Regional lobbying organisation Construction Alliance North East (CAN) has updated its Intelligent Procurement policy to encourage regional client bodies to help create fairer processes for local SME contractors to help them succeed in winning more work.

The alliance first issued its policy in November 2019 as members sought to level out the playing field of procurement opportunities across public and private sectors.

As the construction sector emerges from a testing 18 months it is even more important for businesses to maximise their procurement potential at a time when all contractors are trying to recoup 2020 losses.

CAN chair Ken Parkin said: “I don’t think there is a business in our region that has not been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of sites during the various periods of lockdown, staff issues and now ongoing materials shortages in our industry, means many firms are still battling the financial impact of the pandemic.

“This means that as we re-engage with procurement processes, it is vital that we approach tenders with a united front and ensure our regional SMEs do not suffer further pain by missing out on local contract award wins.

“Our Intelligent Procurement policy is built around securing a local workforce, advocating spend with North East firms to support our regional economy and ultimately enabling development at a local level, while increasing overall output.”

Among the key aims and objectives of the policy are meeting with procuring bodies to identify their challenges and lobbying for greater consistency and realism from the public sector on projects to be developed.

Additionally, CAN works to secure strategic support from the North East’s public and private organisation leaders, while encouraging the award of relevant projects to the most appropriate company.

CAN was formed in 2015 to better represent regional SME contractors in the North East, and this policy has been a driving force in its objectives for construction businesses. Parkin added: “Intelligent procurement is central to our agenda and our key mission is to place our region’s construction companies at the heart of public and private sector supply chain strategies.

“It is also important that CAN understands national issues which affect us here in the North East so we can learn from this in the future and explain it to our regional membership.

For more information on CAN, visit http://www.constructionalliancenortheast.co.uk/