Invest Newcastle recently showcased the city’s assets at the Smart City World Congress in Barcelona. We talk to Paul Mander, Chief Procurement Officer from Bloom about why he joined the Newcastle delegation and how the city’s smart city credentials are helping them to deliver social value to their public sector clients.
Give us a flavor of what Bloom do and your ambitions for its future in Newcastle?
Bloom is an active member of the NewcastleGateshead Initiative and were delighted to be able to support the Newcastle delegation at the Smart City World Congress. We offer an end to end marketplace solution for the procurement and management of consultancy and professional services projects. We help buyers get access to a constantly evolving supply chain supporting the introduction of innovative solutions whilst giving suppliers the opportunity to deliver services across the UK. Our ambition is to continue our growth having just been awarded the highest climber in the North East’s Top 200 companies business awards.
What did you get out of attending the Smart City Expo World Congress?
The Smart City Expo gave us at Bloom a real opportunity to meet with forward thinking buyers and suppliers that promoting innovation for the good of society. I was pleased to be able to hear a range of presentations and connect with individuals that really do ‘walk the walk’ in the Smart City world. There were so many examples of simple technology that can make a big difference and as an organisation with innovation in our DNA, I am looking forward to building on the connections made to help support buyers and suppliers with their own Smart City aspirations.
You represented the region alongside Newcastle City Council and Invest Newcastle. Why was this important?
Bloom is an open source marketplace; our business is to connect buyers and suppliers. We are the exclusive provider of the multi-billion-pound NEPRO³ procurement solution on behalf of NEPO (the North East Procurement Organisation). NEPRO³ will open up procurement opportunities for public sector buyers both inside and outside of the region. The solution will deliver substantial savings to the public sector, saving them an average of 11% to 19% against budget. We are proud of being a North East company and this was a great opportunity to build on relationships and showcase what the region has to offer.
You are a trusted partner to over 360 public sector buyers, explain a bit more about how you help to add social value within the public sector?
Social value forms part of everything that we do as a business. We believe social value is fundamental to the delivery of successful outcomes for our buyer and supplier communities. During 2019 we were the first procurement specialist to achieve the Social Value Certificate, accredited by Social Value UK.
Bloom work with buying organisations across the public sector who have their own Social Value objectives. As an open source marketplace, we offer buyers the flexibility to work with our growing supply chain which includes suppliers from the 3rd Sector to compete for public sector opportunities. Our mission is to ensure that social value is an integral part of our operational processes when buyers use our services. To date, 70% of our projects have been delivered by SMEs and this has enabled our customers to drive significant growth back into local economies.
At Bloom, there is a clear passion for facilitating innovation. How does this benefit the business?
Innovation is a concept often lost because the ideas don’t make it to the right people, and they’re seen as too difficult to implement. We want to promote innovation as the norm and continue to support the public sector to access innovation easily and effectively. By attending events like this, we can promote our marketplace and offer businesses a way of showcasing their services.
Newcastle is leading the way in smart, clean and sustainable technologies. How are you taking advantage of some of the assets we have here?
We are based in the region and have facilitated projects linked to new technology both within Newcastle and across the UK. For us, technology should be at the heart of a city’s infrastructure. Our roots are in the North East and will always be committed to the region, however we are devoted to growing our buyer and supplier community to benefit local communities both inside and outside of the region. Having recently attended Medica, the world’s largest event for the medical sector in Germany and the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, we are embarking on driving growth and importing innovation into the Bloom marketplace on a global scale.
For further information visit https://bloom.services/about-us/