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What to do now Network Services 3 applications are in

Network Services 3 [RM6116] is now closed to applications. Whilst there’s a significant period of time before award, there’s more suppliers can do besides wait.

Network Services 3 (the third iteration of this valuable framework we work on) closed for supplier applications on Tuesday 17th January. Framework award is expected to take place in April, which leaves suppliers with a good 3-4 months of waiting. OR they could opt to use that time to their advantage and develop their framework strategy.


Here’s a reminder of the Network Services 3 framework timeline

These are the dates we currently have confirmed:

  • Drafting of Docs – August 2022
  • Applications open – 18th November 2022
  • Award – April 2023

Study the framework

Past getting applications in, suppliers can do a few things in anticipation of being awarded a place on Network Services 3. Most importantly, we recommend making sure you know the framework inside out! It’s crucial there’s a good understanding of the framework across your organisation. For example, if your sales team don’t understand how it works, how can they let buyers know you can be procured through it? They’ll be more inclined to work with you if they know where to efficiently procure your products and services


There’s a lot of work that goes into a public sector strategy. Getting on to a framework should never be an end goal. Instead, it should be a major step in your overall journey. It is an enabler for sales and success, not a guarantee. You should work out how Network Services 3 will fit into your overall Sales and Marketing Strategy. This may require attending events, working on your social media strategy, seeking training for your teams, sharing knowledge throughout your organisation and perhaps involving members of various teams in planning your Network Services strategy.


But my Network Services 3 application might not be successful?

Spending all this time on Network Services might seem excessive when you don’t yet know if your application was successful. Doing your preparation for the framework going Live will benefit your wider public sector strategy. Many characteristics of this framework will be similar to others from Crown Commercial Service (CCS) or other procurement governing bodies. Making sure your sales and marketing teams know how your routes to market work can help with your wider public strategy and other frameworks you might use.

We’ve spoken a lot about how to construct a great strategy, and also about public sector sales and marketing strategies, so we won’t go too much into depth here. However, it’s important to get this right so we really recommend checking out those linked resources. If you’re successful, Network Services 3 will play a part in this overall strategy!


Don’t stop there

If there are other frameworks or Dynamic Purchasing Systems relevant to you, get listed on them. There may be a crossover with other frameworks in CCS’s pipeline and buyers will likely look into procuring through those routes, too. You’ll miss out if you’re not listed on the frameworks – it’s as easy as that! Suppliers should always be looking at all the best routes to market, so utilise this time before Network Services 3 results are announced.

So there you go. The main takeaway is don’t sit around waiting for the results of your application. Get ready to start winning public sector business!


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