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Supply4NWFire - Procurement Portal

How we do business

Introduction

For the purposes of procurement, the North West Fire and Rescue Services is made up of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services. Collectively, we spend approximately £50m per annum on goods and services across more than 200 contracts. This guide has been compiled to assist potential suppliers, contractors and consultants who wish to do business with us and should be read in conjunction with the ‘Buyer Profile’ at http://www.supply4nwfire.org.uk/cgi-gen/profile.pl?action=view_profile&oid=26093938#top


What do we purchase?

The North West Fire and Rescue Services purchases a wide range of products and services. These include:


How do we find suppliers?

On some occasions, it is pertinent to select a supplier from an existing framework agreement, such as those provided by the Government Procurement Service (http://www.buyingsolutions.gov.uk). On these occasions, it is usual to undertake a mini-competition between the providers listed on the framework.

There may be some instances where the requirement is either very low value or is for a very specific commodity when we will short list suppliers based on reputation, suppliers' catalogues, trade information or trade exhibitions.

For all other procurement exercises, our preferred route to market is through our e-tendering platform; www.supply4nwfire.org.uk . From this platform, we will advertise small and large opportunities to registered suppliers. Depending on the anticipated value of the requirement, we may invite a quotation, a tender or a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ). A PQQ is designed to assess a company’s capacity to undertake the work advertised by obtaining financial and technical information from potential suppliers. If a company is successful at PQQ stage, they will be invited to complete a full tender exercise.


Evaluation

The object of the evaluation process is to identify the tender or quotation which provides the overall best value for money for the particular purchase. Our tender evaluation is strictly controlled and conducted objectively and impartially. Evaluation and subsequent discussions with suppliers will generally identify a winning tender. Occasionally evaluation will not separate tenders and in these circumstances shortlisted bidders may be asked to provide samples or demonstrate their products or services. It may also be necessary for a visit to be arranged to the shortlisted suppliers' premises. We will also follow up any references that may have been requested.


Award

Once a decision has been reached following evaluation of written quotations or tenders, the successful and unsuccessful supplier(s) will be informed in writing without delay. Within the boundaries of commercial confidentially we will provide, on request, feedback to successful and unsuccessful tenderers.


Terms and Conditions

Each Authority within the North West Fire and Rescue Services conducts business on their own terms and conditions of contract. There are several sets of terms in use, covering various categories of goods and services. The relevant set of terms is always included in the Invitation to Tender package. In more complex tenders bespoke terms and conditions will be applied.

Similarly, different payment terms exist within the four Authorities. We will always endeavour to pay promptly. Suppliers can assist this process by ensuring that your invoice provides the details required for us to match it to the original order/contract.

In particular, it is essential that you quote:

If some of this information is missing, it may delay our payment to you.


Post contract performance measurement

The North West Fire and Rescue Services monitor ongoing performance of our suppliers against agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Specific measures will vary from contract to contract, but the broad themes for all suppliers to perform against are:


Register on Supply4NWFire

As is clear from the above, we strongly recommend that all potential suppliers to the North West Fire and Rescue Services register on our e-tendering platform; https://www.supply4nwfire.org.uk/delta/supplier/select.html.