Tribe 101 wins Diaspora Contract with the Welsh Government’s International Relations & Trade Department

By News

Tribe101 are the World’s Leading Diaspora Engagement Platform with a global network of Diaspora learning and engagement sites.

The company tendered to the Welsh Government’s International Relations & Trade Department for a project to engage the Welsh Diaspora around the world. The aim of the project was to make 500,000 diaspora connections over the term of the 3 year contract using digital communications methodologies.

Tender Team were contracted to provide support and consultancy to Tribe101 delivering a successful tender submission.

“Wayne was instrumental in our company winning a large multi-year Diaspora engagement contract with the Welsh Government’s International Relations & Trade Department. As the contract was the first of its kind, Wayne’s extensive experience in Government contract negotiations was key to ironing out the details for both ourselves and the Welsh Government. Simply put, you want Wayne in your corner when you are negotiating significant Government contracts at the highest level”.   Stephen Treacy, CEO, Tribe101

 

You can check out the TEDx talk from Tribes101’s, Stephen Treacy which is now ‘promoted’ onto the main TED platform here:

https://www.ted.com/talks/stephen_treacy_the_art_of_diaspora_whispering

 

Dogpatch Labs win NDRC Contract

By News

Following a public competition, Dogpatch Labs was awarded a €17m, 5-year contract to run the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC), this was their biggest single contract secured to date. This contract was awarded following a Competitive Dialogue process that took place over 12 months and involved the coordination of multiple parties, meetings and formal presentations of documents as well as a series of commercial negotiations. Comment from Patrick Walsh, CEO, Dogpatch Labs. “Eoin Lonergan was our retained tendering advisor here throughout and he was invaluable in supporting us successfully navigate the complexities and challenges of the Competitive Dialogue process. I greatly appreciated the depth of his domain expertise, his skill in coaching us and also his willingness to be flexible and available at all times. I would highly recommend Eoin.”

Demystifying the Challenges Around Carbon Footprint Reduction

By News

Despite the turmoil and unpredictability caused by COVID-19, sustainable procurement is increasingly on the agenda for buyers, consumers, employees, and investors, who are demanding that businesses take positive and demonstrable steps to reduce their negative environmental impact. It is incumbent on all organisations to stimulate the provision of more resource-efficient, less polluting goods, services and works within the marketplace.

 

Green Procurement – what is it exactly?

Green Public Procurement (GPP) is a process where public authorities seek to source goods, services or works with a reduced environmental impact. The Government of Ireland’s annual public sector purchasing accounts for 10% to 12% of Ireland’s GDP, a large part of economic activity and demand.

 

The Pressure Is On

Business and social pressure can be immense, with many organisations swamped by the swathes of information as to how to start the sustainable process and what is reasonably expected of them. Choosing the right KPIs allows your organisation to deliver quantifiable, solid and calculable results to gauge your carbon footprint reduction and to suit your firm size. It goes back to the issue of tangible return on investment – results must be measurable in order to sustain interest and leadership in the plan, and to achieve buy-in across the organisation as a whole. A shift in attitude such that carbon reduction becomes inherent in the lifeblood of an organisation’s ethos must occur to make a real difference in what we now face in the years to come.

 

Which KPIs to Choose?

Choosing the right KPIs allows businesses to identify their minimum starting points and areas that can be improved immediately, such as premises and/or working from home, changing to sustainable energy alternatives and usage, waste disposal, LED lighting, staff travel plans, roof garden bee-keeping, growing more plants and creating micro vegetable gardens, but also to communicate impacts and trade-offs of procurement decisions.

It can be tricky finding the balance between cost effectiveness and sustainable development. We need to be sure that what is purchased has minimal harmful effects on the environment and society. Sourcing sustainable alternatives is a starting point. Where items are essential to the business, changing and monitoring demand can involve reducing the number of deliveries required, perhaps opting to take a bigger delivery once a week rather than multiple smaller ones.

 

Delegating Leadership

Addressing carbon footprint reduction might seem like extra workload in already pressurised working environments, with smaller organisations finding it a challenge to properly resource. By empowering environmentally conscious staff members and adding this CSR focused string to their career bows, this can diminish the burden and tick the essential climate action box. Positive reinforcement and rewarding can be achieved within the remit of staff reviews and appraisals. If they feel there’s financial and emotional/conscience-reward, they’ll surely deliver!

