Achilles Experience: Prosafe – saving time and money with Oil and Gas Europe
A leading owner and operator of semi-submersible accommodation vessels is…
The Pure Technology Group (PTG) is a trusted technology partner of some of the UK’s most recognisable brands. Its mission is to help clients get maximum value from their IT strategies including hardware provision for infrastructure, endpoint build and configuration as well as tailored end-to-end solutions. Now through its supplier membership with Achilles UVDB – the utility industry pre-qualification system used across the UK, the company is designing, deploying and supporting solutions for a range of companies in the sector.
When Richard Williams joined PTG as its Contracts and Tenders Manager in 2017, he had a clear idea of one of the first actions he wanted to take. In previous roles, he had seen the value that an Achilles UVDB supplier membership can bring but his new company were not yet taking advantage of. PTG became part of the community shortly after.
For Richard, membership could help solve a key challenge the company was facing. While the company has over 20 members of its sales team as well as dedicated telemarketing capabilities, it was not securing as many utilities contracts as it would have liked. Its other two main revenue streams, commercial companies and public sector, were creating a steady flow of opportunities but the company needed some additional leverage in the utilities sector.
This is exactly where Richard and his team knew that becoming a member of UVDB could add value to the company’s operations.
Achilles UVDB is specially designed to help utility companies find high quality suppliers, manage risk and comply with UK regulations. With a supplier membership, PTG is able to promote its product and service offerings directly to 65 buyers including the National Grid, SSE, UK Power Networks, Thames Water and United Utilities. “The main benefit for us since joining has been the steady flow of opportunities,” says Richard. “I feel it has helped us increase our presence in the space significantly.”
Another key factor is the credibility that comes through the Achilles pre-qualification process. UVDB is operated as a “Qualification System” under the utilities contracts regulations in England and Scotland. This means that buyers can easily access verified financial and company information.
PTG find their membership is of crucial importance in achieving their business outcomes the utilities space.
“UVDB is like a badge of honour,” says Richard, “as well as giving us a simplified way of demonstrating things like our financial credibility, health and safety and ISO standards it also helps us identify potential partners too. Our membership is both an asset and a necessity for us as we win more utilities contracts.”
Since joining UVDB as a supplier, PTG has won contracts with Northern Gas Networks, Northumbrian Water and Western Power Distribution through responding to Request for Information (RI) events on UVDB.
There have also been a range of other benefits:
Time savings in pre-qualification
For buyers that search for suppliers primarily through Achilles, the big benefit is pre-qualification, representing significant time and money savings. “By being a member you are already almost at the shortlist stage,” says Richard, “or at least at a stage just before it.” Compared to the process of going through an open tender, the UVDB process is much quicker and less challenging.
High return on investment
Importantly, the Achilles supplier membership has represented a good investment for PTG. Some of the contracts the company has been able to win represent a 1000x return on investment when compared to the membership fee. This represents only one of the contracts the company has been able to win, some of which will develop into bigger opportunities. But even when the company has not been successful there have still been benefits for PTG. “For one opportunity we actually came second,” says Richard, “but that’s led to a relationship which is now three years old and very healthy. That’s an example of the opportunities for engagement that we get from Achilles.”
Direct messaging with buyers
Another benefit of the Achilles platform is that suppliers can receive Requests for Information (RI) directly from buyers in the form of a direct message. In a sector as heavily regulated as utilities this provides buyers and suppliers with a simple and quick way to exchange information while still ensuring full traceability. For PTG this has been a key driver of the success they have seen since joining UVDB. Direct messages can take a variety of forms, from requests to provide additional documentation to confirmation that a supplier can do a certain provision. It allows buyers and suppliers to establish a constructive dialogue before they get to the official tender stage.