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BiP Solutions Ltd – celebrating 30 years of excellence!

Friday October 25th, 2013

As BiP Solutions nears its 30th birthday, I think an introspective examination of our place in the procurement marketplace is only appropriate.

Thirty years ago the procurement landscape was almost unimaginably different. No source existed to bring together contracts from across the UK.

Contracting authorities advertised predominantly in their local papers, with a few central government contract opportunities making it into the national and trade press.

BiP Solutions Ltd

BiP Solutions Ltd

The OJEC (the forerunner of the OJEU) was relatively unknown to all but a few major companies. Local authorities sought to tender with local and preferred suppliers. Open and transparent competition was, to all intents and purposes, non-existent.

Into this market came Contrax Weekly, a weekly compilation of contract opportunities from across the UK, an impudent little publication that dared to champion the European principle of transparency.

From the off, we got letters and phone calls from authorities across the country, threatening all manner of plague and pestilence, because we dared to make their contract opportunities accessible and drove forward the principle of competition.

Yes, you read that correctly – we weren’t doing anything criminal, we were making procurement competitive and the public sector didn’t like it.

We heard every complaint going, from “we don’t want companies from elsewhere winning our local contracts” to “we haven’t got the resources to manage competition.”

These, however, were the Thatcher years and, as Compulsory Competitive Tendering started to bite, the threats quickly died out. Instead, a realisation grew that competition in procurement was essential to ensure efficiencies and better quality services, as well as the need to deliver savings for the taxpayer.

Thirty years on, it’s probably impossible for those now involved in procurement, except for old fogies like myself, to realise and appreciate the extent of the changes that have happened in this market – for instance, transparency is now seen as an essential element of procurement.

It’s hard to quantify just how many £billions BiP Solutions has saved UK plc through our innovative services, or indeed how many companies have seen expansion of turnover, profit and employment as a direct result of our tender information, procurement training and development services  over the last 30 years.

There are numerous companies now offering varying routes to information on procurement and many competitors have come and gone over the years, but I think it’s fair to say that BiP Solutions didn’t just service the marketplace. In many respects, through Contrax Weekly and its other innovative offerings, BiP Solutions created it.

At BiP Solutions, we take great pride in the knowledge that our achievements to date have opened up markets, delivered better service for citizens and saved taxpayers £billions and our story isn’t over. Today we continue to deliver innovative solutions that help buyers and suppliers to reduce their costs, expand their markets and optimise their supply chains, not just in the UK but globally.


Words: Eddie Regan (Senior PASS consultant)



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