What Public Sector Buyers Want in a Post-Pandemic Britain

The Covid-19 pandemic brought the UK’s economy to a halt, with government figures showing a 25% drop in growth between February and April 2020. Even in 2022, economic recovery in the UK is proving to be precarious and slow.

What’s more, the pandemic has caused the UK news media to pay close attention to public contracts. Faced with this scrutiny, public sector buyers have become more discerning than ever.

For businesses trying to tender, the post-pandemic landscape can present unprecedented new challenges. Public sector contracts are still a great way to elevate your business, but the barriers to entry are higher than before. Now that buyers’ expectations have changed, what does it take to win contracts in 2022?

Keep reading, and we’ll tell you how you can get your business ready for the public sector in post-Covid Britain.

Why Sell to the Public Sector?

Is it still worth it to bid on public contracts in 2022? The short answer is an emphatic yes.

In 2021, the UK public sector earmarked £290 billion for spending on goods and services, procured from businesses like yours. The money for public sector contracts is still out there, despite the impact of the pandemic.

What’s more, the UK government has committed to encouraging economic growth as the country recovers from Covid-19. That means investing in businesses that can deliver value to public sector buyers.

Particularly if your business is on the smaller side, you might worry that there’s no point in bidding on public sector contracts. It may seem like they always go to the same suppliers, or that your business isn’t big enough to make a successful bid.

Put those doubts out of your mind! The benefits of public sector contracts are accessible for businesses of any size, as long as they take the right approach. Here are a few ways you can pitch your business to public sector buyers.

Social Value

In 2020, the UK government published the Construction Playbook. The Playbook is a guide to sourcing and contracting public works and programmes for public sector buyers. Most significantly for businesses looking to tender, it sets out the UK’s commitment to social value in public contracts.

Social value is about how a business delivers its services, more than what it delivers. Public sector buyers have come to expect that businesses will create employment opportunities. They’re also looking for businesses that prioritise safe working environments for their staff.

In particular, the Playbook has taken a firm stance against modern slavery. Incidences of modern slavery and trafficking increased during the pandemic. As a result, UK public sector buyers now expect businesses to manage the risks of modern slavery in their supply chains.

This is more than just talk: since January 2021, tender evaluations will need to weight a minimum of 10% of their scores for social value. Your business’ approach to social responsibility could become the deciding factor in your next public sector bid.

That means it’s time to think about how your business can provide social value. Your next bid will need to foreground your commitment to employee safety and development, as well as the quality of your services. Your access to public sector contracts may depend on it!

Environmental Conscience

All over the world, governments are under pressure to take the threat of climate change more seriously. The UK is no exception. The recent COP26 climate summit hosted in Glasgow shows the UK’s commitment to the environment.

The UK recently introduced public procurement rules aimed at encouraging bidders to commit to the Net Zero Strategy. Any bidders on contracts worth over £50 million will now have to commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. What’s more, they’ll need to include carbon reduction plans when placing their bid.

The most lucrative public sector contracts will soon be unattainable for any business that isn’t taking its eco-obligations seriously. If your business hasn’t already put its environmental affairs in order, now is the time to get ahead of the curve. Being able to show your commitment to a sustainable future will give you a real advantage in dealing with public sector buyers.

Transparency and Integrity

If you or your business have ever dealt with the public sector, you’ll understand the high value the sector places on transparency.

Any purchase that involves public money is open to public scrutiny, and in recent years, the UK public sector has learned this to its cost. The UK has seen its fair share of public procurement scandals, from the collapse of Carillion to the tragic cladding fire at Grenfell Tower.

As a result, no public sector buyer wants to be left open to criticism – especially not because of the dubious transparency of a business partner.

You need to go into any public sector bidding process with your facts straight and your figures clear. If you can show that your business is committed to fairness and openness, you’ll show that your values are aligned with the values of government organisations and public sector buyers. That ideological common ground will go a long way toward recommending your business.

Make a Winning Bid

It’s one thing to know what the public sector wants. Hitting those benchmarks and winning contracts can be a different matter. That’s where we come in.

Cadence Marketing’s data-driven marketing solutions will help you sell your business to the public sector. We use our wealth of contacts and our high-quality data to get your business seen by the people who matter. From market research to live event planning, we’ll be with you every step of the way as you make your winning bid.

Contact us today, and let’s discuss how to get your business where it needs to go.

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