We understand that working with local businesses is key to maximising the positive outcomes we achieve through our commercial activity, and are keen to increase a number of local suppliers that the Council and its partners work with.
The Council is committed to supporting the local SME and Third Sector in Croydon as we truly value the role played by these organisations in building a thriving local economy and creating a real sense of community.
We understand that meeting the requirements of a commissioning exercise can be demanding and, for smaller organisations with limited capacity, it can at times feel as if there are unnecessary barriers to participation.
This is why we have made a commitment to working with local voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprises and small businesses to help them better understand our commissioning approach and develop the skills and resources necessary to meet the requirements of a commissioning process.
Some of the ways we aim to help our local providers to successfully compete is running targeted commissioning support sessions, engagement exercises or events that introduce large Council contractors to the local market. Those aim to help familiarise local organisations with buying processes and standards and to promote existing opportunities.
Any commissioning support sessions that are run by the Council are advertised to local businesses and third sector, and the Council runs various market engagement and briefing exercises when a specific tender opportunity arises to ensure the market understands the requirements and can provide a competitive tender response.
In some instances the Council may develop a procurement strategy that identifies the third sector as the most appropriate provider. In these instances the Council carries out market testing to see whether any profit-making companies would be interested in bidding.
If the market testing shows that the main provider market is the third sector then the Council follows a more streamlined version of the procurement process. This process has been designed to be less demanding on bidders and to more readily allow innovation.