Case Study -
The leading public sector user of Public Contracts Scotland is ensuring businesses across Scotland don’t have to cross any bridges to access contract opportunities in the Kingdom of Fife.
Fife Council is responsible for delivering some £325 million pounds worth of public services through external suppliers per annum. As Public Contracts Scotland’s (PCS) principal user of the portal, the Council is responsible for delivering a significant economic impact to businesses in Fife and across Scotland. An impressive 89 per cent of its contracts have been awarded to Scottish-based suppliers, with 77 per cent of those being SMEs.
The Council rolled out the PCS system to all six procuring departments across the organisation. This involved a high level of engagement and training to ensure the system delivered its maximum benefits. The Council was one of the first to implement the post-box functionality – this replaced a mainly paper-based process creating huge efficiency savings.
Allan Tough, team leader Corporate Procurement, has been with Fife Council since 2007, previously working with the Scottish Government’s e-Procurement team.
He explained: “Since adopting Public Contracts Scotland the Council has seen significant economic and efficiency savings – it has delivered exactly what was intended, an efficient and effective procurement process standardised across the entire organisation benefiting both buyers and suppliers.
“The success of the roll-out was, in large part, down to a high level of engagement with each department before embarking on internal PCS training.
“From a supplier view point, the Council has been able to fully address any previous concerns regarding access to contract notices. Having a single point of access to Fife Council contracts has been a major selling point and has been received very positively by local suppliers.
“We regularly engage with suppliers through Meet the Buyer events. We also deliver training for suppliers and third sector organisations through membership of the Supplier Development Programme. Publicising below threshold requirements through PCS has meant that suppliers are aware of many more contract opportunities than under the previous process. Using PCS also has the added advantage of suppliers being able to view not only Fife’s requirements, but contract opportunities from the whole of the public Sector. ”