Our blogs guide you through eight reasons to take a fresh look at framework agreements and evaluate whether your business could benefit from this streamlined purchasing approach.
Reason 3: Flexible to meet your needs
There are many types of frameworks and they are offered by a range of providers, so research is required to establish how they have been costed and the fees they charge. Many framework agreements operate based on lots which provides maximum flexibility as RSLs can purchase different elements of their requirements through the same framework according to their area of expertise.
For example, plumbing suppliers and timber are separated from each other within the same framework and offered by a range of specialist suppliers. Some general building lots within a framework also include paint and tools. Alternatively, you can select a lot which only contains decorative materials. A plumbing and heating lot might provide access to gas spares and renewables or you could select from a framework which carries a separate lot for gas spares alone.
The availability of lots can help you whether you need some flexibility from a supplier or have tightly defined requirements. Examining lots within frameworks might provide you with fresh ideas for accessing materials or services that you had not previously considered. Always check out the level of flexibility that is offered within the agreement to see if there is any scope for variations on the available lots.
Reason 4: Sharply focused options
Sometimes too much choice can be the enemy of efficiency. Choosing a supplier from a pre- established framework enables you to test the market quickly and make decisions that can be implemented without delay. Multi-supplier agreements provide you with a restricted choice based
on pre-agreed and pre-tested criteria. Essentially your framework provider has already put in place many of the checks and balances that you would normally deploy before contracts are awarded.
Organisations are enabled to go to the market once, and, in the case of single supplier agreements, avoid engaging in any competitive process. The framework provider has already reviewed the field and decided that its single supplier is the best in its class and competent to deliver the requirements of every client within its defined specialism.
While suppliers within frameworks have already been assessed and qualified in advance, it is worth checking that their product ranges specifically meet your requirements. Do you need access to a particular brand to meet the safety or quality standards you have established for your property portfolio?
If you have a preferred supplier in mind because you have worked with them previously or know them by reputation, you may be able to access their services through an established framework without any further competition.
Framework agreements further empower social housing providers to make direct awards if they choose to do so without entering into any further element of competition. This cuts down the amount of time taken to action decisions and make effective orders for goods and services that are needed quickly at the point of use.
Our blogs will continue next week with Reasons 5 & 6: Cost effective solutions tailored to your community.