Technology Products 3 consultation wash up
This week we attended the Technology Products 3 consultation ran by Crown Commercial Services and delivered at TechUK. Our Head of Client Services Flo brings you the low down.
After a brief intro from Rob Driver, Public Sector programme manager at tech UK, Rob Langley, Technology Products lead at CCS went through a little retro of how Technology Products 2 is performing so far, which Lots are the most successful and how much money has been spent on each lot so far. The two go hand in hand really and it was fairly clear to see that Lot 1 Hardware, Lot 2 Software and Lot 6 Catalogue are the clear front runner. There was also participation from to other Robs in the room but by that point I gave up on surnames, forgive me.
I was sat next to Enzo Daniele from PSTG, themselves listed on Lot 6 Catalogue, who corroborated that the Lot is indeed working well. He did however agree with a point mentioned later through the consultation: the margins were small and therefore made trading barely profitable. PSTG are planning on applying for 3 Lots this time round, so the framework must be worth it.
The session was then taken over by Lucy, another CCS Product Lead who proceeded to test the room full of suppliers to find out how the next iteration of the framework should look like. The feedback was organised through a platform called Menti which got mixed response from the room. It guaranteed CCS got answers to all their questions, on the other, it made for a rather dry session. All the feedback was given online and therefore didn’t generate much debate in the room.
To summarise the main take always from the day, CCS are open to ideas on how to make the framework as SME friendly as possible, which was good to hear, and clearly identified the main pain point both buyers and suppliers are having. They are open to taking inspiration from other frameworks, whether G-Cloud or the new DPS, so that’s good news.
Techology Products 3 provisional timetable
|August 2018||Contract Notice placed in OJEU/competition begins|
|Sept/Oct 2018||Tenders received by/ evaluation begins|
|November 2018||Award of contracts/Implementation activity begins|
|October 2018||Expiry of existing Framework Agreements|
For those who worry about the overlap, don’t, if needs be Technology Products 2 will be slightly extended and the two iterations will run in conjunction for a while (3 months or so if needed). I expect there will be a little Lot shake up, wouldn’t be surprised if the number was reduced and Lot 1 or 2 scrapped altogether, or it could even be that Lot 6 gets its own framework, although judging by the feedback it wouldn’t be the suppliers preferred option.
The framework works well, it successfully laid the foundation for the Crown Marketplace and it is coming back bigger and better. And, as usual, I sensed a real desire from the CCS team to listen to the feedback and act on it. As Lucy put it: if you don’t suggest another way to do it, then you’ll get the same margins. She has a point, it is by participating in consultations that suppliers can help shape the frameworks.
If you have tech hardware or software to sell, then you could do a lot worse than joining Technology Products 3. It’s coming out soon – watch this space.