’s this relationship with SDP and building on the benefits of being involved with the Programme organised by Fife Council’s Economic Development Team which has added up to big differences for the company in accessing public and private sector markets.

But their impressive client list including public sector organisations and private sector companies perhaps speaks for itself!

Duncan Copper, at Extant said: “I wish to extend my gratitude to Kieran Hunter and colleagues, Fife Council, for the support and guidance given to my Company with regard to Procurement procedures. Talking through the different aspects with someone that that has a great deal of knowledge regarding Procurement has been very helpful, as this can be quite a daunting task, knowing what is acceptable and also what is required with regard to certain aspects of the whole procedure.

“Also the guidance given with regard to attending relevant workshops and where to access these has also been beneficial.”

“Again many thanks for all the help and for listening to my concerns.”

For more information and to register for the Supplier Development Programme to open up new opportunities for business, log onto http://www.sdpscotland.co.uk/fife or by emailing Dot Smith at Fife Council’s Economic Development team on Dorothy.Smith@fife.gov.uk


Glenrothes based Keela’s success recognized through a featured Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) case study

For almost 30 years, Keela, based in Glenrothes, Fife, has been designing and manufacturing high-quality outdoor clothing to meet the demands of those who love to get outdoors as well as professionals who demand the best protection from their clothing while working in the elements.

The business prides itself on continual innovation and development of technology to produce fabric systems which deliver complete protection and well as outstanding performance and comfort.
With a reputation for tried and tested products, Keela’s customer base include retail customers, B2B police and fire and rescue services, armed forces from around the world, as well as mountain rescue teams. In fact, Keela has been announced as the official sponsor of the UK and Irish Mountain Rescue Conference 2014 – The Gathering, which will be held in Aviemore and is the sector’s premier event. Keela has worked closely with mountain rescue professionals for a number of years to help develop clothing suited to the extreme conditions faced by teams.

Keela is a regular user of the PCS service and sees it as a valuable tool to be able to engage with public sector buyers and ensure that it is not missing out on contract opportunities. It attributes approximately 60 per cent of its £10 million turnover to public sector contracts.

Samantha Fernando, sales director for Keela, said: “Keela caters for a range of sectors across the UK, Europe and globally. As a Scottish-based company, we are keen to engage with public sector buyers across the country and have had success in securing contracts with Police, Emergency services and Tactical forces both in the UK and Worldwide. We are able to offer a range of clothing, including PPE technical garments, which are ideally suited to public sector organisations and professionals working in the field.

“PCS is a very straightforward service to use – the email alerts are particularly useful as we can easily keep track of opportunities which are relevant to us. Being able to compete for Scottish public sector business is a vital part of the business mix and PCS allows us full access to potential contracts.”

For more information and to register for the Supplier Development Programme to open up new opportunities for business, log onto http://www.sdpscotland.co.uk/fife or by emailing Dot Smith at Fife Council’s Economic Development team on Dorothy.Smith@fife.gov.uk


Coming to a Road side near you – New business for Dalgety Bay company thanks to Supplier Development Programme

Fife Council launched a new type of road marker in March 2014 thanks to a pitch from Dalgety Bay company, Sign Plus, who decided they had an innovative new system to offer.

The new Flexstake markers are high-impact, traffic resistant posts, signs and markers which can take up to 100 traffic impacts at 55 miles per hour without damage. The markers are made of colourful polycarbonate with an anchor device which keeps them safely in the ground whatever the soil conditions are. It is expected that the trial will show these new markers to be a more durable and practical alternative to existing markers.

The pilot scheme came about following a proactive pitch from Sign Plus, whose staff had attended Supplier Development Programme (SDP) workshops on procurement in the public sector. The SDP workshops and events are organised by Fife Council’s Economic Development team to increase business readiness to tender for public and private contracts.

Jennifer Breingan from Sign Plus registered for the SDP programme last summer and attended a couple of events about working with the public sector. A procurement surgery and product demonstration was then held in the autumn for Sign Plus to show their Flexstake markers to representatives from Fife Council’s Corporate Procurement and Transportation services.

Jennifer said, “I doubt we would have approached the Council to pitch our products without the knowledge we gained at the SDP events. It was really useful to learn how a tender process works and how to add value to bids. And it was all free of charge!”

Cllr Lesley Laird, Fife Council’s executive member for Business, Enterprise, Economy & Planning, said, “When out visiting businesses in Fife one topic that is always raised with me is what can the Council do to better support the local business community? This programme is looking to do exactly that. We want to make sure that businesses in Fife have the opportunity to supply their products and services to the Council, so I am sure that this programme will be of interest to many of our local businesses. I would encourage them to get registered and take advantage of the free training and advice on offer. Companies really benefit from understanding how the procurement process works. It helps their bids stand out more from the competition and it shows they are already prepared to take on work. Registered Fife businesses can also come along to Meet the Buyer events where there are opportunities to talk directly to buyers from public and private sector organisations.”

For more information and to register for the Supplier Development Programme to open up new opportunities for business, log onto http://www.sdpscotland.co.uk/fife or by emailing Dot Smith at Fife Council’s Economic Development team on Dorothy.Smith@fife.gov.uk

Contact Details

Dot Smith

Call: 03451 55 55 55 ext 492175

Email: dorothy.smith@fife.gov.uk

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