Buying from the Framework

How do Members buy from the framework? This can be done in one of two ways:

Direct Award

Direct Award is an option under all framework Lots with the exception of Lot 3 (where Members must engage in a further competition). The rules governing Direct Award are defined within the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and Members attention is drawn to these rules. Direct Award takes place where a Member direct awards business to a supplier without the supplier having to engage in a further competitive process to win the contract.

Each supplier has an agreed price list for the devices and services available under each Lot and these can be accessed by contacting the framework Help Desk. The price lists may be of assistance to Members when deciding whether or not to Direct Award to a supplier.

It is anticipated that Direct Award will be most commonly used in cases of urgent and/or one-off need. Members are encouraged to engage in Further Competition to secure best value in all other cases.

Further advice and guidance can be obtained from the Crescent Purchasing Consortium Members Help Desk (not the framework specific Help Desk detailed in section 7).

Further Competition

A Member can engage suppliers in a further competition in pursuit of additional value on all framework Lots. When engaging in a further competition exercise, Members must invite all the suppliers, from within the respective Lot from which they are purchasing, to participate in the further competition.  All suppliers within the respective lot must be given the opportunity to engage in a further competition. Whereas all suppliers must be given the opportunity to engage in the further competition, they are not obliged to submit a quotation and may decide not to submit a bid under the further competition. This doesn’t invalidate your further competition.

The following is an example of a traditional further competition process (for illustrative purpose only):

Basic advice and guidance upon conducting further competitions can be obtained from the Help Desk (see section 7).

If conducting your own further competition exercise members should note the base evaluation criteria and weighting for the Lot under which they are conducting the process. Full details of the weighting that underpins each Lot can be found in Appendix E.

A standard further competition template for use in a traditional further competition is attached in Appendix B for Members wishing to undertake their own further competition exercise.

Free of Charge Print Audits

Print audits are normally available free of charge* under Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, from any supplier on the Lot you are procuring under. Print audits can be requested directly from a particular Lot supplier without the need to engage in any form of comparison/assessment process to select a supplier to conduct the print audit. However, Members may find it beneficial to select a supplier to conduct the print audit following a structured comparison process.  Members should note that information will need to be shared with the supplier conducting the print audit in order for the audit to be effective.  Print audits can be a valuable way of understanding your current printing costs and the potential for print savings. Please be sure to speak with the appropriate supplier account manager for more details and to book an audit.

The results of the print audit should be used to inform your service specification. Members should note that invariably print audit results and recommendations will be supplier centric and therefore great care should be taken to normalise the findings before communicating a specification through the Further Competition process.

Members should note that print audits can only be obtained free of charge where there is commitment to utilise the framework for the resulting provision of devices and services. Print Audits will be charged in full where Members receive a free of charge print audit and elect upon receiving the results of the audit to utilise a different framework to fulfil their requirements for devices and services.

Members should note that comprehensive vendor neutral Print Audits and wider consultancy services are available through the Lot 7 Consultancy Services Lot. These are chargeable services but do provide true vendor neutral advice and recommendations

*A charge may be levied by some providers where the extent of the required audit is extensive and complex.

Placing an order

Having selected your chosen supplier and print solution, orders should be placed via the Framework Order Form – a copy is detailed in Appendix D. Your preferred supplier will populate the Order Form with the full details of your requirement and then present you with a completed Order Form for signature. The Order Form under which the contract will be enabled clearly references the framework terms and conditions.