Before Contracts Advance, how were you sourcing public sector contracts/ frameworks?
Switch2 have been using Contracts Advance since 2021. Prior to this we had been sourcing contracts through a range of different methods, including other tender alert platforms, frameworks, checking portals and direct approach from clients such as Local Authorities.
What were your frustrations prior to working this way?
Manually checking portals meant that we risked missing out on opportunities to tender, and the amount of different sources made the task time consuming and frustrating. With other tender alert platforms we had concerns that not all opportunities were being identified, meaning we still needed to undertake regular manual checks of other sources.
What were the key factors that led you to Contracts Advance?
As we grew as a business it became imperative that we could be certain that we were capturing all available opportunities. We researched for alternative providers of tender alert platforms and identified Contracts Advance as a viable option. The platform met all our key requirements including customisable searches, programmable notifications and the ability to add multiple users. During our trial of the Contracts Advance platform we found the software to be user friendly and intuitive and were impressed by the comprehensiveness of opportunities identified. To our knowledge we haven’t identified any opportunities to tender that have been missed by the Contracts Advance tender identification process which gives us a peace of mind.
How easy did you find the onboarding process and set up?
The onboarding process was really easy. We received support from the Contracts Advance team throughout. They worked with us to ensure we correctly populating our CPV codes and keywords, tailoring our search parameters to capture all relevant opportunities while ensuring we receive notices for opportunities outside of our scope of services. They follow up with us regularly too, meaning that we’ve always got that same level of support we received during onboarding should we ever want to change our settings or introduce a new user.
What benefits does the Contracts Advance software provide you?
We have our account set up to provide us with daily email alerts which ensure we’re checking new opportunities every day, maximising the amount of time we can spend on preparing a tender. We have also automated a monthly alert to identify contracts which are coming to an end in the next 6 months, enabling us to forward plan for potential new opportunities. We regularly use the “share” feature within the software to forward each other notices that are of interest and have found that this really streamlines our opportunity capture and review process.
The other feature we find useful is Market Analysis which we utilise mainly to undertake due diligence. It allows us to see which contractors a client has used before or what other projects they might have running at the same time, so we can better understand their business needs. It’s great to have access to all this information in one place.
What have you found the most valuable aspects of the service?
The high level of service we receive is probably our favourite thing about Contracts Advance. We receive quarterly check-ins from our account manager, Sofia, who checks our search terms are up to date, that were not experiencing any issues and also talks us through how to use any new features. This gives us the confidence to know that no relevant opportunities have been missed.
What other Contracts Advance services have you explored?
We’ve used the integrated Freedom of Information Request tool, which has been really convenient and it makes the process simple.
How happy are you to recommend Contracts Advance to a colleague/peer?
We love the product and have already recommended it to colleagues and peers.
Is there any other feedback you would like to provide us?
We really like how Contracts Advance are constantly innovating and providing software updates with new features for us to use to make our lives easier.