What organisations of all sizes frankly require to reduce their carbon footprint is an innovative and collaborative approach, working with suppliers and even competitors to assist in the bigger picture. From experience in advising clients on construction and related tenders, organisations are starting to select subcontractors and suppliers with whom they are aligned in reducing their carbon footprint, thereby setting agreed expectations from the outset.

In the banking sector, organisations are merging to create a central service to collect and distribute important paperwork from high street branches, removing the need for each bank to run their own journeys – creating both environmental and cost savings for all parties. The tenderer’s remit here is to drive the agenda and present potential solutions, which can then be discussed with team members at all levels of the business.

The biggest challenge is often trying to view things differently. Many in tendering and procurement will not have tackled such issues before and there’s no simple guide to assist with key steps on how to become more innovative overnight. It’s a matter of taking small steps each day, and building a sustainable strategy over a 5 year period, which should be reviewed year on year, and amended according to the business trajectory and environmental circumstances as they evolve.

The opportunity for procurement is significant. CEOs are keen to move businesses in this direction, and those in operations will welcome suggestions around specific measures that can be implemented relatively easily. Procurement stands at the heart of how a modern business can go about tackling what is arguably the single biggest issue of our time.

There are organisations specialising in  assisting companies with Sustainability Opportunity Assessment (OA) which seeks to identify, deliver and sustain a sustainability strategy driven by your priorities around social, environmental and cost, risk and revenue impacts. The outcomes are then aligned to your organisation and its sustainability objectives and typically include some or all of the following:

a) Pollution Prevention: Modify your production processes to emit less waste or emissions:

  1. Use non-toxic or less-toxic substances
  2. Implement conservation techniques (use less energy and water at your facility)
  3. Reuse materials, such as production scrap or shop towels, rather than putting them into the waste stream
  4. Reduce packaging and avoid using plastic – materials evaluation considering total environmental burden, sourcing portfolio redesign for minimum total impact.

 

b) Resource Conservation: Resource conservation refers to the practice of using resources such as water, energy, and raw materials efficiently and ethically.

  1. Install low-flow taps and water efficient toilets
  2. Engage employees to be more conscientious
  3. Install automatic light shut off
  4. Use energy efficient light bulbs.

 

Bosh: According to the Bosh website, they have a goal to reduce waste and water consumption by 2% every year.

 

Graphics Packaging: Graphics Packaging has a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the use of non-renewable energy, reduce water effluent at mills, and increase recovery of paper and paperboard by 2020.

 

c) Zero Emissions

Reducing your carbon footprint, greenhouse gases, toxic gases, carcinogenic particulate matter is to reduce your carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to global warming:

  • Reduce waste (this is one way you can reduce your carbon footprint)
  • Consider using EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM), which was designed to help solid waste planners organize and track greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Invest in renewable energy
  • Purchase flexible fuel fleet vehicles, or low emissions vehicles.

 

d) Waste Minimization / Waste Reduction: Waste reduction is the method used to achieve zero waste. You can start with a goal of waste reduction or waste minimization. How? identify and limit sources of waste, promoting recycling or aftermarket and avoiding landfill, enabling circular economy. Switch to a laundering service for your shop towelsmops, gloves, oil absorbents, and filter bags.

 

e) Diversity: Promote the inclusion of ethnic minorities, gender balance and orientation through your supply chain.

 

f) Supplier accountability and continuous improvement reporting on raw material sources and their own sustainability practices.

 

ISO 5001:2018, ISO 50001 supports organisations to use energy more efficiently, through the development of an energy management system.

 

ISO 14001, ISO 14001:2015 specifies the requirements for an environmental management system that an organization can use to improve environmental performance. ISO 14001:2015 helps companies manage environmental responsibilities in a well-defined, systematic approach.

 

In Summary – Your sustainable strategy must hit some key points:

  1. Easy to follow, achievable, and measurable
  2. Your Green Procurement / Sustainability Policy must align with your overall corporate and brand strategy and objectives
  3. It must take into account your clients’ corporate strategies – both business and sustainable

 

The integration of green public procurement principles into the economy through each business’s collective effort will further enhance Ireland’s reputation as an innovative, eco-efficient and forward-looking place to do business.

