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London boroughs lead the way in working collaboratively with SMEs
One of the largest tender portals in London, delivered by an e-procurement business in the North East, is at the forefront of a collaborative working relationship between the London boroughs and their SME base.
The London Tenders Portal, developed by Due North, is used by 15 London boroughs and saw the borough of Ealing sign up to the system earlier this month. It now accounts for almost half of the capital’s boroughs.
The system enables the boroughs to comply with the Government’s directive on collaborative procurement and enables them to engage more effectively with their SME base by consolidating opportunities in one place, while also enhancing transparency throughout the sourcing process.
The London boroughs are dedicated users of the system and they meet up every quarter to discuss the portal, its functionality as well as collaborative initiatives.
More than 17,500 suppliers make use of the portal and they only need to register once, for free, to view all the available tenders before selecting who they would like to work with. To date, over 1100 contracts have been placed through the portal, totalling a value of £4.5 billion.
Richard Leslie, e-sourcing solutions manager at Due North said: “The London Tenders Portal showcased an innovative approach to collaborative working when it launched four years ago and continues to benefit all the stakeholders involved.
“The portal has a first-rate reputation for delivering results as well as minimising both risk and cost to its users, and we hope that other boroughs will follow in Ealing’s footsteps and join this established and hugely successful collaborative environment.”
Mark Cottis, e-procurement consultant at Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham - a user of the portal - said: “We’ve found that the ability to respond to all potential suppliers at the same time when a query is raised, combined with the portal’s very detailed audit trail, are two of its best features. The system is particularly useful as a collaboration tool with other boroughs and third party providers.”
The Borough of Sutton is also signed up to the system. Its procurement manager Rosemary Allen, added: “The London Tenders portal is an intuitive, affordable and paperless procurement solution that boasts a full audit trail. It’s regularly updated to ensure it is in line with evolving procurement directives and regulations, and also provides standardisation for our tendering processes.”