26 June

CCS at the Public Sector Show

We are delighted to be returning as a key supporter of the Public Sector Show in 2018.

The show is a must-attend event for anyone responsible for procurement in central and local government, as well as the wider public sector. You’ll hear from over 140 leading voices and network with over 2,000 senior public servants who are all looking to learn, procure and deliver.

This year’s show is focused on 4 key areas:

  • workforce and leadership
  • digital and technology
  • estates and infrastructure
  • finance and corporate

As a key supporter of the show, we will be at stand C11 all day to discuss your procurement challenges, as well as hosting a series of thought-leadership sessions around key themes of public sector procurement, including:

  • Nick Caton, Head of Wider Public Sector, will be discussing simplifying the market for public sector buyers
  • David Gigg, Policy Implementation, will be providing a comprehensive update on everything you need to know about procurement policy
  • Niall Quinn, Strategic Category Director, Technology, will be discussing social value in procurement
  • Sam Ulyatt, Strategic Category Director, Buildings, will be talking about what collaboration really means
  • Maggie Tonge, Workforce Category Director, will be sharing insights into the CCS workforce solutions for the future

If you’ve not yet booked your place there is still time to register for free. Hope to see you there!

26 June

CCS at the Public Sector Show

We are delighted to be returning as a key supporter of the Public Sector Show in 2018.

The Public Sector Show is a must-attend event for anyone responsible for procurement in central and local government, as well as the wider public sector. Meet with over 130 leading suppliers of solutions and products designed to save money and deliver better public services.

Our Chief Executive, Malcolm Harrison, will be delivering a keynote on transforming public sector procurement. We will also have our own seminar theatre at the show hosting a series of thought-leadership sessions around key themes of public sector procurement. Look out for further details shortly.

A number of CCS framework suppliers will be exhibiting at the show, providing you with an ideal opportunity to meet them in person, learn about their products and solutions, and even see demonstrations.

Key themes this year are workforce and leadership, corporate and finance, digital and technology, and estates and infrastructure.

Workforce and leadership 

With over 5 million people working in the UK public sector, there is an ever-growing demand to continue to find solutions to recruit and retain experienced staff, develop talent and maximise productivity. Get expert knowledge in human resources, organisational development, effective leadership and more, through key topic areas in the workforce and leadership zone:

    • recruitment and retention
    • cultivating talent
    • overcoming cultural barriers to change
  • agile working

Digital and technology

The show will provide a range of tools and expertise to meet your digital needs across key areas including:

  • digital services
  • digital literacy and skills
  • automation and artificial intelligence
  • data and the cloud
  • cyber security
  • smart cities and the internet of things

Estates and infrastructure

Estates and infrastructure professionals attending the show will find a variety of pioneering solutions and insights on offer including:

  • estates rationalisation
  • housing and planning
  • sustainability
  • digital connectivity
  • transport
  • asset management

Register for free now to save your space. 

16 April

NCVO Annual Conference 2018

We’re looking forward to attending the NCVO Annual Conference being held in London on 16 April 2018. The conference brings together 600 representatives from across the charity sector for a packed schedule of workshop sessions, networking opportunities and an exhibition, with the theme of this year’s event announced as ‘different thinking, bigger difference’.

If you’re planning to attend, why not visit us on stand 33 to meet our team and find out how CCS can help you with your procurement needs?

Find out more about the event.

Our new CCS film

We have been working hard to create a film that tells our story – what we do, who we do it for, how we do it, what our core values are and, most importantly, how we can help you save time and money on procurement.

We are delighted to share this brand new film with you.

Watch our new film below and if you would like to learn more or have a specific question, use our enquiry form to get in touch or join our next Introduction to CCS webinar on 19 March.

Please also share it with your colleagues!

Research Marketplace opens for business

Public sector organisations can now access a range of research expertise, as part of a new Crown Commercial Service (CCS) framework.

The Research Marketplace Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) gives public sector organisations including NHS Trusts and local authorities access to experts in market, social and economic research.

The agreement will be used to inform and develop government policies across a swathe of areas, ensuring that public services and communications are built on a strong evidence base, taking in customer experience and more quantitative measures.

The Research Marketplace has an anticipated maximum lifetime of 4 years, and the performance of the new system will be reviewed regularly. The agreement is estimated to be worth £170m.

Tracy Clark, Crown Commercial Service’s Head of Procurement for Marketing, Communications and Research said: “The Research Marketplace is an exciting new agreement which will enable the public sector to access wide-ranging research expertise that supports the delivery of efficient, effective public services. The Dynamic Purchasing System approach also provides greater access to public sector opportunities for SMEs and specialist providers.”   