 

When Tendering – Facts regarding GPP under 2014 EU Procurement Directives

  • Abnormally low tenders must be rejected where this is due to breach of certain international social or environmental conventions (e.g. on protection of the ozone layer, persistent organic pollutants and treatment of hazardous chemicals or waste) and suppliers can be excluded for breaches.
  • Evidence of the environmental management measures which a supplier will be able to apply in the execution of any contract may be requested at selection stage.
  • Technical specifications can be formulated with reference to production processes, e.g. organic agriculture or chlorine-free bleaching of paper.
  • Award criteria may include social or environmental characteristics of the goods, services or works being purchased, e.g. electricity from renewable sources or fairly traded products.
  • Third-party eco-labels can be requested to demonstrate compliance with technical specifications, award criteria or contract performance conditions, provided these meet certain standards of openness and transparency.
  • Life-cycle costing can be applied to measure and compare costs including environmental externalities such as greenhouse gas emissions. Where a common EU method for LCC has been developed (such as for the procurement of road transport vehicles)28 this must be used.
  • Contracting authorities can refuse to award a contract to the operator submitting the most economically advantageous tender where it does not comply with certain minimum social and environmental obligations set out in Annex X of Directive 2014/14/ EU.

 

Sheena Lowey, Director of Operations
Tender Team Ltd.
[email protected]
087 3858793

Tender Team Win for New State Forensics Laboratory

By News

We’re delighted to have worked with Duggan Brothers who were selected as the preferred bidder for the new State Forensics Laboratory (FSL) in Celbridge, Co. Kildare. This new facility will house the recently established DNA database and will provide FSL with a long awaited modern facility, which will ensure the continuing growth and development of forensic science in Ireland.

The Forensic Science Laboratory is primarily a new three-storey development with four wings that radiate from a central four-storey core. Each wing provides a mixture of laboratory and office accommodation on the ground and first floors. The total development has a floor area of 14,585 m2 and will be ready for use in 2023.

Tender Team provided a range of services to Duggan Brothers from strategic planning to tender writing, reviewing and improving, to design and final drafting.

Tender Team assists as Bid Consultant to win €180m contract

By News

Following a detailed tender evaluation process the Eriugena consortium was selected as Preferred Tenderer on 13th March 2015 for the design and build of the Central and East Quad at the Grangegorman DIT Campus. Another success for Tender Team!

The Eriugena consortium consists of the following:

Equity Provider

  • Macquarie Capital Group Ltd.

Construction Contractors

  • John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd.
  • FCC Construction Ireland Ltd.

Facilities Management Providers

  • Sodexo Ireland Ltd.
  • Noonan Services Group Ltd.

The 12-Step Guide to Better Proposals – Winning Proposal Writing

By Advice

Date: 24th, September 2010  Author: Wayne Dignam

Over the years, the lives of many people have changed dramatically as a result of 12- Step Programs like that which form the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The success of these programs led me to look up the steps to see if they—or some variation of them—could be applied to breaking the addiction to bad habits that some fledgling proposal companies have.

At their core, 12-Step Programs seek to represent the human experience in three dimensions: physical, mental, and spiritual. For purposes of this article, we will replace the spiritual dimension with a dimension that we will call “professional,” referring to our growth as professionals in proposal development.

Before going further, let me be clear about one thing: this article is not intended to make light of the 12 Steps. So let us look at 12 Steps for living with the proposal development profession.

Step 1. Admit that you are powerless—that your proposal process has become unmanageable.

Accept your inability to control every aspect of the proposal development process. Every opportunity has factors that are well beyond the control of the proposal manager or contributors. First, our potential customers sometimes delay RFPs or deliver them early with surprises embedded in them (“Hey, that requirement was not in the Draft RFP!”). Sometimes, the delays and surprises work for you, but often they work against you.

Internal issues arise during every proposal effort. For example, a key Subject Matter Expert (SME) may be out of the country, a server may go down unexpectedly, or maybe you have conflicting information from two or more sources. Then there is my favourite: a senior manager decides that his/her review is essential even as you are packing the proposal into boxes to go to the customer. The point is that living the proposal life can be like riding an angry bull: you never know which way you will be jerked next. Admitting that you are powerless moves you one step closer towards sanity and serenity.

