Reflections on our Sell2Wales Masterclass

We’d firstly like to thank everyone that attended and presented at our event – it was indeed a masterclass! The content covered was a real boost for those who could take part.

Our first speaker was Adam Challonder from Trivallis, a housing association based in Pontypridd. He provided some really useful feedback as someone who is responsible for buying services for the public sector on a daily basis.

Of the many points he covered, one thing that stood out to me was that Trivallis buys all of its supplies electronically. So, if you’re not tied into that system, you won’t be able to apply for any opportunities coming up.

Another interesting point was how important it is for suppliers to select the right CPV (Common Procurement Vocabulary) codes when building your Sell2Wales Profile. These codes help to define which opportunities you get notifications on. If you don’t have them selected, you might miss the contracts most suitable to you. 

Guto Carrod from Business Wales was able to expand on this point with a great analogy – you should cast your net widely using the CPV codes. You will have to sift through the resulting opportunities yourself, but at least you know what’s happening in the market in relation to your work. This will help grow and shape the services you offer to the public sector.

Maintaining the nautical theme, Guto also talked about SQuID – the Supplier Qualification Information Database. These are the policies and procedures that buyers want businesses have in place before they even get through the door as a potential supplier.

This would be a good thing for businesses to prepare during a quiet time. Get everything in order and saved in a folder ready for repeat use. Investing time into developing the right policies would reap rewards further down the line.

Finally, both Adam and Guto’s presentations showed the value of personal relationships. It’s really important to know the buyers and their procurement plans so you can best deliver what they need. Do some research on who currently has contracts on Sell2Wales and see if there are procurement contacts available. If there’s anyone in particular you’d like to speak to, let us know and we’ll try to set up an introduction.

If you have any questions about your Sell2Wales profile, procurement opportunities or upcoming masterclasses, please email louise@practicesolutions-ltd.co.uk.

Connect4SuccessRCT – The Story So Far

Connect4SuccessRCT is a foundational economy project in Rhondda Cynon Taf delivered by Practice Solutions. It aims to increase the proportion of goods and services supplied to the public sector by local businesses in the area. In practice, this means we are collaborating with a number of local suppliers to provide the goods that public bodies are procuring, as and when they need them.

Over recent months, the project team have been interviewing decision-makers and community leaders to get a better picture of what this might mean in practice. We’ve used this time to understand the blockages, but more importantly, spot the opportunities that currently exist and where others might be in our post-lockdown future. 

Recent weeks have given us all first-hand experience of what the foundational economy looks like from day to day. Think of all those workers who are busily keeping our communities functioning during these challenging times. They are part of the economy we can’t do without – and will need support and investment going forward. 

It’s been a challenging few months for us all – first the floods, quickly followed by the pandemic – with no time to catch our collective breath. Since the lockdown was announced, we’ve seen a great deal of change, with many examples of community-orientated, need-focused interventions happening all over the place, at times involving the most unlikely organisations who before the pandemic, wouldn’t have considered changing the way they work. It’s been inspiring to see.

The Connect4SuccessRCT project is looking at how we can take the best from this bad situation, operationalise these different ways of working, to deliver reliable and valued services for public sector clients.

My fear is that once our communities and services become unlocked, all the positives that have helped us collectively deal with the pandemic could evaporate. With that in mind, the Connect4SuccessRCT project team needs to work hard to create the policy and political conditions that will strengthen the Foundational Economy of the future. If you want to get involved, get in touch.

For more details contact louise@practicesolutions-ltd.co.uk