Why SMEs should be looking at the Spark DPS
The new DPS from CCS, billed as a Technology Innovation Marketplace, certainly looks interesting. But why should SMEs look to be on it?
With Spark going live on 16th April for buyers, suppliers should now be looking at getting onto the DPS and to get selling. As we’ve covered before, it’s all aimed at enabling central government and the wider public sector to have easy access to technology innovation. One of the main benefits for suppliers being that it’s adaptable and provides a flexible platform as their technologies change over the DPS’ lifespan.
Boosting government’s SME spend policy
The government previously targeted to spend £1 of every £3 on SMEs by 2020 and, with Spark, CCS have launched a new way to do this. They’ve even admitted themselves that it’s launch is tied in to the aim and claim that ‘Spark will ease the barriers to entry and help SMEs thrive in government’ – a bold statement!
It’s easy to use
A DPS works so that suppliers can join at any point during it being live and its processes aimed at streamlining procurement. On Spark, buyers will publish a call for competition asking for suppliers to respond. The buyers will then evaluate the suppliers who responded with Selection questions and award a contract to the most appropriate supplier.
As you can see, the DPS is designed to create less work for suppliers up front, freeing up some very valuable time and resources – especially for SMEs.
Suppliers aren’t constrained by time
A DPS works differently to other methods available to suppliers. For example, when using frameworks (like G-Cloud or Technology Products) rather than a DPS, suppliers can’t alter their listings or services during the period the framework is live. This sometimes means suppliers have to wait up to 4 years to change anything about what they’re supplying. This isn’t the case with a DPS like Spark.
Spark’s goal is to provide new and proven technology innovation that can support a buyer’s needs – giving a lot more flexibility to what a supplier provides.
Less big dogs
As well as CCS openly stating that Spark will encourage SME participation, the idea of the DPS is to make this easier for SMEs to do actual business. For example, 94% of all suppliers on DOS are SMEs, but only make up 30% of all deals through the framework to date. That’s pretty crazy. With Spark, CCS’ are aiming to combat any advantage large suppliers may have and make an equal playing field.
There you go! We think that Spark sounds like a good opportunity for SMEs and has some great benefits. If you want more details on how it works, you can read our Spark 101 here.