Step 2. Believe that a power greater than you can restore you to sanity.

Once you accept that you are powerless, you need to believe that a higher power can help you. That “higher power” could be Tender Team.  Maybe you would prefer to hang your hat on the processes purported by a consultant with a proven track record. The point is to believe that there is a better way and that following that path will lead to sanity.

Step 3. Make a decision to turn your process over to a higher power.

No one is advocating the burning of incense while chanting in a dark corner of your office, but you do need to let go and “Feel the Force.” Relying on something bigger than yourself is a positive step, not an admission of personal inadequacy or failure. Think of this step as making a decision to implement a methodology that has been proven time after time by other people. Since every business is different, you can fine-tune specific practices to suit the needs of your organization, but make a firm commitment to the process you decide on.

Step 4. Make a searching and fearless assessment of your proposal process.

Being fearless is key to improvement. You may have to give up some portions of the process that do not work, but with which you are comfortable. Be brave and dig deep. Do you really have a good way to analyze an RFP, or are you simply parsing pieces to give to authors? Do you really need to print in-house, or are you being a control freak? Question everything.

Step 5. Admit to management, yourself, and your staff the exact nature of your process errors.

If you think you have process problems, do not sweep that fact under the rug. Come to terms with the causes of the problems, and take pride in being able to deal with them in a positive manner. People will respect and admire you for having the forthrightness to admit errors and come up with solutions.

Step 6. Be entirely willing to remove all defects in your process.

Get out of your comfort zone, and be ruthless regarding defects in your process. If one way is not working, try another. Complacency leads to repeated failure, and that means you will lose business repeatedly. By embracing the idea that defects cannot be allowed to stand, you will be empowered to take big steps toward winning more business.

Step 7. Humbly revisit your process’ shortcomings on a continuous basis.

Best-selling author and lecturer Tom Peters once said: “If it ain’t broke, break it!” Every process can be improved if you poke at it long enough and find the fractures. Nearly two decades ago, many of us embraced a program called Total Quality Management (TQM) to identify ways of improving processes on a continuous basis. We actually looked for ways to cause a process failure so we could eliminate the failure point. While you rarely hear of TQM these days, it had some very good aspects to it. They are very similar to what we now see at the heart of newer models, including the BDCMM. Make it a part of your routine to continuously review your processes to see if they can be broken.

Step 8. Make a list of all proposals lost, and be willing to correct process mistakes made in them.

It is easy to rationalize losses: “We did not have enough time,” “Engineering was too busy to contribute much to the proposal,” and so on. But if you do an honest assessment of why you lost, you may find something that can be done differently the next time to improve the outcome. Simply trying harder while expecting a different result is, as they say, the definition of insanity.

Step 9. Make direct improvements to your process wherever possible, except when to do so would make it untenable.

Look at what must be changed, and get on with it! Do not be satisfied with watered-down changes. Be bold! Be decisive! Of course, changes need to be realistic to be effective. In other words, you do not want to put procedures in place that will overextend the capabilities of your organization or complicate your life unnecessarily.

Step 10. Continuously take a process inventory, and, when you are wrong, promptly admit it.

The need for continuous improvement is ever present. What works today on one proposal may not work tomorrow on a different proposal. A consultant’s ideas may have been good 15 years ago, but out of touch with today’s business development environment. Be relentless in your pursuit of perfection, but realistic enough to know that you will never achieve it. When you try something that does not work, admit it to yourself and those around you so everyone can benefit from the error. Remember, it is a sign of strength—not weakness—to admit the error of your ways.

Step 11. Seek, through Tender Team and other learned sources, to improve your access to new proposal process improvement ideas.

Attend conferences, read trade publications, attend related seminars. If you do not expose yourself to new ideas, you will not know if there are better ways to do things. Thirty years ago, nearly every proposal written by any organization began with “[ABC Company] is pleased to present this proposal in response to RFP number… As the leader in [Widget Technology], we feel we are in the best position to provide…,” ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Today, no proposal specialist with an ounce of respect for the profession would let that stand. Indeed, we have learned to shift the focus from how great we are to what the customer really wants, and we teach this to every newbie in our trade. But how did we figure it out?

