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How to deal with lengthy application processes

Procurement framework applications can be extensive but suppliers shouldn’t get overwhelmed! Here’s a strategy you can refer to when completing your own applications.

Allowing yourself or your team to become overwhelmed by the amount of work and resources needed to complete an application could cost you a place on the framework you hope to be listed on! Here, we show you the importance of breaking down the process and how you can create your own roadmap.


Start early!

The greatest advice we can offer you is to not wait around! As soon as you’ve seen a public sector opportunity you’d like to sell via, carefully read through the tender documents and make sure you can meet the requirements. Pass it through to your colleagues and especially legal teams to check the terms are achievable. Once you have the green light, get started on your listings to ensure you’ve got enough time to make them the best they can be.

This is just as important for those relisting on the next iteration of a framework they are already listed on. Adaptations may have been made to the structure, so it’s essential you review all ITT documents. The changeover between iterations will also give you the perfect opportunity to review your service offerings and make sure your listings are compliant and buyable.


Familiarise yourself with the application process

If you feel overwhelmed by taking on a large project such as another framework, the issue may be that you haven’t broken down the processes. Make sure you read through what is expected of you in your application. What are the documents you need to provide? It’s worthwhile at this stage to also look into what the processes are beyond the application. Aim to minimise any feelings of anxiety surrounding the framework.



Is there anything you need to apply for before you can get on the framework? For example, to even start your application for any CCS frameworks, you will need to register a supplier account. For this, supplying organisations will need a DUNS number and in some cases a VAT number. All UK&I businesses are automatically assigned a DUNS number, and you can find yours here.

Elements such as this that require external applications may take up to 2 weeks to get sorted. So, make sure you find or apply for these as soon as possible to avoid getting to submission day and still not having them to hand! Once you understand the framework and have everything prepared, you can begin to create your roadmap.


Create your roadmap

Now that you’re at a stage where you can create your plan. First and foremost, this will depend on how much time you have running up to the application deadline. Consider this and the resources you have to hand. Do you need any support to ensure you complete your application in sufficient time and to a high standard? Remember to think about the various personnel or teams it may need to be passed round, too. This will lead to multiple drafts you need to account for in your schedule.

You will then need to consider the time needed to create any extra documents such as case studies. Frameworks often ask for supporting documentation, as well. For example, G-Cloud asks that suppliers submit a Service Definition – a document not limited by word count. Considering this, you will want to allocate a significant amount of time to these elements so that you are able to include everything possible and create a high-quality listing.

We created a handy downloadable roadmap for G-Cloud suppliers earlier this year. This can be translated for other similar routes to market and give more insight into what suppliers should consider in the application process. 


Always remember that there is help available if you need it. Getting to grips with public sector routes to market can be difficult. Here at Advice Cloud, we offer support with getting listed on various frameworks and DPSs. We can create a plan for you with draft deadlines and ensure via our reviews that your listings are airtight and perfect for buyers looking to procure.

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