Becoming a supplier

Becoming a supplierBecoming a supplier

We are often asked how to become an ESPO supplier. We aren’t able to simply ‘approve’ or ‘add’ suppliers to a ‘list’ - all opportunities to become an ESPO awarded supplier are advertised in an open and transparent tender process. In this part of the website we aim to help guide you through this process with straightforward advice and useful information.

All suppliers listed on ESPO frameworks and contracts have to meet one fundamental requirement: they must have been awarded a public framework or contract as a result of a fair, transparent and compliant public procurement process undertaken by ESPO or one of its partner organisations.

Only by offering their most competitive prices, service levels and terms for their goods and services during a public tender process can suppliers have an opportunity to be awarded a framework or contract. Suppliers who wish to supply the public sector via the frameworks and contracts let by ESPO will find useful information in this part of our website.

ESPO currently works with around 1,300 suppliers, some supplying products for our 25,000 item catalogue and others providing goods and services as part of our extensive range of national and regional frameworks and client specific public contracts.

The process explained

All of ESPO's tender exercises are conducted through the e-tendering 'portal' website East Mids Tenders (, which uses software called Pro Contract. Therefore, the only way to participate in a tender process to supply goods or services to ESPO or our customers is to register on East Mids Tenders.

If you have any difficulty registering or logging in, the portal has its own helpdesk service to assist you. These are run by the organisation Proactis (previously Due North), who operate the website and portal.

Please follow the below tips when raising a case on the Service Desk or emailing the support email address, to ensure your ticket is routed to the correct team, and to allow Proactis to help you as quickly and fully as possible.

  • Please include as much detail as possible.
  • Please attach a full-size screenshot which includes the website address.
  • Please ensure you select 'ESPO - Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation' as the buying organisation on your case submission or in your email

As part of the supplier registration form, you can register your interest in specific areas of work, using CPV (common procurement vocabulary) category codes for various goods or services. This will allow you to receive notifications about opportunities as and when they arise.

Once you have identified an opportunity that you wish to tender for, you must register your expression of interest in order to subsequently access tenders. Once the tender opportunity opens, you must submit via the website all of the required documentation and supporting information by the deadline stated in the advertisement.

Our procurement teams will then evaluate all tenders received against the criteria outlined, and make an award - this may be to one or many suppliers, as appropriate. The outcome will be communicated to all tenderers.

Suppliers that have been awarded the contract will then be made available for ESPO's customers to order from. Depending on the format of the tender, this may be through our catalogue, our frameworks, or a bespoke procurement for a specific customer. 

The process

  1. Register on the East Mids Tenders website
  2. Complete your details and select all category (CPV) code that relate to your business offer
  3. The website will notify you when tender opportunities matching the category (CPV) code is available
  4. Review the opportunity and submit your tender
  5. ESPO evaluates all tenders against the criteria outlined in the initial documentation
  6. ESPO will award as appropriate and communicate the outcome to all tenderers

Further advertising of opportunities

As well as advertising all opportunities on East Mids Tenders, we also advertise opportunities though one or more of the following websites, depending on the contract value:

  • FTS - Find a Tender Service: The UK-wide noticing service for public procurement
  • Contracts Finder

To ensure compliance with UK procurement legislation, the majority of ESPO framework and contract opportunities over a specified value are also advertised to the entire market via the above websites - although the tender process still takes place solely on East Mids Tenders.

If suppliers choose to monitor the above websites for information on a regular basis, they can access opportunities placed by other organisations that may be of interest to them.