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Supplier engagement event helps companies in the Lake District unlock the door to public sector contracts

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Martin Connolly, head of customer onboarding & supplier engagement at Bloom Procurement Services

South Lakeland District Council partnered with Bloom Procurement Services, to deliver an exclusive supplier engagement event at Kendal Town Hall.

The aim was to assist suppliers to increase their chances of winning contracts from the local authority and wider public sector bodies.

Martin Connolly, head of customer onboarding and supplier engagement at Bloom Procurement Services, said: “We are committed to driving social value throughout our procurement model and opening up fantastic opportunities to SME suppliers is integral to this desire. To date, 70% of projects have been delivered by SMEs which enables the public sector to drive significant growth back into local economies.

“Partnering with South Lakeland District Council has opened up wider opportunities to both existing and potential suppliers who want to gain access to the local authority and other bodies.”

Formed in 2012, Bloom is the exclusive operator of the NEPRO professional services solution on behalf of NEPO (the North East Procurement Organisation). The company has recently been appointed by NEPO as delivery partner to the third iteration of the multi-million-pound NEPRO solution (NEPRO³) for up to a further eight years.

NEPRO was set up to help the public sector buy and manage professional services spend whilst achieving better outcomes and improving value. Specialising in bringing together buyers and suppliers, Bloom has over 6,500 suppliers registered allowing them access to opportunities across 320 public sector organisations. Already, the company has successfully completed 4,500 projects from very small to multi-million-pound opportunities across the public sector, including local authorities, hospitals, emergency services and education bodies.

Martin added: “In recent months we have had huge success by teaming up with various sector bodies and local government authorities across the UK to add benefit to our supplier offering by creating unique public sector opportunities through efficient and cost-effective delivery, South Lakeland Council being an example.

“We pride ourselves on delivering on time and to an extremely high standard as seen by our single tender contracts which can be managed as quickly as one day from submission of specification.”

Phil Lowe, procurement manager at South Lakeland District Council, said: “Bloom provided its suppliers with wider insight into its procurement model and practical tips on how to win public sector contracts locally and nationally. What must be truly appealing to suppliers is that Bloom provides access to real opportunities which have received budget approval and authorisation to proceed.

“Partnering with Bloom was a natural fit. Opening up SMEs to public sector tenders enables them to enhance their businesses economically which leads to the development of hiring good people and helps the local economy to thrive. The day was very positive and also allowed suppliers to network and look at other ways to collaborate.”