Courtney Reed Group provides high quality professional services to businesses of all shapes and sizes, adding genuine value to your organisation through our expertise and experience to improve your bottom line.
Whether you’re looking to uncover talent to hire the highest quality staff or to win large contracts, Courtney Reed Group gives you the help you need to gain an edge over your competition and achieve your growth goals.
As a bid writer and business owner, it’s always good to hear
about positive steps being taken by the public sector to improve the
procurement process, and one such change has just been announced.
The email distributed by Crown Commercial Services this
morning states that:
“From 1 September
2019, any organisation that bids for a central government contract in excess of
£5 million per annum will need to answer questions about its supply chain
management and payment tracking systems. This will include details about
payment practices, processes and performance including the percentage of invoices
paid within 60 days.
Suppliers who are unable to demonstrate that
they have effective systems in place and can ensure a fair and responsible
approach to payment of their supply chain may be excluded from bidding. If you
already publish data in accordance with the Reporting on Payment Practices and
Performance Regulations, you can simply submit this report as part of your bid.”
Whilst this will come as no consolation to ex-employees and
subcontractors of companies such as Connaught, Rok and more recently Carillion,
the move should be seen as a first step in ensuring that contracts awarded by
the government (and hopefully the wider public sector to follow) create a
positive and lasting legacy for SME’s and the wider community.
Having worked for multi-nationals for much of my working
life, I have seen from both sides the great imbalance between the buying power
of large organisations and the ability to enforce payment terms upon them by
smaller suppliers of goods and services. The move announced today may well be a
small initial step but if this sees a wider shift in terms of procurement
processes from local authorities, housing associations and other public bodies,
then it will be a welcome one indeed.
Tendering for public sector business can open up a world of opportunities for new start-ups and SME’s, in all of its various forms. The composition of documentation, from simple Requests for Quotation right through to multi-million-pound opportunities going through the full OJEU tender process, can have a profound effect on the ability of firms to tap into this market, in terms of resource, time and capability.
So what are the key factors holding companies back from getting involved within the public-sector market, and what are the key ways to combat them?
Even for large companies, there are always reasons not to go for a particular tender, but the key is to establish effective decision-making processes and ensure that you understand the likely requirements for a compelling bid within your industry.
For more information on any aspect of tender, call Courtney Tender Services on 0151 601 6263
With St. Valentine's Day fast approaching, we thought we'd take a look at how tendering can be such an emotive word!
The word tender can inspire many different emotions, from outright fear to absolute contempt, depending on an individual’s knowledge, experience and understanding of the process. This gets some people palpitating at the very mention of the word. So, what are the key facts that you need to know to get started in the world of tendering?
A tender is, in essence, nothing more than a bid. You will likely need to provide pricing and a proposal/qualitative response to be successful, and the structure is often quite rigid. Most public sector tenders are governed by European legislation (though this is likely to change following Brexit), and many opportunities are advertised via something called OJEU. This is the Official Journal of the European Union, and any public contracts anticipated to be worth in excess of certain thresholds must be advertised through this.
How do you even find tenders to go for? Well, there are a large number of websites these days that collate information on new tenders and detail how to obtain the tender documents. Some of the more common ones are:
There are many more sites, some location or industry specific, and some research is advised for those companies not sure where to go!
There are several stages of tendering under the OJEU process. Depending on the type and size of contract, any or all of the following could be used
This can look like a daunting process to some companies, leading to the fear factor mentioned earlier. It can take months to complete the tender process but effective planning and monitoring can smooth the path to success.
Finally, no matter how all of the above looks, remember that there are people standing ready to help! WE LOVE TENDERS!!!
Give us a call on 0151 601 6263 or 07958 566 154 to find out more about how we can make tendering easy!!
From politics to the weather you can’t fail to notice that we are in a state of widespread change now. Brexit, a new US president and even the size of Toblerones … change is inevitable and the fear of the unknown is a phenomenon that most of us can relate to. However, when it comes to business, it can be one of the main factors that can hinder growth and prosperity.
Through our tender -support services, we work with business owners and managers on a daily basis, who are applying for large-scale tenders for the first time. It fascinates us to discover the reasons why many successful businesses, who are so clearly capable of winning lucrative tenders, are not throwing their hat in the ring more.
Our experience would suggest that one issue that crops up over and over again is fear of failure. You may have to fill in forms, make a pitch, do a fancy presentation and people may snigger, right? What if you mess up and then don’t get it anyway? What’s more, you may not be sure if you can deliver the requirements for the entire lifetime of the contract.
As business owners, we are not particularly good at blowing our own trumpets, so an important activity to make sure that you do regularly, is reflect on and review your progress to understand how much you have accomplished and how far you have come. It is also time to let go of the idea that you always need to be 100% perfect. Sometimes, it is essential to take risks to reap the rewards.
