Ignore the PQQs and you might get some business

I’d like to add my thoughts to the debate currently raging on the increasingly thorny topics of public-sector procurement and free-pitching (Letters and News, DW 29 October and 5 November).

Over the past ten years or so, my company has spent days and days and days completing pre-qualification questionnaires. We have never made it on to a roster or ‘won’ a contract. We have never been able to work out why, because we’re never given the same reason twice, or the reason is so incorporeal as to be useless, or no reason is given at all, despite asking.

And yes, I know clients are legally obliged to do so, but, as with the case of Reading University, there seems to be one set of rules for them and another set for us.

So, in an effort to regain the will to live, we decided some time ago to get off this merrygo- round.

The results?

A load more time to spend on existing clients. A load more time to spend on developing new business.

A little bit more time to spend on ourselves.

Now come with me for a moment to La-la-land.

As with the free pitching plea, just suppose we all get off the merry-go-round. No one submits a PQQ. What would the buyers do then?

I know what the internal clients would do.

They’ll have a (probably really pressing) need, they’d get in touch with some designers who could do the work, they’d look at their portfolios and ask for an urgent quote.

They’d then give the job to those who fitted within the budget/they liked the most/seemed most appropriate for the brief.

Years ago one of our junior designers mocked me for putting on the table a really daft, yet obvious, idea with the words, ‘All of us think it, but only one of us ever actually visualises it.’

There you go, I’ve done it again. OK nurse, I’m ready to go back to bed now.

Jas Denny, HSAG Design, Kentish Town, London NW5

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