Millstream to advise London construction firms on new procurement regulations

Construction companies and material suppliers in the London and across the UK are to be offered help to find new business opportunities and navigate their way through the UK’s new procurement regulations.

UK electronic tendering specialist Millstream is exhibiting at Constructionline’s second annual Meet the Buyer event at The Kia Oval (Surrey County Cricket Club) London on Wednesday 3rd June 2015, which is open to all construction contractors, consultants and material suppliers in the surrounding area, from 8.30am – 2pm.

More than 1000 suppliers and 50 buyers have already registered to attend.

As well as helping to match companies with available tenders, Millstream’s managing director, Tim Williams, will run a seminar on the new regulations, which came into effect at the end of February, and how these impact on private sector suppliers.

The event is being organised by Constructionline, the UK's largest register for pre-qualified contractors and consultants.

Visitors will have the chance to meet decision makers from public and private sector organisations which have upcoming contracts available, including housing associations and local authorities. With key note government speakers hosting seminars throughout the event, on hot topics currently affecting the construction industry.

Millstream runs the Tenders Direct service, which provides private companies with comprehensive information on new business opportunities from the public sector.

The Tenders Direct team manually categorises all tenders to ensure that only highly relevant opportunities personalised to individual preferences and areas of specialism are sent to subscribers every day.

Tenders Direct also provides a one-to-one helpdesk to ensure that customers are finding the tenders they want.

Millstream’s managing director Tim Williams said construction was a major source of tenders in the UK and Ireland.

“We have seen a 12% increase in public sector construction tenders in the UK and Ireland over the last year, with the number of available contracts rising to 14,622 in 2014.

“This includes a higher number of architecture, quantity surveying and other professional services contracts, which may be partly due to more tenders being split into sub-contracts, which opens up more opportunities for smaller private sector suppliers.

“There has also been a rise in renewable technology tenders, including solar panels, geothermal/heat pumps, biomass heating, modern methods of construction (BREEAM, Passivhaus), combined heat and gas and energy efficiency consultancy,” he said.

Around 70% of the construction tenders published by Millstream over the past year have been below the EU threshold of £4.3million, which means they do not need to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

These smaller, but still valuable, contracts are particularly attractive to smaller companies as there is much less competition from major contractors or overseas companies.

The new Public Contracts Regulations 2015 include less restrictive financial criteria and the tender documents will now be published at the same time as the tender notice, which means companies can decide if a contract is suitable without first having to undertake work to get through the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) stage.

It is also compulsory for government tenders worth more than £10,000 and other public sector contracts valued at more than £25,000 to be publicised, making them more visible to potential suppliers.

Tim said time would tell what impact the new changes will have for private sector companies, although some of the changes look set to be positive for SMEs.

“Contracting authorities are now only allowed to ask for suppliers to have a turnover that is twice the value of the contract they are applying for, and tendering documents have to be available from the date they are advertised, so companies no longer have to register interest and then chase the authority for information and updates.

“Buyers are also being encouraged to break contracts down into smaller lots – which should make a huge difference for small companies in the construction sector.

“By attending this Meet the Buyer event we hope to be able to help companies in London  find the right opportunities and then go on to secure the work.”

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For more information and support please speak with one of the Millstream Associates at Constructionline’s Meet the Buyer event, Wednesday 3rd June 2015, 8.30 – 2pm at The Kia Oval (Surrey County Cricket Club), Kennington, London, SE11 5SS