The latest on Network Services 2
Our Sales Manager Terry attended a supplier event for Network Services 2. Being a bit of a dab hand at these events now, we asked him to give the low down on what seemed like a lively session…
So, I attended a Network Services 2 workshop today hosted by Innopsis, a trade association namely for IT suppliers selling into the public sector. They work very closely with both CCS and the IT supply chain. There were 21 people in attendance including 3-4 from Innopsis and Helen from CCS (who is the NS2 category lead).
A Lot of Lot talk
Unlike other framework sessions I have attended this was a deep dive into the actual Lots of the framework and questioning whether they are all relevant or do they need to be changed? The consensus seems to be that some of the Lots should be merged and potentially 3 more Lots created!
The sticky subject of supplier capping was of course raised (more than once!). The impression given is that the preference of public sector buyers is to put a restriction on the number of suppliers within each Lot. This is for a few reasons, but mainly for fear of the amount of responses they will get to a tender. However, is this a problem with having too many suppliers or a resourcing issue on the part of the buying organisation? Someone mentioned that on Technology Services 2 where you might have 70 suppliers in a Lot, often only about 4-6 end up responding to a tender. So, perhaps then this fear is misplaced…
As well as the Lots, some of time was spent on discussing core and supplementary services. Should a supplier be able to provide supplementary services if they have not supplied the core services in the Lot? The event was very interactive, and Ian Fishwick and Richard Barnes lead the day expertly and always got us back on track when perhaps some were diving into rabbit holes.
The afternoon was spent covering the financial tests in terms of pricing, how should they weight quality and pricing and vice versa. I asked the question about any turnover limitations or credit score requirements of suppliers. Helen said that there are no set turnover requirements as of yet for suppliers to apply for Network Services 2 but there is a process in place to look at the ‘risk of failure’ to protect their clients. Regarding Credit score, it was set at 52 for Network Services 1 but later reduced to 26. Again, nothing has been officially set for NS2 so we’ll keep you posted on any developments.
Unfortunately, no dates or timelines for NS2 were given as this session was purely for a detailed look at the Lot structure, core and supplementary services but I will be attending the CCS session this Friday at TechUK, where no doubt these will be discussed.
To sum up…
It was implied that the event was an ideas session and only the start of a lengthy process with further follow up sessions required. But it is quite evident that Innopsis and CCS take an awful lot of care, thought and attention into developing and refining frameworks, as well as considering how they can best work for SME’s. So, all in all, a very informative day!