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Three tips for improving your Public Sector procurement process

Rob Lambert, Senior Frameworks Manager at Virgin Media O2, discusses procurement frameworks, and how to navigate a path through what can seem a complicated process

Frameworks are designed to make procurement efficient, compliant and effective for public and third sector organisations. However, from my conversations with customers, the process isn’t always simple. In fact, even the most experienced procurement teams often ask about which frameworks they should be using to procure mobile, digital or ICT services in the public sector.

Whether you are unsure about how frameworks work in general, or which specific framework you should be procuring on, we are here to help. With any number of different contract order forms in use and contract schedules to choose from, we understand that it can all seem pretty complicated. Take contract schedules, for example.

  • What you select from the plethora of options can have an impact on supplier costs if those schedule requirements are not proportionate for the services in scope. This may then add an overlay of unnecessary costs for suppliers which ultimately affects the value delivered to you as the buyer
  • Onerous contractual complexity also makes the bidding and clarification window more complex to manage, whilst veering suppliers away from focusing on an efficient solution and commercial offer

Over many years we’ve provided consultation for a wide range of public sector projects including Home Affairs, healthcare, local communities and national infrastructure. We have supplier status on 10 service Lots of the Network Services 2 (NS2) Framework from the CCS (Crown Commercial Service), on Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation’s (YPO’s) national Network Connectivity and Telecommunication Framework, and all three lots of the current G-Cloud Framework. So, we understand the process, as well as the challenges that public sector organisations face when making procurement decisions.

Here are 3 tips for improving your procurement process:

1. Get in early

We get it. Stuff gets in the way and it’s all too easy to leave procurement decisions until a contract is nearing the end of its term. However, it’s much more likely that you’ll procure ‘right first time’ if you start the process six to 12 months before an existing contract expires. You can assess bids from a number of suppliers based on your considered set of requirements, and you won’t have to procure reactively to address an immediate challenge.

2. Stay up to date

We often find that however experienced, procurement teams aren’t always aware of the latest procurement frameworks, guidelines and methods. Remember too, that you may make additional savings by comparing frameworks terms from CCS, YPO and G-Cloud.

3. Take advice

We aren’t just here to make a sale. We’re proud of the number of customers that consider us as their trusted partner, and we’re committed to helping you to define precisely what challenges you are looking to address, and the best solution to do so. It all starts with our public sector catalogue, designed to demystify the procurement process.

Your next steps

We want to help to make public sector mobile, digital and ICT purchasing flexible and efficient. That’s why we’ve made the process simple and pain-free with our public sector catalogue. It contains information on all our products and services including case studies, videos and more details of our work within the public sector.

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