Perhaps, you are busy enough? It Is hard to find enough time in the day to get through your ever-growing list, let alone find time for a work/life balance. Taking the time to build a winning team can be the difference, whether that be staff members or freelance delivery partners. The peace of mind that comes from knowing that you can pull a team together to pull off any project places you in a strong position and ready for take-off.
Another old chestnut – you don’t know where to start, or don’t know the difference between a poor tender and a good tender. A poor tender can often be caused by a business not having the correct guidance during the preparation. From errors to stating the benefits with supporting evidence, a few small tweaks and changes in your approach may be all that it takes. And rule number one – always read the documentation fully to understand what is required of you.
In short, when it comes to the things that are holding you back, we have seen and heard it all; every client needs our help for their own individual reasons. Initially, a friendly discussion will establish your development needs. At that point, we will walk you through a range of affordable options from ad-hoc support to our fully outsourced bid service. Ready to feel the fear and do it anyway? Contact us today on 0151 601 6263 for more details.
Here at Courtney Reed Group, we take customer feedback seriously, so a recent recruitment testimonial got us talking. The kind words could not thank us enough and went on to explain how our valued client felt that we had gone the extra mile in filling a high-level vacancy recently.
Unless you live under a rock, those in business now understand that exceptional customer service must extend across all areas of operations. Let’s face it though, customer focus can be a buzz word that we come across on about us pages, mission statements and pictures on the wall. But despite our firm commitment to service, it still begs the obvious question, how do you walk the walk and deliver customer service that blows your clients away?
It was time to put ourselves on the spot, and it started a lively office conversation where we reviewed our testimonials over a much-needed cup of tea. For the first time in a long time, we imagined that we were in the hot seat; nervously sitting in the interview chair being asked to highlight the best points about our business. The pressure was on.
Just under an hour later and we nailed it down to several key points. We believe that it starts with relationships. With an ability to meet the varied needs of a wide customer base, we understand that one size does not fit all, so we take the time to get to know our clients. Ask us to fill your vacancy, and we want to hear all about you, your business and the role – and we make no apologies for the fact that we don’t stop until we have what we need.
Secondly, we are with you all the way and won’t waiver. Industry knowledge, access to talent pools, end-to-end solutions allow us to provide our services. We are particularly proud of our robust processes, honed over decades in the industry, and many clients mention that it is what sets us apart from the competition.
Investment in our people is another cornerstone and with trainee recruitment consultants and a well-established apprenticeship programme, we have developed a culture that supports the growth of the business and our employees.
Finally, we are not afraid to listen and will always accept your feedback fearlessly. Regular engagement and reviews will help us stay on top of any concerns and continuously improve. In person, on social media, on the phone, we’re ready and we’re listening. Let’s keep talking.
We don’t need to remind you; that time of the year is fast approaching and today, 1st December marks the day when lots of little (and big) children will start ripping open the doors on advent calendars in a countdown to the big day.
But when it comes to doors opening, here at Courtney Reed Group, many of our new business opportunities come from networking. Attending events and meeting old and new contacts plays an integral part in our professional development and at this time of the year, it’s a perfect opportunity to give thanks for this brilliant promotional channel.
As members of a well-known business networking chapter and regular attendees at one-off events, we are now well-versed in reaching out to the business community and like nothing more than enjoying the company of others. For us, there is something magic about meeting people from different industries, careers levels and even visiting new venues. For us, the excitement comes from never knowing who you are going to meet or where it may lead. It sounds like a cliché but every moment is an opportunity to change the course of your life and business. We have seen it happen.
And it is not all about business cards, networking is a great time to have fun and share knowledge. All around us, amazing people are doing amazing things every day, quietly excelling at their own specialities. We understand that it is our privilege to meet so many and find a ready-made selection of inspirational mentors. And for those who entrepreneurs who are newer to the circuit – nothing feels better than helping new businesses along the way.
Mixing and a mingling happens all year around here. If networking is in your new year resolutions, we hope to bump into you soon or If you would like an informal discussion on your recruitment or tender plans for 2017, get in touch today.
Brexit came as a shock to many business people, myself included, with the uncertainty surrounding both the process of exiting the EU and the British economy in the meantime dominating many people's thoughts.
Many British companies are now no doubt evaluating the likely impact of the decision on their business, whether it be trade with EU-base customers, procurement from EU-based suppliers, or industry specific nuances that may be affected. But how will leaving the EU affect procurement legislation within the UK once Article 50 has finally been invoked and the 2-year period expires?
The first thing to mention is that nothing will happen for some time yet, and so companies that have spent years coming to terms with OJEU processes and tendering methodologies need not worry in the short term.
