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Quick Quotes – The Essential Guide to Using the Quick Quote Facility on Public Contracts Scotland.

Scottish Public Sector buyers have the option of using the Quick Quote facility when they are buying goods or services which are considered low risk or low value.  Quick Quote is part of the Public Contracts Scotland website, the national advertising website for public sector procurement in Scotland.  See www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/

Advantages

Buyers like using the Quick Quote facility because it gives them more control of the number of submissions they receive and it can be quicker than a ‘normal’ procurement process.

When a supplier receives a Quick Quote invitation, they know they are one of a small number of potential suppliers and therefore have a better likelihood of success than in a full tender situation.  Typically, a Quick quote will only be issued to 3 – 5 potential suppliers whereas a full tender notice will be open to everyone and may attract dozens of responses.

Supplier Profile

To identify suitable suppliers who are to be invited to submit a Quick Quote, buyers use a search facility on Public Contracts Scotland to find companies with the experience and expertise needed.  They can search by commodity category (the area of business), organisation name, region or postcode.  It is therefore very important that your supplier profile on Public Contracts Scotland is accurate and comprehensive.  Try to present factual information rather than marketing material since this is easier to evaluate.  For example, a statement such as “We are a dynamic business with an established track record of delivering excellent customer satisfaction” does not provide any details about the services or products supplied.

You should avoid jargon to make your profile clear for buyers who may not be familiar with your services or technology.  Remember that the buyer initiating the Quick Quote is only one of a number of people who will ultimately be involved in the procurement decision.

Timescales

The timescale for submitting a response to a Quick Quote will be given in the invitation to participate.  The length of time given will depend on the complexity of the job but it should always be long enough to allow you to make a considered response.  As with all Public Sector procurement, you should not ask for a time extension unless absolutely necessary.

Questions

It is unlikely that you will be able to meet the buyer to discuss the opportunity prior to the submission being made however you can still ask questions.  This will usually be done electronically through the web portal or by email.  You should be aware that responses to questions raised about Quick Quotes, like all Public Sector tenders, will be circulated among all the bidders.

Evaluation

The Quick Quote will be evaluated in the same way as many buying decisions.  The areas of most interest are price, skills, resources and reliability.  You will be given set marking criteria when the Quick Quote is issued but usually the buyer wants the most economically advantageous bid.  This is defined as one that considers price and quality.  Quality will cover the skills and experience you have, the way in which you will meet their requirements and finally, any guarantees, after sales service or other added value items you offer.

For more information about tendering and ways to ensure your bid attracts a good score, why not sign up to our monthly top tendering tips email?  Complete the registration form here.