Feeds

London boroughs not sold on small.biz

Oh woe is SME

Build a business case: developing custom apps

London boroughs must do more to boost the number of smaller businesses selling goods and services to local councils.

The conclusion comes from a detailed review conducted by Harrow Council in conjunction with the London Centre of Excellence into local authority "selling to the council" web pages.

The report finds that while most councils offer guidance on selling, there is "significant" inconsistency in the depth and relevance of the information that is made available. In fact most web pages tend to confuse SMEs as they focused on procurement strategies and policy and were presented in a way that actually discouraged smaller businesses to bid for work.

Also, Little things such as providing the details of appropriate contact in council procurement departments were highlighted.

The most common problems are:

  • Inconsistency in location and naming conventions of web pages
  • Difficulty of navigation through web pages and lack of user-friendly features
  • Need for improved accessibility options
  • Wide variance in the amount of information provided and too much emphasis on procurement policy
  • Limited information aimed specifically at SMEs

The report believes that many of these problems could be avoided if "council websites provide clear, straight forward information of: which services and goods it procures; how it procures; and how to become a supplier, with specific information provided for smaller businesses."

It calls for councils to appoint a SME champion, "someone to act as an ambassador for local community businesses, facilitating their inclusion into the supply chain." The champion would not only be the first point of contact for smaller suppliers, but someone to link council efficiency objectives for procurement to economic regeneration of local communities.

It also sets out a "best practice" checklist for London boroughs to make it easier for smaller supplier to engage in the procurement process.

Read the full report here: London Centre of Excellence: Buying a Better London - Report on Delivery of Workstream 5 (PDF: 1.19MB)

Click for the Best Practice check list (PDF: 82KB).

Copyright © eGov monitor Weekly

eGov monitor Weekly is a free e-newsletter covering developments in UK eGovernment and public sector IT over the last seven days. To register go here.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.