Understand the Market

In conjunction with Analysing Your Business you need to Understand the Market(s) you intend to bid in.

Public Contracts Scotland

You can browse the following notices on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) to identify how such products have been bought in the past and what current and future opportunities exist:

Supplier Events

You may also attend Supplier Events e.g.:

  • supplier days for a particular tender;
  • networking events such as Meet the Buyer;
  • training courses.

These Supplier Events are often run in collaboration with other business organisations, sector-specific trade bodies and/or business support groups.

As a starting point we recommend that you look up the Events page on Public Contracts Scotland. These events may also be advertised in local or national press, sector-specific trade bodies, business groups and public sector organisation websites in your local area.

Other Sources of Information

You can also refer to:

  • Contract Registers advertised on PCS or other websites e.g. buyer organisation websites
  • trade journals/specialist magazines;
  • market reports and surveys that have been undertaken.



What Information Should I Source?

Gathering information from different sources will increase your knowledge of buyers and national, sectoral and geographic markets. 

Information that will enable you to better identify and target your bids includes:

Information Information Gathered/Known?
Identify who the main buyers are for your commodity or service and where they are based.  
Understand how buyers procure e.g. do they buy their own goods or services? do they buy jointly with other organisations?  
Understand whether the tenders you are interested in are split into lots e.g. to group familiar products or services.  
Become familiar with the information buyers ask for in their tenders for the market you are interested in.  This will allow you to prepare better for the next quotation/tender that is advertised.  
Determine whether you have the resources to deliver a large contract to the whole public sector or are you better suited to a local or unique market?   
Could you be a mini contractor or are smaller sub-contracting opportunities better suited for your business?  
Identify who the current supplier(s) are.  How long have they been the supplier?  This will help increase your market knowledge, including when the contract will be renewed in the future.  
Understand the level of competition you will experience.  Which other companies are likely to pitch for this business?  
Information on previous contract awards (which include details of the successful supplier and their bid).  
Investigate what training and other support is available to you.  For example register with the Supplier Development Programme if you are an SME and with Scottish Enterprise/Business Gateway etc.  Training and networking will improve the skills and knowledge of you staff to aid your bidding.  

Blank rows are provided for your use i.e. to add your own additional checklist items.

Quickfire Guide

Quickfire Guide

Procurement Exercises Outside Scotland

Contracts worth more than the threshold are advertised by Scottish public bodies via PCS.  However for the rest of the UK opportunities can be found via a number of means: