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Advice for SMEs wanting to engage with public sector bodies

Earlier this month, we hosted an evening of networking that brought together SMEs and public sector bodies to discuss the value of working together. Here, we share our top takeaways from our expert panel with you. 

1. Demonstrating social value is crucial

Local authorities need to see you genuinely engaging with the public and measuring the social value of equality, diversity and inclusion practice in an innovative way. A public consultation isn’t enough anymore. Be creative and think outside the box about how you can engage with the people your project will affect, whether that be end users or those affected by the actual building work process.

Image shows Perfect Circle MD Victoria Brambini at the #WorkingTogether event

2. Leverage frameworks to build upon existing public sector relationships

Many local authorities already have excellent existing relationships with SMEs and often look for ways to reengage with that SME. However, in some instances the local authority is unable to appoint an SME for a project. Perhaps a firm is unable to report on meeting certain compliance procedures, for example. As a Perfect Circle supply chain partner, you can maintain access to bigger projects; and continue to build relationships with council contacts.

Read more about how this works in practice with Perfect Circle in our SME brochure.

3. Frameworks help SMEs save time

An efficient route to market is a key driver for public sector procurement and frameworks allow for fully compliant, direct awards. By engaging with frameworks, SMEs can significantly reduce the lengthy and costly tendering process.

4. The public sector is crying out for SME involvement

The government aims to have 33% of its procurement spend going to SMEs by 2022. Perfect Circle has been successfully engaging with SMEs, but we want to do more. Local authorities want to see SME involvement in their built environment projects because of your local knowledge and genuine investment in the local area –you employ local people, you live locally, your children attend the local schools and you use local services.

Contact your Perfect Circle Regional Lead for information about being a supply chain partner and how we can create opportunities for you.