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Supplier guidance

This section provides potential suppliers with a better understanding of how we procure goods, services and works in Warwickshire County Council.

Why do business with us?

  • We are one of the County’s largest purchasers spending around £325m each year on goods, services and works
  • We are a financially stable customer and we pay promptly usually within 30 days
  • We have a legal duty to be fair, honest and transparent in our choice and subsequent treatment of our suppliers
  • We promote ethical, environmentally sound and non-discriminatory approaches that benefit the County and those who live and work here
  • Wherever possible we seek innovative solutions to our requirements
  • We want to support local businesses and are keen to promote partnerships where appropriate

E-commerce

We expect the introduction of technology to have a significant impact on the costs associated with our supplier transactions. Therefore, it is expected that more order, invoice and payment transactions with the council are to be undertaken electronically.

The key elements of our e-Commerce strategy are that:

  • Orders will be sent to suppliers attached to an email in pdf format wherever possible
  • We will work with those suppliers generating large volumes of invoices to move from paper invoices to submitting invoices electronically (probably in XML format), for automatic uploading into our back office systems
  • We will be looking at alternative ways of receiving electronic invoices from our smaller suppliers
  • Payments will be made electronically to suppliers via BACS transfer whenever possible
  • Remittance advice notes will be sent to suppliers electronically whenever possible

The use of procurement cards (P-Cards) to make payment will increase. P-Cards are issued to employees responsible for making purchases on behalf of the council; for example, to order and pay for supplies via a supplier’s website. Suppliers can normally accept P-Cards for payment, utilising their existing credit card infrastructure. Transaction data is captured by a supplier’s point-of-sale (POS) system and transmitted through the card network. No council order needs to be raised. No Supplier invoice needs to be raised. Payment to the supplier is usually made within a few days.

Where can you find our current opportunities?

We are not required to advertise opportunities with a total value of less than £100,000. Above this level, we use a range of advertising media (on which we suggest you register):

  • opportunities with a value greater than £100,000 are advertised on CSW Jets
  • opportunities with a value greater than £100,000 are advertised on Contracts Finder; and
  • opportunities required to be advertised according to the EU procurement directive are advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union OJEU.

If you are interested in supplying the council you are advised to:

Which procurement procedure should be followed?

You should note that where the council identifies an existing Framework contract as its preferred procurement route, the council is not obliged to and will not advertise these opportunities, regardless of the value.

The procurement procedure we follow is usually determined by the total value of the contract although the council may vary from these procedures in certain circumstances:

  • Below £10,000 – one oral quote confirmed in writing;
  • £10,001 to £100,000 – minimum of three written quotes;
  • £100,001 to £181,302 (goods and services) – Below EU tender process;
  • £100,001 to £4,551,413 (works) - Below EU tender process;
  • £181,302+ (goods and services) – EU Compliant process; and
  • £4,551,413+ (works) – EU Compliant process.

How to tender for our contracts

It is unusual for our contracts to be awarded on the basis of price alone. We will usually award the contract to the supplier that offers the best overall value for money based on a combination of cost and quality.

The tender documents we send out contain full details of our requirements and describe how to complete and return your bid. Follow the steps below to maximize your opportunity to be successful.

  • Be clear about how, when and where to return your bid and comply with these requirements.
  • Don’t leave it until the last minute to submit your bid; if you are having any problems contact us well in advance of the closing date/time.
  • Answer all questions succinctly but thoroughly with sufficient detail and examples to demonstrate your capabilities.
  • If you are an existing supplier to the council, don’t assume that we know your capabilities.
  • We will assess your tender based on what it includes so tell us how good you are.
  • Be aware of the questions that will gain you the most marks. All of our tender documents include a breakdown of our evaluation criteria including how we will allocate scores and the marks available for each question.
  • Provide all information and supporting evidence requested and don’t send us things we don’t ask for.
  • Sign and date documentation where instructed.
  • Distinguish yourself from the competition.
  • Be innovative and offer us creative solutions which meet our needs, add value to our customers and reduce our costs.

If there is anything in our documentation that you do not understand or require clarification on, you should contact us as soon as possible to request further information. Contact details, (and the deadline for receipt of questions or clarification) are included in the tender documents we issue. Please be aware that no questions will be responded to after the specified deadline has passed.

E-tendering

Since February 2010, Coventry City Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and ourselves have been working together on procurement. Our joint E-Tendering system, CSW-JETS, has now been launched and is the place where all three authorities will be conducting the majority of their tendering. Our colleagues in Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Rugby Borough Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council, Warwick District Council, Stratford District Council and Solihull Community Housing are also using the CSW-JETS portal to advertise their tender opportunities which means that for the first time, there is a single point of access for the majority of Local Government tendering opportunities throughout the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire sub-region. The benefits for you are:

  • Single point of access
  • Single registration to access tendering opportunities in multiple authorities
  • Automatic alerts to tendering opportunities appropriate to your organisation
  • Electronic processes making it easier and more cost effective for you to participate

We would encourage you to register by visiting the CSW JETS website. To assist you in using CSW-JETS, please download the step by step supplier guide.

How we award our contracts

An evaluation team will consider each tender and score it in line with the evaluation model included in our tender documents. We may contact you to seek clarification on your tender and your response to any clarifications will be considered and evaluated as part of your tender response. The preferred bidder will normally be the bidder that has achieved the highest score following the evaluation.

Once the evaluation is complete, the successful and unsuccessful tenderers will be notified. Depending on the procurement process followed, unsuccessful tenderers may receive written feedback at this point. If you do not receive written feedback you can request feedback by applying to the council. We will also accept requests for feedback from successful tenderers.

How we pay our suppliers

In order to ensure payments are processed as quickly as possible, you should comply with the guidance in the Suppliers Payment document (DOCX, 43 KB).

Supplier checklist

The supplier checklist is intended as a guide only to give you a better understanding of the areas that we consider when we are sourcing.