Framework Agreements

Making a framework work

This video addresses the due diligence process undertaken by CPC on framework suppliers, the benefits to you of using a CPC framework agreement, what a framework cannot deliver, how suppliers respond to your competitions through a framework and how to maximise the number of supplier responses.

  1. Making a Framework Work Pat Condon – Head of Procurement
  2. Objectives
    • To understand how a framework is constructed
    • To understand what a framework delivers
    • To understand how to maximise supplier interest in your opportunity when utilising a framework and apply thereafter for all procurement
  3. What is a Framework?
    • A framework is a potential procurement route to market
    • Our frameworks are designed to meet the needs of an ever expanding marketplace from both within education & to the wider public sector
    • A framework does not define user requirements as these are determined at call off
    • A framework is not a contract for procurement between CPC and the supplier as this is achieved at call off
  4. What is a Framework?
    • A framework is a list of approved suppliers that have been through a robust procurement process to obtain a place on the framework.
    • Areas of Pre-Qualification Assessment include:
    • Grounds for Mandatory Exclusion
    • Grounds for Discretionary Exclusion
    • Economic and Financial Standing
    • Parent Company Information
    • Joint Venture Proposals
    • Technical and Professional Ability
    • Modern Slavery Act 2015
    • Skills and Apprentices
    • GDPR & Data Protection
  5. What is a Framework?
    • Areas of Award Criteria Assessment include: Price, Quality, Added Value, Social Value
    • Once set up, the framework offers a procurement route for CPC members to utilise for their procurement.
    • It is designed to deliver value and comes with free advice and guidance from CPC
  6. What are the benefits of a framework?
    • Time saving and ease of use in comparison to a full OJEU process
    • Completion of due diligence by CPC
    • Support and advice available from the Contracting, Helpdesk and Regional Procurement Advisor teams.
    • Published guidance documentation and template ITT documents available from CPC
    • Free to use for all members • Free to use electronic portals available
    • Contractual terms and conditions are agreed
  7. What can a framework not deliver?
    • There are no guarantees as to how many suppliers on a framework will bid
    • It cannot deliver compliance simply because it is used. Each member must run their procurement in a compliant manner in accordance with EU principles
    • It is not typically defined enough to meet exacting needs which means a further competition must be run to meet the exact requirements of a user
    • It cannot guarantee lowest price as the award criteria is based upon the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT)
  8. How is a Framework Constructed?
    • The framework will generally have a defined lot structure which can be:
    • Single Source across all CPC members
    • Category driven within the framework with separate lots required
    • Regional provision only • Regional provision by member type i.e. split between regions for Schools & Academies then FE & HE
    • Or a combination that best suits the requirements of members
  9. What else do I need to know about frameworks?
    • CPC suppliers operate across both the public and private sectors and as commercial entities, select their bidding opportunities using commercial principles
    • CPC suppliers may be operating on numerous frameworks which may contribute to their commercial decisions
    • CPC suppliers are encouraged to bid for all opportunities, but CPC recognise that this is not necessarily what happens
    • CPC design lotting structures to mitigate the risk of low bid numbers
    • CPC undertake contract management reviews with suppliers where bid response rates is a standard agenda item
    • CPC cannot force suppliers to bid for all opportunities as this is not practical or enforceable but can remove suppliers from frameworks for poor performance
  10. So why do suppliers choose not to bid for your opportunity?
    • There are numerous reasons why a supplier may decide not to bid for an opportunity. These are wide and varied and will differ dependent on what you are procuring.
    • Every time a supplier prepares a bid or tender, they incur costs which can be significant in consideration of complex requirements particularly in the area of outsourced services.
    • Let’s consider reasons from the suppliers perspective and we will now take you through some of the many considerations a supplier will contemplate and by no means is this list exhaustive….
  11. So why do suppliers choose not to bid for your opportunity?
    • Value – Is the £ value of the opportunity commercially viable?
    • Scale – Is the size of the opportunity during the contract term serviceable?
    • Profitability – is the opportunity profitable in line with their business objectives?
    • Location and regionality – If a service, can the business serve customers in that particular area?
    • Competition – Is there a competitor that will offer a lower cost base?
  12. So why do suppliers choose not to bid for your opportunity?
    • Capacity – Does the supplier have capacity to provide the goods or services requested?
    • Historical factors – Has there been a previous contractual issue that would deter the supplier from submitting a bid?
    • Risk – Does the supplier perceive that the operational or financial risk is too high in consideration of the requirements, e.g. TUPE/Pension liabilities?
    • Timeliness for delivery of responses – Has the institution requested ITT returns in a short timeframe that does not enable the supplier to prepare a suitable bid?
  13. So why do suppliers choose not to bid for your opportunity?
    • Timeliness of implementation – Is the institution asking for unrealistic implementation timescales?
    • Evaluation criteria – Does the ITT evaluation criteria seem skewed or inconsistent with the specification / marketplace?
    • Transparency – Is the ITT clear in relation to what is required or is there ambiguity in the documentation meaning that there is a high level of risk in providing a bid?
  14. So why do suppliers choose not to bid for your opportunity?
    • Quality of information – Is the ITT poorly constructed and missing key information to allow for a fully costed bid?
    • Is it a genuine open competition or is it simply a 3 quote exercise to retain the incumbent?
    • Is it already decided who will win – Is the institution using brand names that lead directly to a selected supplier?
  15. So how can you encourage supplier participation?
    • Even when using a framework, your institution is the Contracting Authority and you own the procurement process, so be creative!
    • Undertake your own pre-market engagement to warm up the marketplace
    • Contact the framework suppliers in advance by email and phone to let them know your opportunity is coming. You can even use our Quick Quote Tool. Get them interested!
    • Spend enough time preparing your ITT so that it is easy to understand and contains all the information that any bidding supplier might require
  16. So what makes a good ITT document?
    • Have a contents page with all sections clearly referenced to their page numbers
    • Provide an overview of your institution advising bidders of what you expect to gain from the contract award
    • Include photographs if necessary to improve and visualise requirements
    • Do not revisit selection criteria that was utilised by CPC as this is not allowed
    • Do ensure that you are clear and transparent as to how you will score all ITT submissions with defined award and sub criteria clearly detailed
    • Ensure that your award criteria adds up to 100% and sub criteria adds up within the appropriate sections to the award % allocated
    • Ensure that any weightings applied are transparent and clear to understand
  17. What else will help?
    • If you host a site visit, ensure all bidders are invited and think about how you will answer any questions to ensure equal treatment
    • Ensure that any implementation timescales required are realistic and achievable
    • Ensure that any requests for clarifications are provided to all bidders to ensure equality of treatment and transparency
    • Ensure that you give bidders enough time to respond to the ITT opportunity. This can be anything from 1- 6 weeks depending upon the complexity of the requirement within the ITT
    • Don’t shortlist to undertake presentations. Invite all or none at all and if scoring them, declare this with % available in the ITT document. Frameworks don’t generally allow for presentations in the award criteria, so hosting one could lead to a procurement challenge
  18. What else will help?
    • Once you award the contract provide all bidders with extensive feedback including
    • Full scores achieved in comparison to the winning bid
    • Full breakdown of the rationale for the scoring in comparison to the winning bid
    • Ideas on how they can improve their bid for next time This is one of the biggest complaints CPC gets from suppliers that they get little or no feedback outside of the % scores achieved. Better feedback will result in better bids when the next opportunity arises

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