Step 12. Having had an awakening as the result of these steps, carry this message to other staff professionals, and practice these principles in all aspects of your work.

When you reach this final step, it is time to become an “evangelist” for best practices. When you find something that works well, share it with your co-workers and other proposal professionals, even if they are outside of your company. The more we share, the better our proposals will be, and the easier it will be to prepare them.

Public Procurement Changes – Tender Team Seminar

By News

We’re delighted to announce a new Tender Team event! At this half day seminar you will learn all you need to know about Central Procurement.

The Government is introducing sweeping reforms to how it buys goods and services that will have a significant effect on any company tendering for public sector contracts.

Central procurement will get better value for money for the Government and substantially reduce costs, but how will it affect you? Join us for a half day seminar which will answer all your questions.

What can you gain from attending?

  • Find out about the reforms and how they will impact your business
  • The National Procurement Office and how it will award you contracts
  • Insight into a recent report that is driving the reform
  • What Central Procurement means to you
  • Insight into the new etenders website
  • Preparing for National Framework Agreements
  • How this will affect your tender submissions

Expert Speaker:

Wayne Dignam, Managing Director of Tender Team

Format:

8.30 am  Registration and networking
9.00 am  Overview of proposed reforms and timeframes
10.30am Coffee and networking
10.45am  What contracts will be centralised and when
11.30am  Preparing for these changes over the coming months
12.00pm  Your strategy to win this business
12.45pm  Questions and Answers

Event Details:

Date:      Tuesday 6th November 2012
Time:      8.30am – 1.00pm
Venue:   Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley, Dublin 22
Cost:      €190.00

Book Now

ISO 9001 Certification for Ballycroy, Killeen, Kilmeena Group Water Schemes.

By News

At the presentation of the ISO 9001 Certificate for the Water Scheme were; An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, Caroline Geoghegan ISO Consultant of Tender Team, Sean Corrigan, Group Water Scheme Manager and Michael Ring TD, Minister of state for Tourism & Sport.
The three group water schemes based in County Mayo are the first group water schemes in the country to achieve ISO 9001 certification for their ability to consistently supply wholesome and clean water that meets European Communities (Drinking Water) (No. 2) Regulations 2007.

Public Procurement in Ireland needs reform

By Advice

The public procurement process in Ireland is in need of reform, writes Wayne Dignam.

Click here to download the full article

Defeated England World Cup bid leader Andy Anson recently admitted that there is no point in the country bidding again until FIFA reforms its structure, and said:

‘When you have the best technical bid, fantastic inspection visits, the best economic report, and, from what people told us, the best presentation, it’s quite hard to stomach that all that seemed to count for absolutely nothing.’

England winning the bid would have been great for Ireland too, so we should also be disappointed for the English bid team. This comment from the bid leader is very similar to comments I hear from some companies in the public procurement market. ‘The process of procurement is flawed and badly needs improvement!’ This applies to both buyers and suppliers and the culture in Ireland does need improvement.

Tender Team assists in the preparation of tenders for the suppliers of goods and services to the public sector market in Ireland and abroad. We also help buyers prepare a proper request for tender (RFT) in defining exactly what they are looking for and what type of criteria are important in evaluating suppliers. This covers a tender submission for the provision of legal services, to public relations services, to the construction of a school, to the provision of care services for the HSE. We live and breathe tenders! So what is our experience of the public sector procurement process? There are some companies that produce excellent tenders and have very high win rates. There are some suppliers that have low competency in producing tenders and look at every excuse as to why they are unsuccessful, forgetting about their own tender management capabilities. Likewise, there are some buyers who devise concise Requests for Tenders (RFT) with very clear marking schemes and evaluation criteria and who have a very clear sense of what they are buying and what type of company they want. There are also some buyers who haven’t a clue as to what they want and how to ask for it in the RFT.

