Can’t we just list ourselves?
You can certainly apply for G-Cloud on your own. But before you start filling in that application here’s some food for thought.
Arguably, the whole point of G-Cloud is to make it easier for suppliers to sell to the public sector and easier for buyers to procure services. This includes the application process that suppliers have to go through to get listed on the framework. It’s not the easiest we have seen but it’s not the hardest. This is why some suppliers opt to simply apply with no expert help.
How successful a listing is in attracting business or if it is even compliant is another story. Some manage to produce excellent listings while others struggle. Many suppliers might not even understand that their listing is an issue or a contributing factor to the fact they haven’t sold. In fact, 66% of suppliers have not sold a thing on G-Cloud and often this is due to a poor listing.
We often get asked, why shouldn’t we just apply on our own? Our response is you certainly can, but we ask every supplier to consider a few things before they set off:
Is your G-Cloud listing compliant?
There is no formal check to make sure your application is valid for G-Cloud. Usually, suppliers are only turned away if their listing is not suitable for the framework – for example selling hardware – not because of the documents they attach or the content of their listing. This means that just because you got listed on the framework, this does not mean your solutions can be bought through it!
There can be quite a few documents suppliers fill out for their G-Cloud application. This can include a Pricing document, Service Definition, a Terms and Conditions document and a potential SFIA Rate Card. It’s essential suppliers make sure that these are all compliant.
Many suppliers spend a long time on their application not realising they’ve included non-compliant details. One such example is the pricing document that is often riddled with mistakes, preventing a buyer from actually being able to purchase the solution. Also, if a supplier makes a mistake on their pricing, it might be that they have to wait for another 12 months or more (until the next iteration) to make any changes. If you have a customer lined up, would they want to wait that long?
Submitting a non-compliant listing isn’t just a waste of everyone’s time (including potential prospects) but it can make it look like the supplier doesn’t understand public sector procurement at all.
Do you have the time for it?
The G-Cloud application process can be lengthy, requiring a lot of input from various members of different teams. What you definitely don’t want to do is simply submit without any reviews or communication between key members of staff. For example, your delivery or your technical team need to be involved. If you are wondering about the time commitment needed to apply for G-Cloud, check out our infographic detailing the typical application process.
The fact is, to create a compliant listing of good quality you will need to put the time into it. And as we know, most companies are time-poor – particularly SMEs.
Are you thinking about what’s next?
Getting on the framework is just the start of a supplier’s G-Cloud journey. Once accepted onto the framework there are steps that must be followed in order to continue moving forward. Some of these are:
- Submitting monthly invoices to CCS for reporting
- Explaining procurement processes (for example, call-off contracts) to potential buyers
- Changes to details within listings to optimise for your target market
It’s always important to remember that the ongoing ‘maintenance’ of G-Cloud can require designated members of staff and yet again take up time and resources.
So, there you have it! If you want to list on G-Cloud yourself there are many things to consider. For organisations that have the know-how and the team, listing by themselves is a no brainer. For others, it might cost them business.