DPSs allow an unlimited number of suppliers to sign up to offer their services over the term of the agreement – as long as suppliers can show they can meet the selection criteria and agree to relevant terms and conditions.

Suppliers provide details of their research services, and customers can use the system to filter and refine their search to develop a list of potential providers.

Contracts are then awarded by customers following a ‘Call for Competition’ process.

For more information about the Research Marketplace, visit the framework page or if you have a specific question, complete out contact form and we’ll be in touch.

Print management service reduces university’s costs by almost 14%

The Crown Commercial Service framework for print management has saved Queen’s University Belfast £110,000.

CCS - Print management service reduces un’s costs by almost 14%

“CDS ensure the world-class quality associated with the University is extended to all our printed materials. Their knowledge of the corporate brand and their expertise in print guarantees each publication is produced on brand, using the most efficient print production method. The consultation, advice and service provided by the Account Team enables staff to get the most from their budget and gives the assurance that the final product will be fit for purpose and delivered on time.”

Tim McCann, Marketing Manager (Campaigns and Creative)

The requirement

Queen’s University Belfast, who have a student population of 24,000 and 3,800 staff, required a single supplier to provide a comprehensive print management service and an on-campus reprographic service to produce all their printed materials. The contract also needed to cover related services including artworking publications to their corporate brand, supply of exhibition and display materials, fulfilment and direct mail.

The solution

CDS was appointed through the Crown Commercial Service Managed Print and Digital Solutions (RM3785) framework. Upon appointment they reviewed and evaluated the university print management and lithographic service to see how they could reduce costs and make it more efficient.

CDS staffed the on-campus print centre with a dedicated team of digital and lithographic print experts to analyse each job request, find the most cost-effective method of production, then manage the job to ensure it is delivered on time. It was also re-equipped with new digital printers and finishing equipment to enable the quick turnaround of digital print jobs.

CDS also appointed a dedicated account manager to provide advice where needed, to act as a brand guardian and to challenge if items needed to be printed at all. They also manage any third party suppliers.

By tracking and monitoring all print jobs and providing detailed print management information; this ensured the maximum cost efficiency.

The results

By working in this way, CDS helped yield efficiency savings of £55,000 in the first year of the contract. A further £55,000 of savings was achieved through the lower contract rates for on-campus digital printing. This holistic approach delivered a combined saving of £110,000 against an £800,000 print spend, representing a 13.75% saving.

The new digital printers used to equip the print centre allow much of the digital print work to be produced on campus, leading to a fast turnaround for many projects, helping university staff with tight deadlines and last-minute requests.

CDS adopted the role of brand guardian, ensuring the university logo is correctly reproduced and every printed item adheres to the university’s corporate identity guidelines. During the contract, the university implemented a new brand. CDS automatically updates printed materials with the new logo and corporate style as soon as they are identified for production.

The account team has developed good working relationships with university staff, cultivating a partnership approach. They are committed to meeting each deadline and have delivered customer satisfaction results of 99.75%.

“CDS consistently deliver a quality service, meeting what are often tight and demanding timeframes.” Tim McCann, Marketing Manager (Campaigns and Creative)

Get involved

If you are interested in making significant savings on your managed print services through our Managed Print and Digital Solutions (RM3785) framework

Visit the framework web page

Complete this online form

Get involved

If you want to find out more about how we can help you, why not ask one of our customer team to give you a call or sign up to our newsletter?

Get in touch

24 April

Procurex Live

Join our CEO Malcolm Harrison in the keynote arena at the upcoming Procurex Live on 24 April at Manchester Central, where he will be discussing transforming government growth. He will also be joining a lunchtime panel debate about marketing procurement and marketing yourself.

Plus, we’ll be hosting a CCS showcase, giving you a chance to hear from:

  • Nick Caton, Commercial Director, Public Sector on understanding sectors, what we’ve learned and how we’ve changed in the last 12 months
  • Niall Quinn, Commercial Director, Technology and Steve Hall, Ark Data Centres on no more excuses for not moving to the cloud. The government’s Cloud First policy has been designed to help drive efficiencies, in both cost and performance. Learn how the partnership between CCS and Crown Hosting Data Centres can help you achieve your goals
  • David Gigg, Policy Implementation will be providing an update on procurement policy and what you need to know. Including how social value has changed the landscape for designing procurements and how we are making CCS frameworks compliant with social value policy; how CCS is tackling issues such as modern slavery, equality and accessibility; and how CCS is getting ready for GDPR – and, importantly, what you need to do
  • Francesca Pomlett, Senior Policy Advisor, on making bidding easier. We’ve all heard our buyers and suppliers complain about the difficulty of working with government contracts as ‘they’re too long, too hard to read, too difficult to use’. Hear how we are changing the way our contracts are written and structured so buyers and suppliers will find them simpler to use, and we will find it easier to build and refine them.

