Opinions are always divided when it comes to Government panels. While some companies make every effort to ensure their name appears on every applicable panel, others avoid panels at all cost seeing them as a waste of time. Ultimately panels are there to serve more of a purpose for government as oppossed to industry. For government, establishing a panel provides a ‘go to list’ of providers where the terms and conditions of supply are already agreed, including the price basis and the company has already been deemed qualified to undertake the work. It allows government to access required goods and services with greater efficiency.
From an industry persepctive, however, a panel frequently requires the same level of effort as applying for a standard request for tender without the guarantee of any future work. So why bother?
– Favoured by Government: As seen with the various approaches to market issued over the last couple of months, panel arrangements are increasing. Opportunties that are currently open are varied and include Facilities Maintenence, Hydrographic services, Engineering, Architecture, Project Management and Familiy and Community Services.
– Broad opportunities: Often, panels are shared between departments for common goods and services. So you may find you are on a panel with Defence yet be called up to do work for Department of Education.
– Reputation/Branding: Being on a government panel is highly regarded, so while it may not be directly lucrative, its a good claim for your company and can be useful when applying for other tenders.
– Set and forget: Once you are on a panel, there is no further work to do until you receive a request for quote for a specific job. There is no regular reporting or additional overheads. Panels will run 3-5 yrs on average and more often than not will extend up to ten years in many cases.
– Exclusivity: Once the opportunity for a panel closes, most do not open for a refresh of suppliers for a number of years. So panel members obtain exclusive access to opportunities. Furthermore, some panel arrangements will allow panel members to refresh their available skill sets throughout the term of the Deed opening up further opportunities as a company grows.
As with every opportunity, it is important to determine where your company sits amongst the competition before investing the time in submitting a tender. If you are after specific advice on this topic or any other opportunity listed below, feel free to contact us. You can also subscribe to this newsletter for weekly updates.