In 2010 I witnessed some bad practices from both suppliers and buyers, for buyers these include:

  • Issuing tenders as a beauty parade to appear as if there is an open competition, when in fact there is a supplier already lined up to win the work
  • Devising RFT’s that favour a particular company over others
  • Allowing political interference in the decision of award of contracts
  • Splitting contracts into certain values so they do not need to be advertised on www.etenders.gov.ie and hence comply with public procurement rules
  • Not advertising contract award notices on www.etenders.gov.ie with the winning contract award value, as they are obliged to do
  • Not providing enough information in the letter to unsuccessful candidates. Each letter needs to state the reasons as to why the candidate was unsuccessful. As further clarity, it is recommended to show the score of the candidate against the score of the lowest scoring candidate invited to tender.
  • Not providing enough information in the letter to unsuccessful tenderers. This letter needs to provide the comparison in scoring between the unsuccessful tenderer against the successful tenderer. The name of the successful tenderer also needs to be stated.
  • Not providing information on the standstill period for conclusion of the contract.
  • Making erroneous decisions in disqualifying candidates.
  • Setting unnecessarily high levels of Professional Indemnity Insurance cover for the provision of certain services that should be set with reference to the requirements of the contract.
  • Not properly setting out the requirements in the tender document. This makes is difficult for suppliers to understand the requirements and giving them a fair chance of winning the contracts.
  • Little explanation given as to how the award criteria is applied. How are the weightings attributed to sub-criteria, pass/fail criteria, etc?

Here’s a horror story a construction company came to me with recently:

In a request for tender for the construction of a school, the contractor was asked to provide CVs of personnel proposed, upon being awarded the contract. The question stated that this information was required ‘on request’. Nowhere in the tender document did it state that the contractor had to respond to this particular piece of information or provide any CVs of personnel – only if he was asked on request. However, the contractor was disqualified because he did not state that he could provide this information upon being requested.

Is the contracting authority (buyer) right or is the supplier (contractor) right? Public procurement is highly regulated, so refer to SI 329, SI 130, EU Directive 2004/18/EC, Circular 10/10…etc, etc. Did you find the answer? The answer is that the public procurement process should be fair, transparent, treat companies equally and be proportionate to the requirements of the contract, but often times situations like this arise. The contractor is afraid to burn bridges and the buyer awards a contract ineffectively so how does the public sector process improve? How is the public assured that the best value for money was gained by the buyer who is spending our hard earned taxes? Indeed, where is the accountability for the procurement of goods and services? The short answer is that there is none at present. We need a procurement Ombudsman who can audit buyers, contract awards, and hear from disgruntled suppliers to make recommendations for improvement.
However, it’s not just the buyers that are prone to making mistakes, I have seen suppliers making many mistakes in the procurement process:

  • Including ‘unsolicited information’ like company brochures which could lead to disqualification
  • Not following the format of the Request for Tender, thus making it very difficult for the assessor to make a reasoned decision
  • Becoming overly aggressive with Contracting Authorities and not sticking to the public procurement rules and best practice for requests for information
  • Submitting poor tender answers that do not answer the questions asked
  • Not submitting tenders on time and expecting a contracting authority to evaluate their tender
  • Not being very clear as to what the price proposed includes, and on what basis the proposed price was made

Public Procurement has become a hot topic in many industry sectors in Ireland in the past two years. Due to the difficult economic climate, companies are investing more time and money in their tender documentation to win business to survive. Public sector work appears very attractive as a way to retain staff, gain public sector experience, maintain turnover levels, maintain cash flow, to survive. There is guaranteed payment, now that we know that the State’s expenditure is funded for the next three years!

The State has to look for cost savings across all departments, and The Department of Finance is encouraging Contracting Authorities to look for better value for money in the marketplace. In August 2010 it issued a Circular to all buyers with a list of instructions to facilitate Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) participation in public procurement. With tighter budgets, Contracting Authorities are tendering more projects to more companies to save money and get a better service for their requirements. Whereas in the past a legal contract would have been awarded to one company for a five year period, now legal contracts may be divided into lots and awarded to a panel of legal companies over a two year period. So there is more opportunity for suppliers to win contracts in the public sector.

Back to our unfortunate English colleagues, perhaps in their next bid they’ll make sure to keep the tabloid newspapers from investigating bribery in FIFA and then they may have a better chance of winning. By that stage, Prince William will then be King William, and could FIFA possibly refuse a King? Now that’s a winning tender strategy!

Wayne Dignam BA BAI MEngSc MBS MIEI is a Bid Director with Tender Team, Ireland’s leading bids and business development consultancy. Contact Wayne at 01-6797170