On our stand you will also find an advice bar so you can drop in to discuss your procurement issues with our commercial specialists, and share your thoughts and ideas on how we can best support you.

The event is free for public sector buyers to attend. Register now.

Groundwork laid for new CCS Construction agreement

Engagement is underway on a major new commercial agreement to support public bodies to build, maintain and dispose of their buildings.

A Prior Information Notice (PIN) has been published for a new Construction Works Contractors agreement – which will enable public organisations, including government departments, arm’s length bodies, NHS Trusts and local authorities, to secure contractors for the construction, refurbishment and demolition of built assets.

The agreement could be worth around £30bn over 7 years, including an optional three-year extension. The framework is being designed to be suitable for all sizes of potential suppliers, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The agreement would be longer term than other CCS commercial agreements, to take account of the length and complexity of some major projects. It is being developed to support delivery of the Government Construction Strategy.

Sam Ulyatt, Strategic Category Commercial Director for CCS said: ‘The release of the PIN allows a great opportunity for all elements of the supply chain to work together to ensure we build a framework structure that works across the construction industry, and addresses the needs of both client and contractor. I would encourage all to participate to ensure this framework becomes the first choice for all public bodies.’

Engagement with potential suppliers and customers is underway. CCS conducted market surveys for potential suppliers and customers in 2017, for which 90 responses were received.

An industry day for potential suppliers will be held at Manchester Conference Centre on 14th February at 1pm.

If you would like to register to attend the industry day, please email construction@crowncommercial.gov.uk with your details.

To follow the latest on the new Construction Works Contractors agreement, visit the CCS procurement pipeline page.


Maximising social value through your procurement

Social Value UK is the national network for anyone interested in social value and social impact. In this blog post, Catherine Manning, Membership and Networks Manager at Social Value UK, explores how you can take steps to maximise the social value you can create through your procurement.

What is social value?

Social value is the relative importance that people place on economic, environmental and social changes they experience in their lives. Changes in people’s lives are outcomes that are created, both good and bad, through the activities that we do. We can work to increase the good changes and decrease the bad changes.

How can you positively impact social value?

Measuring the impact and changes being made from current activity, through involving the stakeholders experiencing the change, will give you a baseline for your current social value. This information can then be used to look at the most effective ways to make positive changes.

How can you report on social value?

At Social Value UK (SVUK) we advocate a principle based framework to account for social value, with the long-term aim to change the way social value is accounted for in procurement through the principles, practice, people and power model.

Using these principles you can begin to ask the right questions to understand the impact you already have. More importantly for commissioning, they will help you understand the impact that you want to have.

Why include social value in procurement?

Goods and services that affect people’s lives are procured on a daily basis. Resources are allocated to activities that create and destroy social value every day. The aim is to maximise the positive outcomes, whilst minimising the negative outcomes from any procured activity.

How can you change things?

Identify the right outcomes for a framework by asking the right questions, to the right people, at the right time, during the procurement process.

It is clearly more difficult to maximise social value the further away you are from the people experiencing the change, because of the separation of the service and impact. But it is not impossible.

Key questions to consider include:

  • How much social value are you creating already? It is difficult to know whether it could be higher if you don’t know what you are already creating. Start with a baseline. Is the value additional, or is it embedded into the service itself? Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) offers will already have an impact on amounts of social value delivered, with key elements already built and scope for more to be delivered, depending on your commissioning choices.
  • Did anyone else contribute to creating the social value? You should consider this as part of the design process. Suppliers should review it as part of their service delivery.
  • What would have happened anyway? It is difficult to maximise your impact if some of what you claim as social value, would have happened anyway. You can monitor overall change by encouraging suppliers to engage their user groups.
  • What is the relative importance of the outcomes? Without considering the relative importance to the beneficiary or customer experiencing the change it will be very difficult to design and deliver procurements that maximise social value. You can consider this as part of a needs assessment. Suppliers can use this to improve their services and evidence how they are doing this.
  • Who answers these questions? This is key as it is difficult to maximise social value if those affected aren’t involved in telling you what the outcomes are for them.

