What are framework agreements?
Frameworks are “umbrella agreements” that sets out the terms – particularly relating to price, quality and quantity – under which individual contracts (call-offs) can be awarded throughout the period of the agreement (normally a maximum of 4 years). They are typically used when the buyer(s) identify a need for specific products or services but are unsure of the scope or timeframe.
Do they need to be advertised in the OJEU?
In line with public procurement legislation. if a framework agreement is publicly funded and the estimated total value of all the potential call-offs exceeds the relevant EU procurement threshold then it should be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
Who can use them?
Any organisation subject to EU public procurement regulations can publish a framework agreement. Many are published either on behalf of multiple buyers or left open for use by some or all public sector organisations.
How do I secure a place on one?
- Notices announcing framework agreements are published in the same manner as standard invitations to tender
- Suppliers wishing to participate must register interest using the details provided on the notice and will be awarded a place subject to their ability to satisfy selection criteria
- Only those suppliers who respond to the original notice and are selected will be eligible to participate in any call-offs made under the framework
How are call-offs awarded?
If the framework agreement is awarded to only one supplier, the buyer can simply call-off a requirement from them as and when they wish. If the framework is awarded to several suppliers, there are two ways in which call-offs can be conducted:
- If the terms laid out in the framework agreement are detailed enough for the buyer to identify the best supplier for a particular requirement, they can directly award a contract
- If the buyer is unable to identify which supplier could offer them best value for money for a particular requirement, a mini-competition can be held between all the approved suppliers
What are the advantages?
- Possibility of being awarded multiple contracts
- Reduction in administrative burden due to streamlined procedure
- Chance to build lasting working relationships with multiple buyers
- Less downtime between identifying a need and fulfilling it
- Reduction in administrative costs with removal of OJEU process for every requirement
- Potential savings with economies of scale – suppliers may offer more competitive prices
What are the disadvantages?
- No guarantee of business even if you’re selected as an approved supplier
- Suppliers unsuccessful at the selection stage are locked out of any call-offs for the duration of the agreement
- Frameworks are unresponsive to change. There may be new suppliers and/or new solutions within the market that were not included when the agreement was initially set up
- They apply a ‘one size fits all’ approach, which may make it difficult for buyers to satisfy their own procurement objectives
If you found this blog helpful but want to know more, you can join our free webinar on Thursday 30th August 1pm – 2pm which covers Framework Agreements and Dynamic Purchasing Systems. You can also view a recording of the previous session.
Questions? Feel free to leave a comment, call us on 0800 222 9009, or visit www.tendersdirect.co.uk
A little heads up can go a long way in the world of public sector tendering. Suppliers usually rely on Prior Information Notices (PINs) to give them a heads up that a contract was soon to be out there to bid on.
PINs are a great way to prepare for a bid response, but the time a supplier has to prepare their bid off the back of a PIN can vary: some PINs can be live for as little as a month before the contract notice comes out.
The longer the supplier has, the better position they are in to make a successful bid. That’s why Tenders Direct has launched Advance Tender Alerts.
Advance Tender Alerts provide suppliers with notifications of tenders, related to their business, up to six months before they expire – covering both above and below threshold opportunities.
Continue reading “Tender Forecasting”
With £714 billion being spent on the public sector in the UK in 2014 you may feel that there is plenty of business to go around. However, if you are considering broadening your options or want to look further afield you could consider bidding for tenders across the European Union.
The European Union was created on the basis of it being a single market which includes the free movement of goods, capital, people and services across all member states. In practice this means that a UK company should have an equal chance of winning a tender in a different EU member state as the local companies and there should be no barrier to intra-EU trade. We often hear of dissatisfaction that local contracts in the UK have been awarded to non-local suppliers and so this could be considered the other side of that coin.
While it may seem like it is easy to go for these types of opportunities there are certain things that need to be considered before taking the leap! All the points made by my colleague Gemma on this blog: How SMEs can break into the public sector will apply but there will be other aspects that will need to be considered as well.
Continue reading “Tendering across Europe – How to step out of the UK”
Do you find yourself scrambling with every tender the day before the deadline, frantically gathering your tender documents and cutting and pasting 75% of the tender together? It might be time to put together your Bid Team. Putting together a great tender is more than one person’s job, however in a busy working environment it tends to fall on the laps of busy people who already have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Take a stand! Start your Bid Team today!
Continue reading “Keep your eye on the game – Picking a winning Bid Team.”
Selecting the right contracts to go for is critical to the growth of your business. So often we waste a huge amount of time responding to tenders we are destined never to win. It can be due to a lack of resources, limited experience or it simply just doesn’t fit with your core business.
Here’s a quick and effective checklist for deciding whether you should go for a contract or not.
Rank your response from 1 to 5, with 1 as the most negative and 5 as the most positive answer. If the total score is below 20, you should seriously consider whether it is worth proceeding to Step 2.
1. Were we aware of the opportunity before it was advertised?
2. Do we know the decision-maker(s)?
3. Do we have a significant technical or other competitive advantage?
4. Have we done an effective job of pre-selling for this project?
5. Do we have a champion in-house who is motivated to win?
6. Have we allowed enough time for preparing the proposal?
Answer yes or no to the following Qualitative Factors:
1. Will our price be competitive?
2. Does the opportunity match our target market area and services?
3. Does the project present us with an unusual opportunity to break into a new market?
4. Will the submittal effort be proportional with the expected fee?
5. Is the project consistent with our minimum/maximum project size objectives?
6. Can we make a profit doing this project?
7. If we cannot make a profit, are there any prevailing reasons to want the project?
8. Do we have qualified staff available to perform the work?
9. Do we have the staff and time available to prepare a quality proposal?
10. Do we have the track record/experience for the project?
If you have answered ‘no’ to more than two of these questions, you should seriously consider whether this is the right contract for you.