How Crown Commercial Service’s frameworks can improve your building and maintenance projects

With winter fast approaching, now is a good time to review your procurement strategy and pin down the areas you need to focus on – such as essential building maintenance work or construction projects.

At Crown Commercial Service (CCS) we understand that the public sector is under more pressure than ever to make every pound count. We’re here to help you save time and money on procurement, enabling you to get on with what matters most – providing services to local communities. We can help you access works on everything from the construction of a new secondary school, to the painting and decorating of offices and the renovation of residential homes.

 

Why buy through a framework?

If you don’t want to put your project out to tender yourself. procurement tools such as CCS framework agreements can help you identify a list of suitable, pre-checked suppliers. Frameworks also have the advantage of including pre-agreed terms and conditions, saving you time on negotiations with builders and contractors at the pre-construction phase of a project, as well as having built-in, robust legal protections.

CCS frameworks have already been advertised on ‘Find a Tender’ on GOV.UK and suppliers have been assessed by our procurement experts. This means all you need to do is follow the award process in the contract or in the customer guidance that CCS provides for all its frameworks, knowing that all suppliers who are able to bid have been assessed for their ability to provide the agreed standard on the goods and services you need.

Once you’ve decided that using a framework is the best way for your organisation to buy what you need, you can then ask all the suppliers listed on it to bid. This process is called a further or mini-competition and can be run under most frameworks. Check the customer guidance for the framework you decide to use.

 

Ensuring social value is part of your project

Our frameworks have social value at their core, to ensure that what you buy creates additional benefits for society. These can include creating more apprenticeships for young people, improving the air that we breathe or assuring supply chains are free from modern slavery.

 

Why run a further competition?

Frameworks provide specific goods or services, but individual customer needs may vary. This can make it difficult for suppliers to provide a ‘one size fits all’ approach to pricing and requirements.

Further competitions enable you to outline your own specific requirements and identify the best solution for your project. Suppliers can then consider your requirements and submit a bid that outlines how exactly they can meet your needs. You could even go further and invite suppliers to get involved early in your project to help influence based on their experience to deliver against your needs.

 

When should you run a further competition?

 Further competitions work best for more complex goods and services. For example, installing fire protection sprinklers and alarms, a major refurbishment or a new construction project.

They’re not best suited for low-value, ad-hoc purchases, where the time and cost of running a further competition is disproportionate to the goods and services supplied; such as purchases of one-off, so-called ‘tail spend’ items such as fire extinguishers or sports equipment. They are also not ideal when you have urgent requirements, because of the time it can take to complete the process, although CCS experts can help you with accelerating further competitions, if this is required

In some instances, you can choose to place a direct award without further competition. This is possible through our construction frameworks. For some agreements, such as a Dynamic Purchasing System, there is no direct award option and you can only award a contract following a further competition.

 

How to get it right

Running a further competition can be daunting if you’ve never done it before, and it’s not part of your normal day to day job.

Visit our website for more top tips on running a further competition and how to get it right.

 

Find out more

As the largest public procurement organisation in the UK, we’ve got a range of tailored solutions aimed at providing construction, renovation, power supply and estate management. Some frameworks are designed solely for schools and academies, some for residential properties and many more cover a wide range of services. All of which can help to save you time and money when setting up or renewing your contracts.

 

To find out more, visit the CCS website

or download our digital brochure.

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