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Bidding: 9 trends to watch in 2019

While no one can be certain what will come of all the possible political, economic, societal, technological, legal and environmental changes, what is certain is that 2019 will bring some of the most challenging conditions for businesses since the last recession.

What will the likely impacts be for bidding? Here is my take on some of the main ones:

Brexit uncertainties
The Brexit vote in June 2016 had an immediate impact on the currency markets, which affected both the cost of imported materials and the UK’s attractiveness to EU labour. Continuing uncertainties over the outcome of Brexit, including the prospect of further referendums, will likely affect clients’ willingness to go to market and bidders’ appetite for fixed-price contracts. Expect to see both focus on the change control provisions of contracts to try to mitigate some of the potential downsides of currency and labour market fluctuations.

Access to finance
Some tier one contractors are facing financial difficulties. The aftermath of Carillion’s collapse continues to be felt, with some lenders looking to reduce their exposure – including to the supply chain partners of large contractors. We may see further company failures if access to finance becomes a more enduring issue – when the tide of borrowed money goes out, we will find out who was swimming with no trunks on.

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