Date: 25th Jun 2020 By: Pat Condon length: 15 minutes Tags: Video Blog
Hello and welcome to this presentation from Crescent purchasing Consortium. Today's presentation is entitled making a framework work. The objectives of the session today are to understand how a framework is constructed to understand what a framework delivers and to understand how to maximise supplier interest in your opportunity when utilising a framework and apply that thereafter for all your procurement activity.
A framework is a potential procurement route to market and one of many that you can utilise. CPC frameworks are designed to meet the needs of an ever-expanding marketplace from both within education and also now to the wider public sector. A framework does not always define user requirements as these are determined at call off by the member and user themselves. A framework is not a contract of procurement between CPC and the supplier as this contract position is achieved at call off between the member and the supplier themselves. A framework is a list of approved suppliers that have been through a robust procurement process to obtain a place on the framework.
For CPC we have two areas that we assess:
So, areas of pre-qualification assessment include the following grounds which may lead to either mandatory or discretionary grounds for exclusion in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations (PCR2015):
Without passing this stage of the tender submission suppliers will not proceed to have their ITTs assessed. Our areas of award criteria assets will include the following:
Once we've set the framework up this offers a compliant procurement route for our members to utilise for their procurement. It's designed to deliver value and comes with free advice and guidance from the CPC team.
The framework will generally have a defined lot structure and this can be as follows:
Well CPC suppliers operate across both the public and private sectors and as commercial entities they select their bidding opportunities using commercial principles. As suppliers may be operating on numerous frameworks, which may contribute to those commercial decisions, a supplier is encouraged to bid for all opportunities well we recognise that it's not necessarily what always happens. We design our lotting structures to help mitigate the risk of low bid numbers, we undertake contract management reviews with suppliers where bid response rates is a standard agenda item. We cannot force suppliers to bid for all opportunities as this is not practical or enforceable but we can remove supplies from frameworks for poor performance and we do deem non bidding on a continual basis as being one of the reason to poor performance which can be a reason for a supplier being removed.
There are numerous reasons why a supplier may decide not to bid, they're wide and varied and will differ dependent upon what you're procuring. Importantly, every time a supplier prepares a bid or tender they incur costs. These costs can be significant, especially in consideration of complex requirements and this is particularly true in the area of outsourced services. Let's consider reasons from the supplier’s perspective and will now take you through some of the many considerations that our suppliers will contemplate and by no means is this list exhaustive.
Let's have a look at that now. So even when you're using a framework your institution is the contracting authority and you own the procurement process so be creative. Always start with your own pre-market engagement to warm up the marketplace. Contact the framework suppliers in advance by email and phone to let them know that your opportunity is coming you can even use the CPC quick Quote Tool. It's always best to get the suppliers interested specifically where a procurement exercise is critical to you. A key message is to spend enough time preparing your invitation to tender so that it's easy to understand and contains all the information that any bidding supplier might require.
Firstly, have a Content page with all sections clearly referenced with their page numbers. Provide an overview of your institution which advises bidders of what you expect to gain from the contract award, tell them about your sites tell them about your learners, tell them about your growth plans tell them about your investment plans. Let them know what's going to happen to you during the term of the contract award. If it's an outsourced service include photographs as this helps to improve the bid for the suppliers. That helps them to visualise your requirements. Don't revisit selection criteria that was used by CPC in setting up the framework as this isn't allowed. Do ensure that you're clear and transparent as to how you will score all the ITT submissions with defined award and sub criteria clearly detailed in your ITT. Ensure that your award criteria adds up to one hundred percent and that the use of a sub criteria adds up within the appropriate sections to the award percentage that you've allocated. Ensure that any weighting is applied and is transparent and clear to understand and if you host a site visit ensure all bidders are invited and think about how you'll answer any questions to ensure equal treatment on the day. Ensure that if you have any implementation timescales for your project that these are realistic and achievable for the suppliers. To shorten implementation timescales often leads to poorly managed bids and a poor implementation process leading to conflict between the member and the supplier. Ensure during the tender process that any requests or clarifications are provided to all bidders to ensure equality of treatment and transparency ensuring that you give bidders enough time to respond to the ITT opportunity, this can be anything from 1 to 6 weeks or more depending upon the complexity of the requirement within your ITT and don't short list to undertake presentations if you don't need to. Invite all or none at all and if scoring them declare this with the percentage available marks within your ITT document. Frameworks don't generally allow for presentations in the award criteria so be aware that hosting one could potentially lead to a procurement challenge. Once you award the contract provide all the bidders with extensive feedback and this should include full scores achieved in comparison to the winning bid, a full breakdown of the rationale for the scoring and then compare that to the winning bid and also give the suppliers 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 percentage scores achieved. Ultimately better feedback does result in better bids when the next opportunity arises so as procurement professionals we understand that it takes time to provide the feedback we provide extensive feedback as part of our award criteria when we go back to our bidders who've been unsuccessful because we have to under regulations but we also recognise this best practice to provide our bidders with as much information as possible to enable them to compete for the next opportunity.