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Q&A : Tony Corrigan, CEO, Orbidal.
24 August 2020|Q&A Series

Guaranteed Irish member Orbidal is an expert tendering and procurement firm, created to help small and medium businesses navigate the minefield of tendering and public procurement.

Tony Corrigan, CEO at Orbidal talks how they have adapted during Covid 19 with remote working, plans for the future to expand online services and why they decided to join Guaranteed Irish.

Can you tell us a bit about your business Orbidal?

Orbidal is a time saving tool for SMEs who want to win business through tendering.  The tendering process is long and hard so he saw an opportunity to make things simpler through technology – hence the Orbidal tool!

We are based remotely right now across Dublin in our Ranelagh, Rathmines and Sutton offices! We also have a development team based in India.

What are the challenges that you face in your business and how do you work to overcome them particularly in the current climate?

As with all businesses across the globe, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected every part of our business. We work with customers across different sectors so unfortunately we have seen customers in events and training being hit the hardest. We’ve reached out to all our customers on personal recovery and success plans to ensure that we can play a role in their recovery.

Working remotely for the immediate future is a challenge for the team. We’re all quite social people so while the Zoom calls are great for catch-ups, they don’t really replace the personal one-to ones and catch ups. Looking at creative ways to maintain personal and team well-being will be an ongoing challenge.

What do you see as the biggest opportunity for Orbidal over the next five years?

We feel really strongly that public procurement has a very strong and positive role to play in the reboot and recovery of the economy in Ireland. The pipeline is huge – €12 billion each year. As commercial contracts have been delayed or cancelled, the government departments and local authorities have a responsibility to ensure that SMEs have an equal opportunity to access not only funding, but viable business opportunities through public procurement. Orbidal want to make that journey easier for SMEs.

What’s one thing that is often misunderstood about the nature of the business you are in?

That micro and small businesses can’t compete or can’t win public contracts. 1 in 4 government contracts receive 1 or zero submissions. Businesses often complain that it’s the same companies winning all the time – it probably is because they are the only company going for the contract!

The opportunity is there and with a time and know-how, any business can compete and win public contracts.

What made you decide to become a member of Guaranteed Irish?

As an Irish company, it is important to that we have the Guaranteed Irish brand associated with our business. A lot of the companies that are within Guaranteed Irish are very outward looking. They’re looking to expand their business, and very often they’re missing that key piece of expertise or key resource to go and pursue new revenue streams.

When we look at Guaranteed Irish, we look at all these companies who are anxious to grow their business and build new revenue streams, so it’s a great place to be. We’re no different – we’re trying to do that as well. If we can collaborate and do that together, then so much better. Like Guaranteed Irish always say – #AllTogetherBetter.

One of the things we always look for in our customer base is opportunities to collaborate. We can see that in Guaranteed Irish for ourselves and we see opportunities to bring Guaranteed Irish clients together to compete for contracts that on their own, they may not think of doing, or they may not be able to fulfil the entirety of the requirements.

What can we expect for Orbidal in the future and do you have plans to expand to other services?

We are working with a number of business membership organisations in Ireland and abroad who want to offer their members something different and of value over the coming months – and something that can deliver results to their bottom line.

An online public procurement training course supported by the Orbidal tool, which will take the learning from purely academic to real life.

Learnings for the business through structured webinars and 1:1 consultations.

Improvements to the tender tool including more templates, more competitive insights and more data on the buyer themselves.

Has being a member of Guaranteed Irish helped during Covid-19?

Enormously. The practical support for businesses, as well as reinforcing the positive message around communities and business has really resonated. Guaranteed Irish definitely helped Orbidal navigate this shaky Covid path over the last 3 months.