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Eastern Colleges Group


Eastern Colleges Group had a requirement for an experienced IT supplier who could provide 3rd line support across their multiple sites.

Eastern Colleges Group (consisting of Abbeygate Sixth Form College, ONE Sixth Form College and West Suffolk College) employed CPC to conduct a collaborative tendering process based on one supplier being appointed across the three Colleges to provide 3rd line support only. Previously there was a mixture of incumbents across the sites providing both offsite 3rd line support and onsite managed IT support.

Our Strategy

CPC's approach was to assign our locally based Senior Procurement Consultant Luke Wood to the project. The project was conducted via the restricted 'Find a Tender' service route to market. This route to market was selected because the contract value was above the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015) service threshold of £189,330 and this route allowed the incumbent contractors to also bid. By using the restricted route, this meant that following the pre-qualification stage, we could reduce the number of bidding suppliers down to the 6 highest scoring ones, yet still ensuring enough suppliers for a competitive process.

The Outcome

CPC successfully navigated a complex project with all 3 college sites having different existing IT infrastructures and backgrounds. The conclusion was the successful appointment of an experienced educational IT supplier to provide a standardised service across all the sites. Savings were achieved through removing the non-essential onsite presence previously provided by the incumbent supplier and instead providing an offsite 3rd line support service only as back up to the College Groups' in-house IT team.

This was a complicated but enjoyable project which required close working with the Colleges to ensure a standardised approach across the sites. The aim of this tender was to move from the existing set up which consisted of 3 incumbent suppliers providing varying levels of 3rd line support and onsite support to a completely offsite 3rd line support package, which was successfully achieved. Our work on the contract resulted in an experienced, capable supplier being appointed with further efficiencies gained through only working with one supplier rather than three.
Luke Wood
Senior Procurement Consultant