The collective spend on goods, services and construction across all Australian government bodies is approximately $198 billion annually (Australian Procurement and Construction Council).
That’s a lot of work to go around. But getting a share of it is all about timing, maturity of your business processes, and importantly, being ready to capitalise on the opportunity when it arises.
There are a whole host of opportunities available through tendering, and if you have your eye on the horizon for long enough you can also gauge emerging trends, giving you the ability to prepare in advance, and even shift gears strategically to maximise your chances of business success.
So where has the work come from and where is it heading?
Many tender opportunities in recent times were created from stimulus packages such as the Nation Building Program (2009-14) and the Australia infrastructure fund, which stimulated not only construction activity across major infrastructure, public assets and civil works, but spun off into other sectors of the economy – particular legal services, insurance and financial services and recruitment to name a few.
Added to this were a spate of natural and man made disasters (drought, followed by flood, cyclones, fires) across Australia. This has also stimulated procurement activity in the planning, advisory, environmental and risk management sectors for example.
While it seems governments and procurement professionals move to streamline the purchase of commodities in a more sustainable way (fuel, travel, paper etc) there is no slowing down on capital works procurement or outsourced professional services.
The tender cycle – which industry when?
Typically, tenders run in industry clusters in three year cycles (the average contract period). For example, in 2010 there was a flurry of activity in the building/construction and major infrastructure space at all three levels of government – the long tail of this activity is that there are still staged works being carried out, with the obvious requirements for a whole range of business support and consultancy services underpinning the projects.
In 2011 the focus seemed shift to mining and resources activity, and in 2012 there are plenty of tender opportunities across banking and financial services. But while there are general cluster trends, that’s not to say you have missed the boat entirely. It’s always worth keeping an eye on the tender sites, as sometimes tenders don’t run their full course – changes in government, management reshuffles, M&A activity etc can all impact upon an organisation’s procurement strategy.
In any case, keeping on top of panel opportunities or projects tendered for provide a good insight into current and future strategic intent of organisations (and sectors generally), and the associated supply-chain business opportunities coming from them.
It’s all a matter of keeping your eye on the ball.
Jurisdiction Tender Links
VIC Tenders VIC
QLD eTender System
WA Tenders WA