We sat down with Matt Lemon, Head of Bids at Apogee.
Apogee is Europe’s largest independent provider of print, document and process technology and outsource services.
Before Contracts Advance how were you sourcing public sector contract/framework notices?
A lot of our work comes through Public Sector frameworks. However, we are also conscious that from time to time there are opportunities we aren’t aware of, so checking portals was an integral part of picking up these opportunities. This formed part of the daily tasks for the Bid Manager, on a daily basis they would go through a list of 40+ portals to check whether any new opportunities had been released. An incredibly time consuming and laborious task.
What was your greatest frustration about working in this way?
This was a distraction from the core responsibilities of the individual and the wider team, we are primarily here to work alongside the sales functions on qualified tender opportunities. Undertaking a manual search on a daily basis meant we were not as focussed (or productive) as we should have been on the live tenders.
What were the key factors which gave you the confidence to consider Contracts Advance?
I had worked with Contracts Advance at a previous organisation, therefore, I knew the immediate benefits it would bring to the Apogee Corporation. I also knew through their existing client base that they had an understanding of the Managed Print Services sector. Therefore, I was going to be in safe hands.
How easy did you find the onboarding process and set up?
This is where Contracts Advance really starts to set themselves apart from other well-known providers of a similar service. Chris Williams (Head of Client Care) and his team are excellent, attentive, making this a painless and efficient process. With a few tweaks here and there to CPV codes, tweaks that were made due to recommendations from Chris and his team, we had a service we could rely upon within a matter of days.
What have you found the most valuable aspects of the service?
Their ongoing commitment to being at the end of the phone if you need any support. Also, their ability to very quickly identify what within our profile meant we didn’t pick up a particular opportunity through Contracts Advance. Assuming, of course, it wasn’t due to a rogue CPV code choice from a potential client.
What other Contracts Advance services have you explored?
We purchased a package that provided us with a 2-hour session on pre-bid engagement with ITT sense check, that we have not used this yet. A service that we will utilise on one of our upcoming key targets in the next 6 – 12 months.
How happy are you to recommend Contracts Advance to a colleague or peer?
Most certainly. I remember all too well what life was like before working with Contracts Advance. 3 years and counting…