The Finnish Patent and Registration Office understands the power of cooperation

The Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) and Hansel have signed a cooperation agreement aimed at providing expert services related to competitive bidding and the development of procurement services. Hansel provides The Finnish Patent and Registration Office with expert tendering services for the acquisition of goods and services, as well as other specialist services on procurement.

As part of the cooperation agreement, the Finnish Patent and Registration Office put marketing communication services out to tender with Hansel; Hansel produced the tender documentation for the simplified tendering and ensured the completion of the bidding process and the documents on a turnkey basis. Such a service is an especially useful model for projects in simplified tendering in the challenging procurement sector: The customer can rely on Hansel’s procurement expertise and release its own resources for other purposes.

Anna Lauttamus-Kauppila, the Director in charge of customer services and communications at the Finnish Patent and Registration Office has ample procurement expertise. Thanks to her distinguished career, she knows that outside experts at an organisation’s disposal should be utilised for freeing up time from laborious tendering processes.

And the burden of work is shifted to Hansel

In an extensive framework agreement, such as for marketing communications, competitive bidding of several framework suppliers can take a lot of time and effort. A framework agreement on marketing communication services includes many different services, from the design of the visual appearance to service design.

In 2016, the Finnish Patent and Registration Office arranged two simplified tendering processes for the framework agreement in marketing communications. In these processes, qualitative criteria were very important, and they were evaluated through counter-briefs and similar previous assignments.

Lauttamus-Kauppila has arranged bidding processes for framework suppliers by herself. Many services can be easily put out to tender once the contract suppliers have already gone through a strict selection process to be accepted as framework suppliers. This time PRH decided to use the special expertise of Hansel’s Procurement Support unit.

“I am really glad we made this decision,” Lauttamus-Kauppila says.

Service design and focus on digitalisation

PRH’s simplified tendering process for marketing communication services included, e.g., consulting, content production, publications, and campaign planning. One qualitative criterion was a plan for change communication pertaining to duties in auditing supervision that had been transferred to PRH. As is typical of public administration, PRH finds itself in a transition and has been charged with several new services that must be communicated to stakeholders in a number of different ways.

The second bidding process was for digital communication. PRH wants to be a pioneer in the digitalisation of public administration, designing its online services in collaboration with its customers, in modern fashion. Examples of services well known to citizens include the Business Information System BIS (“YTJ” in Finnish), and the Virre Information Service which extracts information from the Trade Register. Service design and management, and engagement, are terms that apply to the development of these systems as well. One example used in the tendering process for digital services was the reform project of the AssociationNet, which included design of the service’s user interface and marketing, as well as engagement of the target group in the development work.

“Comparing qualitative factors is extremely difficult in order to meet the comparison requirement. There has been an explosion of constraints, and legal matters have become considerably more difficult. People should also think about their own legal protection,” Lauttamus-Kauppila says.

Professionals on the Act on Public Contracts, at your service

Legislation concerning public procurement has been amended and, during a period of transition, interpretations can be difficult even for experts on the Act on Public Contracts. Customers who take advantage of Hansel’s framework agreements can rely on experts specialising on the Act on Public Contracts and procurement services, whereby they can focus on their own core duties. When a customer always has a person to ask advice from, the process feels smooth. The Procurement Support unit advises customers with simplified tendering processes and receives unqualified praise from Lauttamus-Kauppila for extraordinarily effortless service:

“I can recommend using Hansel’s services to others, without reservation.”