For many organisations, framework agreements are highly attractive, but highly competitive.
A framework is an agreement with multiple suppliers, rather than one sole contractor. It may be split into different service offerings, geographical regions or a call off contract. The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) frameworks are highly lucrative for many firms, as they cover several service areas and tend to be nationwide. There is the opportunity for a number of suppliers to gain work from the agreements, yet they do not have to take full responsibility for the contracts.
What is the Crown Commercial Service?
The Crown Commercial Service is an executive agency and trading fund of the Cabinet Office of the UK Government, set up to centralise procurement services and provide value for money. CCS manage a number of national framework agreements in sectors such as IT, legal services, facilities management, recruitment and courier services.
CCS adhere to the transparency and openness of the public-sector procurement process, with all their framework agreements, as well as a pipeline for all their future procurement exercises, being accessible online:
This allows both existing and potential suppliers to be kept up to date with all procurement processes.
Tendering for Crown Commercial Service Contracts
As the CCS publish their pipeline for contracts, it is easy for firms to be aware of which contracts are going to be put out to tender. They can also attend market engagement events to find out more, and perhaps provide their input into the framework itself. A firm serious about bidding and winning a contract really should be aware of future opportunities and ensure they are ready to bid when the OJEU notice is released, and the tender document is live.
Tendering for a framework agreement like CCS may be an organisation’s most important bid of the year, and a ‘must win’ for the company. Framework agreements tend to be competitive, and before an important contract is released there are some fundamental steps you can take to increase your chances of success:
- Review previous bid submissions. Take a look at any previous bid submissions, both successful and unsuccessful, alongside any feedback and consider what worked well and what didn’t work. You can learn a lot from analysing previous tenders, and making sure good material that scored well is ready to use or amend for your forthcoming bid.
- Brief your team. Whether you have an internal bid team, a sole bid writer or several staff with input into your bid documents, make sure they are aware of the forthcoming tender and understand the main objectives of the bid.
- Do your research. See if there are any market engagement events or webinars put on by CCS. This will provide an early insight into the bidding process and may provide an idea of any core topic areas, initiatives or evaluation criteria. Ultimately don’t miss out on gaining further information – information your competition may have!
For help and guidance bidding for CCS or any other public-sector contracts, contact our team today.