What actually is a framework?
What are the benefits of using a framework?
Frameworks can be hugely beneficial to organisations, as it makes the process of testing the market much easier. It really isn’t feasible for public sector buyers to process hundreds of submissions every time they go to tender. By establishing a framework, public sector organisations can establish the criteria suppliers need to meet to effectively deliver services. And with all the contractual terms and conditions agreed in advance, both the buyers and suppliers know what they’ve signed up to.
Framework agreements are also lucrative to suppliers, as they offer them exclusive access to contracts with a closed pool of competition. It also allows suppliers to bypass the often lengthy and cumbersome procurement process.
When frameworks fail
Sadly, there are a range of reasons that framework agreements fail to work - for both the buyer and their suppliers.
As framework agreements are, by nature, nothing more than a formal acknowledgement that an organisation might choose to work with a certain supplier. And when suppliers choose to have an unnecessarily large volume of suppliers on their framework – many of whom will sadly never get awarded any work – this can result in something called ‘supplier fatigue’. This is when your suppliers start to adopt the mindset of ‘we never win so why bother’, resulting in disengagement with the framework agreement and a complete breakdown of the relationship between the buyer and that supplier.
How to make your framework succeed
For frameworks to succeed, public sector bodies need to make sure they’ve put in place certain measures that help get the absolute most out of these agreements.
Here’s what they should consider doing before the tender:
- Set a reasonable limit to the number of suppliers you’re inviting to the framework
- Allow pitching suppliers to ask questions about the tender so they can figure out if the fit is right on their side
- Provide plenty of time for your suppliers to meet the submission deadline to allow them to deliver a considered and quality submission
And here’s what they need to do after a place on the framework has been awarded:
- Make sure your suppliers know who you are and how to contact you (an introductory call with a central point of contact is a great way to do this)
- Streamline your process of asking for bids for work under the framework agreement, allowing your suppliers to respond quickly and efficiently to your requests
- Provide regular and consistent communication to all suppliers on your framework, making sure that everyone has the same visibility of opportunities to bid for work
We’re appointed to a number of framework agreements for public sector organisations across the UK. You can check out some of the fantastic work we've delivered by clicking here.
November 24, 2022
September 6, 2023