The world is in the midst of a technological revolution that is changing the way we do everything. In the public sector, there are a number of emerging technologies that both governments and businesses are using to streamline processes. Public sector tenders, the procurement process, and selecting partners for government projects are all going to be impacted by these technological developments.
If you are considering bidding for a public sector tender, and working with the UK Government in the future as a supplier of a product or service, then you need to know more about how these technologies are changing public sector tenders.
The UK Government has implemented the Transforming Public Procurement Programme to improve and develop the ways that public procurement is regulated in order to give the UK taxpayer better value for money. The new procurement standards will also help the government to identify suppliers that can offer social, environmental, and economic benefits to local UK governments and communities while also adhering to diversity, equity, and inclusion targets.
There were four sets of public regulations related to government procurement; the Public Contracts Regulations of 2015, the Utilities Contracts Regulations of 2016, the Concession Contracts Regulations of 2016 and the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations of 2011. These will now be replaced by a single, streamlined regulatory framework that will not only speed up the procurement process but also ensure that suppliers are maintaining environmental and social targets while providing value for money to the taxpayer.
Government tenders are published online as e-procurements for businesses to read and build their bid around. You can access the latest government tenders at Supply2Gov which can notify you when new B2G tenders are released. This gives you as much time as possible to assess the tender and decide how you can satisfy the tender while also achieving the environmental and social goals of the government and the local community. As a part of the new, unified procurement system, suppliers will only have to give their core credentials once, so it is important to ensure your future bids contain this information to help all your bids going forward.
Data-Driven Procurement Practices
Information technology is rapidly changing the world around us. Many businesses across all sectors are harnessing the power of the data they generate through operations to streamline their practices and offer better value for money to their consumers. The UK Government is no different. It is now beginning to use the power of data analysis to shape its tenders and target investment to the areas in which it is needed the most.
Businesses of all types that intend to bid for and complete government tenders also need to use data analysis and include it in their bids as evidence that they understand the requirements of the government. Your results need to speak for themselves, and can be a unique selling point for your company and why it should be awarded the contract. Using data to convey your proven performance communicates that you are a reliable, consistent, and data-focused business that the government can work alongside to achieve its goals.
Getting your messaging right in your bid is key to your success. You need to demonstrate that you understand your business and the work you will complete or the product you supply will impact the government as a whole, as well as local stakeholders. The messaging you use should also show that you are working with your suppliers and workers who are aligned with this vision, and will be doing their part to deliver the project on time and in line with the demands of environmental, social, and EDI responsibilities.
The National AI Strategy
Artificial Intelligence technology is making sweeping changes across the world, and government procurement is one of them. AI can be utilised to speed up parts of the procurement process and allow both local and central governments to produce tenders more quickly, and also make data-informed decisions in a shorter amount of time. This is already having an impact on how and when government procurement tenders are released and how quickly the government accepts a bid and assigns a business to the contract.
The UK Government’s National AI Strategy was updated in late 2021, and the effects of this update are still being felt across the public sector. The aim of the National AI Strategy is to strengthen the UK’s investments in Artificial Intelligence and recognise the opportunity it presents to increase productivity, reduce waste, and nurture innovation. This government strategy also aims to incorporate AI technology further into the public sector, with particular attention paid to generating tenders and selecting partners for government projects. The hope is that this will increase the effectiveness of the procurement process and lead to innovative solutions for government projects.
All of the commitments that are outlined in the National AI Strategy hope to make the procurement process even more transparent to suppliers and make tenders more accessible to a wider range of businesses. If the UK Government is able to deliver the goals stated within the National AI Strategy, suppliers will feel protected and supported as they make bids for tenders as they will be using a system that is both stable and trustworthy. Decisions will be made by code and algorithms rather than civil servants or ministers that may have their choices guided by internal and external factors outside of the procurement process.
Procurement And The Blockchain
In previous eras, the UK Government has gained a reputation for being slow to act and slow to react to developments in technology. There is a huge effort being made to change that trend and get ahead of the curve as new technologies make sweeping changes to how businesses operate and how people engage with each other and their government.
The UK Government is now completely committed to embracing technological developments and utilising them to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Blockchain technology is one of the emerging technologies that the government has identified as offering some tremendous opportunities to the public sector and the country as a whole.
Early steps were taken to implement blockchain technology to streamline projects in areas like voting, energy supply, and charitable giving. The procurement process is an obvious candidate for blockchain tech as it makes processes easy to audit and monitor while being transparent. The decentralised nature of blockchain technology does pose some challenges for both businesses and the government, and they are going to have to work together to surmount the challenges and achieve better efficiency and transparency in the public sector procurement process.
In the coming years, this technology is going to have a greater influence over tenders and selecting bids. It is important that businesses who intend to bid for government tenders in the future investigate blockchain technology and how it will change the procurement process and their bids for future contracts.
The technology that is beginning to be used today is just the start. Every day, new developments and technologies are being discovered, and they will in turn change the way business is done across the world. Companies need to be flexible and reactive to these coming changes, and be prepared to embrace the technologies to help them win bids, achieve goals, and help create a cleaner and greener future for everyone.