Welcome to the Keystone Column. This week we look at mitigating risks: how procurement teams can prepare for crises in their supply chains. We look at the Dutch state railways use of Ireland to avoid tax, and the High Court confirms unsuccessful tenderers cannot avoid the strict time limits under the Community Remedies Regime. We also include news about the launch of Keystone Procurement’s latest procurement white paper this week! As usual, we conclude with our weekly list of current Irish public tenders.
Appeals must go in during the statutory standstill period
A key case was decided recently in Ireland with respect to appealing a tender award decision. While there are technical aspects to the case, at its simplest, unless an award decision is appealed within the statutory standstill period, ten days after the award decision is made, companies cannot avail of the remedies directives and seek to have the decision set aside.
Return of the Irish-Dutch Sandwich?
Criticism has arisen in the past week for the Dutch state railway company. They have incorporated in Ireland for tax efficiency purposes. While it has been very common for private entities to use Ireland as a base to minimise business taxes on profits, it is unusual for branches of a foreign state to do this, especially outside the financial services sector. While the railway company has long had a presence in Ireland for tax efficiency purposes, the Dutch finance minister signalled its wind down more than two years ago. Since then, the State company set-up a new company in the IFSC which is leasing trains to the company in wind-down which charges the Dutch company for use of its railway assets. The Irish rate of corporation tax is half that of the Netherlands. As the right to operate the railways is given to the State railway company without competitive tendering, it is easy to see why the politicians are concerned. Prima facie grounds for legal challenges to this arrangement seem to present. Regardless of the legality and position with respect to competitiveness, it seems likely that politics will overtake this situation.
Mitigating risks: preparing for crises to your supply chain
The old maxim ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is at the heart of good risk management. Where specific risks can be identified, its more than prudent to put in place mitigation plans. Even when we are unclear of what might trigger a crisis, with some thought its very possible to determine what the impacts of a crisis might be. In procurement, continuity of supplied can be threatened by a myriad of reasons such as logistics failures, missing documents and missed deliveries.
Good crisis management starts before the crisis. A proactive procurement team plans ahead by:
- Understanding the businesses’s priorities and financial strategies so that risks can be identified. Suppliers and procurement practices must be a good fit for the businesses way of working.
- Knowing the supply chain, who the suppliers are and what their challenges are, can flag potential risks. Its important therefore, to map out your supply chain and their importance to your business. Then communicate with them regularly.
- Should you determine that a given supplier is creating a potential risk, take the time to put in place a second source in case of disruption to supply.
- Keep on top of trends and issues in procurement. Its also likely that there are international elements to your supply chain, so staying informed of international news is critical to becoming aware of potential issues to your suppliers.
If the worst happens and a crisis occurs, then the first step is to analysis the situation, confirm the facts at hand and that an emergency actually exists. Work with the effected supplier(s) to establish when and how supply can be resumed. Armed with a complete view of the situation you can then find an alternative source while communicating with stakeholders on progress towards resolving the problem!
Keystone Procurement’s procurement white paper
We are launching our procurement white paper this week. This paper outlines the approaches to procurement that are taken by buyers in the private and public sectors. We explain the purposes and approaches used by buyers and what they mean for suppliers. Suppliers can improve their chances of success in contests by reading our paper and preparing themselves for the kinds of contests that best suit their companies skills and abilities.
Download our procurement-white-paper by selecting this link.
New public procurement tenders this week
Visit the Keystone website to view our take on the 500+ active public procurement opportunities with more than five days until their deadline. There are a vast range of services, supplies and construction related to public procurement opportunities in the following sectors (there are many more sectors than the sample list below):
- Construction and related trades,
- Professional & Advisory Services,
- PR, Media, Advertising and related,
- ICT supplies and services,
- Property & facilities management,
- Vehicle & automotive,
- Catering and related services,
- Cleaning and related services,
- Waste Management,
- Maintenance and related services,
- Horticultural supplies & services,
- Research & environmental monitoring,
- Printing, office supplies and related services,
- Medical and scientific research, supplies and services,
- A vast range of other services and supplies.
Businesses interested in any of these strategic procurement opportunities that are unsure of how they can follow-up on these tenders can contact Keystone at any stage. We would be happy to discuss your needs and where they may fit with your business growth plans. These public procurement opportunities are sources of business growth and innovation for companies across the country.
Please note, e-tenders often has public procurement opportunities incorrectly categorised so people relying on e-tender alerts could easily miss out on opportunities if they are dependent on it. E-tenders is only as reliable as the people inputting tenders and mistakes are made very frequently. The Keystone Column includes all live tenders posted on e-tenders that have five or more days until their deadline as at May 11th 2017.