The UK has, over the years of our membership of the EU, taken a leading role in development of the European procurement directives that have guided our own UK legislation. For this reason, it is unlikely that, after Brexit, we will experience much change anyway, given that we have agreed to and indeed proposed much of the content ourselves. Whilst there may be some changes to contracting thresholds, minimum turnover requirements, evaluation methods and the like, these are unlikely to be earth shattering in size.
Current contracts procured via the current Public Contracts Regulations 2015 will not cease to exist once any new legislation is eventually enacted, since the contracts are held between the purchasing authority and the provider. This includes contracts for goods and services with central government bodies such as the MoD and Crown Commercial Services. So long term arrangements in place now will remain so following Brexit (assuming they don't expire by the time this happens of course!) and extension periods can still be granted based on current contractual agreements. This last point is an important one, as it could bring extra reward in the form of certainty for the provision of service excellence.
Overall the message is one of 'Don't panic!' and carry doing what you're doing. Even when (and if) change does come within the UK public procurement landscape, it won't be huge, and it certainly won't be for some time yet.
If you’re unsure about where your business stands with regards to bids or current contracts, give us a call now on 0151 601 6263
Today marks a new chapter…
Courtney Reed Group has today unveiled a new identity, logo and website as part of a corporate rebranding initiative. The development, started earlier this year, was undertaken to support our evolution, set out a vision for the future and provide the best business services to meet our ongoing client needs.
After launching the business in early 2015, we are delighted that Courtney Reed group is now recognised as one of the leading local names in recruitment and tender support services. With a new office in the business district of Liverpool City Council, the rebrand coincides with a period of strong growth after seeing a sharp increase in new and repeat clients in both of the key areas of the business, that exceeded revenue projections.
As we change as a company and grow to encompass other services, we are happy that the brand now brings our services together under one masthead and creates a cohesive message for our engaged and loyal audiences. These are such exciting times for Courtney Reed Group and we felt that the time was right to invest in our communications strategy. It’s all about our clients for us, and we developed so much in our first year that we wanted to create a more prominent brand to underpin our values and strengthen our online and offline messages.
Along with a fresh new look, the new website offers easier navigation, improved information and swift access to vacancies. But today is just the beginning and we would love to hear your feedback so that we can make our site and services even better. Please take the time to have a look around and thank you; we are delighted that you are able to join us on our continued journey.
Find out about the company before you go
Information is so easily accessible these days that there’s really no excuse for not doing a little research into the company you’re being interviewed by before you go in. Google them, spend some time on their website, read any blogs or press releases you might find, just have a little look around and get a feel for their business
What’s the job?
Make sure that you have a clear understanding of what the role involves, try to get hold of a copy of a job description if possible. If one is not available, read over the job advertisement to absorb any detail you can, and if possible, have a chat with the person who has arranged the interview for you about the role and the duties/responsibilities involved. Get it clear in your mind, so you’re not caught out when discussing it.
Don’t be late!
Being late for a job interview sets the wrong impression immediately, meaning that you start at a disadvantage when it comes to making a good ‘first impression’ as the interview gets underway. Find out where it is, how you will get there, how long it will take you, and allow plenty of time to get there. Respect the fact that the interviewers may be working to a tight schedule on the day of your interview, so your lateness might cause issues throughout the day for them.
What are you wearing?
Plan in advance what to wear. Make sure that you are presentable, in your best interview clothes. Make sure that they are clean, neat and tidy, and appropriate for the job you’re being interviewed for.
Although you might be a little nervous, and be trying to think of ways to come across in the best way possible, don’t let these thoughts allow your mind to wander during the interview. Try to remain focused on the person speaking to you, on what they’re saying and asking you.
Answer the actual question
So you’re listening intently, and you understand the question being asked. Make sure that you answer that actual question and don’t go off on a tangent, over explaining perhaps irrelevant things. Adding a little extra detail here and there is no problem, but giving details which don’t answer the question is a big no no.
Why should they pick you?
At some point during the interview, the interviewer might ask you why they should pick you. Be prepared with a great answer. Think about what they might want to hear, think about your genuine answer, think about why you would be an ideal fit for the role, put it all together and create a great answer before you go to interview.
Show how interested you are
If an interviewer has seen a number of people for a job as well as you, and has shortlisted 2 or 3 people including yourself, often one thing that can make a world of difference is you explaining how interested in the role you are. Don’t take up 10 minutes telling them how much you really want the job, just simply express how you feel about the role, about the prospect of getting the job and why you would like the job so much. Enthusiasm for a role expressed correctly might just get you over the finish line!
Take deep breaths before you enter the interview room, and try to tell yourself that these people talking to you are normal, everyday nice people. They are not trying to catch you out, they are simply trying to find out a little about you, so relax, let the conversation flow and ………
A good interviewer can see past your nerves, and will be looking to try to see the real you, so try to let that show.
Courtney Reed Group
No 1 Old Hall Street