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[Last modified: July 2021]
The Crown Commercial Service frameworks help the UK’s public sector save money when buying common goods and services. The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is the biggest public procurement organisation in the UK.
They help buyers in the central government, public and third sectors to purchase a wide range of services and goods. From building materials to police cars and networks to nursing staff – they cover a wide and varied range. Crown Commercial Service frameworks are also referred to as Crown Commercial Service (CCS) commercial agreements.
Crown Commercial Service frameworks allow their buyers to get the best commercial deals in the interests of taxpayers. Being a supplier on Crown Commercial Service frameworks can be a lucrative opportunity for your business. Tendering for contracts has many advantages, particularly for SMEs.
If you’re wondering how Crown Commercial Service frameworks work, read our guide below.
There are four main categories and a number of sub-categories of Crown Commercial Service framework agreements. They are as following:
In order to respond to tender opportunities, you will need to be registered on the CCS eSourcing tool. To register, you will need to provide the following information:
Buyers are able to purchase everyday goods and services such as office supplies from the CCS catalogue. The CCS publishes commercial agreements for more complex procurements. For example, if one is looking to buy a fleet of vehicles, they would be procured via a framework.
A framework comprises a description of common public sector requirements. They are multi-supplier agreements and these suppliers have been evaluated and deemed capable of delivering the requirements and contract. Frameworks are typically divided into lots, often by product, service type or location. There are various tendering procedures used by a buyer to purchase something. Businesses looking to buy from a framework can directly award a supplier or run a further mini competition among suppliers.
Further competitions enable the purchase on high-value or complex goods or services. Anything from stationary to complex facility management. These Crown Commercial Service frameworks can run from a few weeks, to several months depending on the complexity of requirements. Further competitions allow an open and fair procurement process for potential suppliers.
Here are some things to consider when writing bids:
Once a framework has been awarded, additional suppliers can’t be added – unlike a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS). If this is the case, you will need to wait until the next opening arises. As mentioned above, the length of Crown Commercial Service frameworks can vary from a couple of months to years.
New procurements often start several months in advance of the active arrangement’s expiry date. This is because the procurement process can take a number of months to complete. It all depends on the complexity of the goods or services being procured.
Sometimes there may not be tendering opportunities available in your area of business. If this is the case, you may be able to sub-contract your services to suppliers on existing arrangements. For this to happen, you should directly contact the relevant supplier. Suppliers can be found on the CCS website.
Registering on the Government eMarketplace will enable you to advertise your capability to supply products or services. The eMarketplace is an online marketplace providing customers with a request for quote (RFQ) service for low-value, less complex purchases. This enables you to supply on a national or regional basis without the need of going through the tendering process.
Any supplier can register for the marketplace. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that registering on this marketplace does not mean you’re a CCS supplier. You will not be listed on the Crown Commercial Service website as a supplier. This shouldn’t dishearten you as it is still a great way to secure a pipeline of work.
You’re able to find Crown Commercial Service frameworks by registering with the government’s Contract Finder and Tenders Electronic Daily (TED). These two services can be used for finding tender opportunities relevant to your business area.
TED is the online version of the supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Contracts Finder shows the longer term and wider government pipeline. You are able to find all public sector tenders over £10,000 here. It’s automatically updated every weekday night with new notices published on TED.
Both sites will give you information about both CCS and wider government tender opportunities. You will need to constantly monitor the procurement pipeline for new opportunities. This can all take quite a lot of time out of your day or night.
What if we told you, there’s an easier way to go about this that streamlines the process, saving you time?
Hudson Discover gives you access to all the Crown Commercial Service frameworks, unique and public sector opportunities in your industry. Find them all in one, easy-to-use, central portal.
At Hudson Discover, we house 11 sector-specific tendering portals. These consist of:
If being a supplier on a CCS framework is something your business is interested in, we can help. It’s understandable if you don’t have the necessary resources or time to complete an application in-house. Our dedicated Hudson Succeed team have over 60 years bid writing experience, boasting an 87% success rate. We have secured direct contract wins totalling over £300million for our clients. We offer four bid writing support services.
Once you’ve found the perfect Crown Commercial Service framework for your business, why not send it our way? Our Bid Writers can take care of it all for you. They’ll let you know what they need from you, providing you with a full Tender Writing breakdown. They’ll even submit it on your behalf. The tendering process is time-consuming which is why we are here to help with writing bids.
If you’ve written your own tender response and need someone to double-check it for errors, Tender Mentor can help. The Bid Team will proofread your work for any inconsistencies, grammar or spelling mistakes. They’ll also ensure that it’s in line with the specification before you submit.
Our Tender Ready 4-week programme is perfect for businesses that have never tendered before. A Bid Writer will work with you to make sure you have everything in place to tender successfully. Tender Ready offers your business:
If you’ve been tendering but aren’t seeing the results you want, our Tender Improvement package can help. Our Bid Team will assess your previous responses and tender documents, working with you to improve for future submissions.
Upgrading to Discover Elite can help optimise your tendering efforts – even when you’re busy. Our two new time-saving tools can improve your competitor awareness and success rate.
The Ultimate Time Saver package offers your business:
The Become a Pre-Bid Master package also includes:
Contact us to find out how we can help your business grow.
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