In a post this week, procurement advisory firm Odesma talked about what they believe to be some of the main challenges in public sector procurement that are preventing them from implementing innovation and efficiencies. One of them is ‘engaging local suppliers.’
“With Brexit a couple of months away, it has become paramount that the public sector focuses on engaging local suppliers to meet their requirements. With Britain leaving the European Union at the end of October 2019, supply chains will be disrupted due to price fluctuations and borders. The public sector needs to focus more on bringing local and indigenous suppliers into the fold and also looking at non-EU suppliers.”
As Public Spend Forum has often said, “to foster open, efficient and innovation-driven public sector markets, it is critical to first understand and remove barriers to entry in the market so governments can gain access to the required and most innovative capabilities of both incumbent and new suppliers.”
The problem for suppliers, in reality, is that there are many rigid rules within public sector procurement, which all suppliers must observe. While governments have endeavoured to create digital platforms and marketplaces, and improve the situation for smaller suppliers with faster payment times and committing a larger proportion of contracts to them, suppliers around the world still face overly complex, lengthy and costly procurement processes, onerous legal requirements, insufficient communication between suppliers and government buyers, and of course political and economic uncertainty in many countries. Small suppliers simply don’t always have the resource, time or money to spend on accessing government markets – even when public bodies are committed to engaging more and more SMEs. It’s a conundrum.
For central and local government bodies, they are challenged with not only finding but qualifying vendors and suppliers while ensuring compliance and governance. So it can be difficult for them to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted supply chain, unless they stay with incumbent suppliers and risk stymieing innovation.
So Public Spend Forum will be exploring many of the barriers still facing companies seeking to do business with the public sector market in a webinar on ‘Barriers to Entry: Supplier Perspectives.’ As the name suggests, they will be capturing industry experiences of dealing with governments and will be gathering feedback on some of the biggest barriers many suppliers are up against.
For some insight into similar problems facing emergent, or start-up firms, listen to the main takeaways from another webinar, featuring the perspective of a start-up owner and federal government representatives – which makes for some interesting listening.