A frequently occurring memory from my time in primary school is always ‘the gym apparatus’. A basic metal frame standing no more than six feet tall, its use in PE was intermittent at best, but always well received. Part of the enjoyment was seeing how far you could get around the various obstacles; obviously as you got bigger, your growing strength meant you could support yourself better, increased size meant you could reach higher, and better knowledge meant you were able to move from one area to another. It also meant you didn’t fall off as much. By the time you could get all the way around it, it was time for secondary school. New challenges, different setup, but you now had the skills to get around it successfully. Once that’s completed, there are new challenges and new mountains to climb (both metaphorically and literally if so inclined), but you’re equipped with the baseline knowledge for development. If you’ve done it before, you can do it again.
Scratch the surface just a little bit, and you can see the similarities with growing businesses.
Securing a place on a framework agreement
Whether you’re a fledgeling business or a longstanding one with experience in private contracts, the jump into public sector contracts can be quite daunting. As such, provider frameworks offer an excellent first step into public sector business. Through the OJEU procedures, the bidding process is more regulated, more risk averse, and substantially more standardised than private sector equivalents. With that first step made, your strengths (and weaknesses) can quickly become apparent: perhaps your capacity is vast, but your IT isn’t quite as universally compatible as you thought. But even an unsuccessful tender offers feedback and areas for improvement, ultimately making the process win win (if you adapt and persist).
As your company gains work, you gain experience, size, and new strengths and abilities: perhaps you are ready for a new framework? With a place on multiple frameworks (and a myriad of supportive references), you’re in a much better position to pursue sole provider contracts.
Of course, you must make sure you can still provide for each framework you are on – it would be foolish to let go of one bar on the frame without holding on to another. Growth and progression are good, but sustainable growth is better.
Crown Commercial Services Frameworks
The Crown Commercial Service offers an array of framework opportunities, both local and national, across a range of sectors as a centralised procurement service. Multiple lots and the need for multiple suppliers lead to increased likelihood of success, and better prospects for your organisational growth. They also provide greater scope for collaboration and partnership with other firms: a subject that is becoming increasingly popular in ITT quality questionnaires.
Due to the greater chance of success, and the more nuanced nature that some lots can provide (e.g. single services, specialist services, geographical split), it also offers the opportunity to enter new markets. Perhaps your residential care service is successful, and you’d like to apply for domiciliary care contracts. From a manufacturing perspective, perhaps you can create a second product from your waste, and apply for new contracts from there.
Using a professional bid writer to secure contracts
In any scenario, whether entering a new market, growing your business, or making steps into public sector tendering, Executive Compass has had success in every major framework. Using our experience of the procurement process, and a collective knowledge of multiple sectors, we can support and strengthen your submission to achieve your procurement goals.