History - innovative health solutions

Business Information Publications (BiP) was formed by Ron and Les Burges in 1984 to produce the first comprehensive journal of public sector contracts in the UK – Contrax Weekly. The company changed its name to BiP Solutions in 2004 to better reflect the range of procurement services it provided.

By publishing all UK public sector contracts together, BiP helped the public sector to reach a wider range of potential suppliers than ever before, while the private sector benefited from direct access to all public sector contracts published in the Uinnovative health solutions


Over 30 years, BiP has earned a reputation for delivering innovative solutions to both its public and private sector clients. The company’s unrivalled knowledge and expertise within the public procurement sector has seen it become the provider of choice to public authorities in the UK and overseas.

Key dates

Today, BiP Solutions employs more than 170 people at its Glasgow headquarters, all of whom are focused on the creation, delivery and support of services and products designed to satisfy the needs of its many thousands of customers – buyers and suppliers alike.

In May 2012, BiP underwent a significant restructure in order to be better positioned to benefit from opportunities in the procurement market. Two sales-focused Divisions are formed – Business Intelligence, which focuses primarily on the private sector market, and Global Services, which focuses primarily on the public sector market. These Divisions are supported by Central Services, which provides Finance, Human Resources and IT capabilities.

BiP is awarded a four-year contract by the MOD for the provision of its MOD Defence Contracts Online (MOD DCO) service and the MOD DCO eNotice service. The award of this contract continues a successful and long-standing relationship between BiP and one of the UK’s largest and most high-profile government departments.

BiP announces the launch of the PASS eLearning Academy, which delivers CPD Certified online courses for public sector buyers and private sector suppliers.

Procure4London (P4L), a major source of contract opportunities for London boroughs, is launched. BiP, as service provider for P4L, is responsible for its design, hosting and management, working with Westminster Council as the lead authority.

BiP’s research shows that its Tracker service contains up to 257% more UK and Irish contract information than the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and up to 35% more European content than the OJEU.

BiP announces the launch of Tracker Spend Analysis, a revolutionary service that provides users with unparalleled insight into all aspects of UK public sector spending.

Supply – a service which aims to boost contract opportunities for small businesses, is launched by BiP Solutions. Supply is part of the Supply National SME Engagement Programme, providing not only contract opportunities but also other resources aimed at supporting business growth.

Government Opportunities magazine is re-launched as the website, creating the first dedicated online news and debate forum for the public procurement community.

BiP is named within research by Scottish Enterprise and Strathclyde University as one of the 'high-growth firms' currently playing a key role in Scotland’s economic development.

New offices are opened in London’s Canary Wharf, providing BiP with a presence in the capital from which to service existing clients and to develop new business.

BiP’s business intelligence service for the defence and security markets – DCI – is relaunched with improved functionality and an enhanced user interface.

Tracker Market Reports, which provide new insight into government spending, is launched as part of the Tracker service.

A new and improved version of BiP’s Tracker business intelligence service is launched. Among a range of functional and design upgrades is the pioneering use of interactive mapping within the service, which provides users with a visual as well as a textual view of contract opportunities.

BiP launches the Delta eSourcing service – a comprehensive upgrade to its existing Delta service that is in use across hundreds of buying organisations across the UK.

BiP launches the first national procurement exhibition, Procurex National, held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Procurex National built upon the success of Procurex Scotland and attracted over 3000 delegates in its first year.

BiP continues to develop its overseas consultancy business with consultancy projects for the governments of Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro.

The company completes the acquisition of Tenders Ireland, thereby strengthening its presence in the Irish market.

Procurex Scotland confirms its status as the leading event of its type.

BiP moves to Medius, its new premises situated in the heart of Glasgow’s Digital Media Quarter and celebrates its 25th anniversary of trading.

BiP launches the Supply National SME Engagement Programme, aimed at encouraging small businesses to tender for and win public sector contracts.

BiP is awarded the first stage of a major consultancy review of the Macedonian Public Procurement Bureau by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The company also commences a contract to develop, host and maintain the CompeteFor portal for London 2012 contract opportunities in partnership with service provider Serco plc and also to provide buyer engagement services for the portal.

BiP launches the Procurex Scotland event, the first public and private sector conference and exhibition of its kind. Procurex Scotland also sees the launch of the Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurements Awards Scotland, which built upon the success of the national GO Awards.

The company publishes its two millionth contract since it was formed and also achieves the information security standard ISO 27001.

BiP is announced as the AXA Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year in the National Business Awards for Scotland.

BiP also delivers the eTenders portal on behalf of UAE Armed Forces General HQ and procurement consultancy services to the Kenyan Ministry of Education.

BiP is awarded a five-year contract by the Small Business Service (then part of the Department of Trade and Industry, now the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) to create, manage and commercially exploit a UK Government internet-based lower-value public sector contract opportunities service. The Supply2.gov.uk portal was successfully launched in July 2006 and had 240,000 registered users prior to its closure in 2011.

BiP’s supplier accreditation service, Select Accredit, is launched to service the growing demand for the pre-qualification of suppliers.

The Contrax online and email alert contract notification service is launched, building on the long-standing success of Contrax Weekly magazine.

In 2005, an expert Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service is launched to provide mediation for all aspects of contract-related disputes. The service is provided in association with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

In 2004, the Procurement Advice and Support Service (PASS) is launched to provide one-to-one support for customers with specific procurement issues. The company's online supplier information database service, Select, is adopted by the National Health Service under the title of NHS-sid in 2003.

In 2002 MOD Defence Contracts Bulletin (MOD DCB), published under licence by the UK MOD, is launched. The print publication is followed by an online service, contracts.mod.uk

The National GO Awards are launched. Now in their tenth year, the GO Awards have become the most coveted of their type.

BiP launches its first electronic tendering service in 1998 – Project. Further eTendering product launches follow, including the expansion of Project into a comprehensive eSourcing system – Delta-ets – and Tracker, BiP’s flagship business intelligence service.

In 1993, BiP is awarded its first third-party contract to publish the Cabinet Office procurement magazine known as Government Opportunities (GO). Other high-profile contracts follow from the Ministry of Defence and the National Health Service, and the company becomes a key marketing associate for such public sector bodies as the Health Care Supply Association, Central Buying Consortium (CBC) and SOPO.

The company holds its first seminar in 1992 on the impact of EU legislation on public sector contracts. Subsequently, it has hosted and managed events for major organisations such as the Ministry of Defence, Office of Government Commerce, Inland Revenue and Scottish Government. In 2011, the company was responsible for more than 200 events, including Procurex National and the fourth annual Procurex Scotland event.

As the company grows throughout the 1980s and 1990s, its expertise in the procurement marketplace becomes increasingly recognised by central government.

BiP Solutions (formerly Business Information Publications) is founded by Ron and Les Burges in 1984 to produce the first comprehensive journal of public sector contracts information in the UK – Contrax Weekly.

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