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I was asked to write an article on procurement by the voice newspaper this week.The responses has been overwhelming.

I am pasting the entire article below for BUC members to read, subsequent weeks however you'll have to read online or in the newspaper.

What is procurement?

Sometimes i get asked this question and sometimes , i get this quiet look and i suspect my audience feel too awkward to ask.
Procurement is a simple commercial activity and can be substituted for the process of buying and selling!
“Procurement is a formal written offer to undertake work or provide services for a stated price.”

So why isn’t it called that then, it’s like other things in life always a bit awkward.
Please note you may find the words “Procurement” “Tendering” and “Bidding” used and interchanged frequently in diverse documents.
Now that we know what the word means let me lay a foundation in “lay” terms on why we should even consider procurement as business people.

Because in the UK there are:
• 467 Local Authorities in England & Wales
• 131 Higher Education Institutions
• 162 Further Education Colleges
• 24,000 State & Independent Primary Schools
• 3,500 Secondary Schools
• 303 NHS Trusts
• 42 Police Services
• 39 Ambulance Services
• 25 Government Departments
What this means to you
These are potential buyers of your business services, entry point contracts are as small as £1,000 and well exceed £10m.

Something you should know
Central government spends more than £10billion a year on buying in services from UK based businesses, a local government such as the London borough of Lambeth spends well in excess of £350m per year. Total spend this year is estimated to exceed £175 billion in 2009.
What types of products/services are often purchased via procurement?
• Horticulture (Gardening)
• Information Technology (Hard & software)
• Training (Skills) and
• Paper,Clothing,Toilet roll, light bulbs,chairs,tables etc
The list is practically unlimited
Something inspiration

In times of recession or economic decline the government has traditionally spent more than usually to help sustain the economy.
Something to remember?
• Always View bids (procurement documents)from clients perspective!
• Clients use tendering process to accurately identify contractor most likely to deliver best value and results for them.
• It is the client and not contractor ( you) that takes centre stage.
• Your application must share identity and understanding with client in order to clinch contract.

Where can i find procurement opportunities?
Try and competefor , both of these sites are free to subscribe .

Sam Onigbanjo is a professional business advisor, and one of the not too many fellows of the chartered institute of marketing .He is also an active procurement advisor with specialism in finance.
He writes tenders and offers professional advisory sessions all over the world, you may contact him at or

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