How can you support suppliers in achieving the outcomes with the most value?

To achieve the desired outcomes, we must all work together. Some actions you can take to support your suppliers include:

  • Hold pre-market discussions – have open conversations with potential suppliers and CCS to better understand what social value can be provided. Use this to inform your procurement.
  • Build social value into your contract registers – supply the right information, and give enough time for planning and creation of partnerships, systems etc.
  • Deliver training for local businesses – help them to respond meaningfully. Use local business connections (e.g. Chambers of Commerce) throughout the process.
  • Have clear, enforceable criteria with weighting – do your systems and documents include social value? Can you enforce what you’re asking for?
  • Ask the right questions – by using the principles model you and your suppliers will have the framework for measuring, managing and maximising the social value you create.
  • Encourage innovation – expect your suppliers to change and develop the services they provide, and build this into the service lifecycle. Be careful to avoid stifling innovation through over-specifying how to deliver the contract; getting feedback from users on regular basis will provide opportunities to innovate.

This is a learning process. The point of measuring social value is to understand your current social value and improve your services over time, increasing your net positive social value. This can only be done through partnership working, collaborating with your suppliers and service users. Use tools and resources that already exist to help you. We are all on a journey to create the most social value for our society; we do not need to do it alone.

SVUK is a hub for information, resources and services to support you.

To find out more or sign up to their newsletter please visit the Social Value UK website.

Learn more about how CCS is taking steps to put social value at the heart of procurement.

Got a question for CCS? Please get in touch.

Spend Analysis and Recovery Services framework opens for business

Public sector organisations can recover millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money in overcharges and incorrect payments thanks to our new Spend Analysis & Recovery Services framework.

Our new framework will be used to identify areas of spend where public sector organisations have been incorrectly charged or have overpaid a supplier – recovering money for the taxpayer and supporting the delivery of efficient, effective public services.

The 19 suppliers on the framework include accountancy and audit specialists with expertise across areas like utilities, telecoms and VAT. We expect the framework to recover over £220 million over the next four years.

Matthew Sparkes, Deputy Director for Financial Services at CCS said: “The use of spend recovery services is commonplace in the private sector, not just to identify and recover valuable funds, but also to understand where to make process improvements that ensure errors won’t happen again.

“By combining our own CCS category expertise with our suppliers’ commercial expertise we can ensure that the public sector pays only for the goods and services it actually receives.”

The suppliers on the framework will work on a contingent “no-win-no-fee” basis to analyse financial transactions and commercial agreements, identifying overpayments, errors, or financial benefits which have not been previously realised.

These reviews can analyse and recover up to six years after an error or overpayment has occurred.

Lotting structure

The agreement is broken down into seven lots covering the largest areas of government procurement spend:

Lot 1: Statement Transaction Review

Lot 2: End-to-End Review

Lot 3: Contract Compliance — Utilities

Lot 4: Contract Compliance — Telecoms / Mobiles

Lot 5: Contract Compliance — Contingent Labour / Agency Staff

Lot 6: Contract Compliance — VAT

Lot 7: Contract Compliance — Property / Rental Review

Find out more

To find out more, visit our framework page or if you have a specific question fill in our online form.

Looking to simplify your project management & design procurement? CCS has the answer

What is Project Management & Full Design Team Services (PMFDTS)?

The PMFDTS framework agreement (RM3741) was developed to provide customers with a compliant and effective procurement route for their property and construction project needs. Working in partnership with key government departments, wider public sector organisations and industry bodies, the procurement is based on the 2016-2020 Government Construction Strategy (GCS) and incorporates all of the GCS key objectives. The aim is to utilise a flexible supply chain enabling customers to access a full service, improved outputs of construction projects and overall efficiency in project delivery.

What does PMFDTS offer?

PMFDTS provides a strategic approach across a wide range of disciplines and functions with access to project management, design and advisory services. Running for 2 years, with an option to extend for a further 1+1 years, services have been categorised into 6 lots:

  • Lot 1 – Multi-Disciplinary Services
  • Lot 2 – Project Management Services
  • Lot 3 – Architectural Services
  • Lot 4 – Cost Management Services
  • Lot 5 – Civil and Structural Engineering Services
  • Lot 6 – Building Services Engineering

What are the benefits of using PMFDTS?

Government and wider public sector projects over the next 4 years are estimated to cost approximately £500bn. CCS wants to ensure that all customers achieve optimum savings during this time which is why our frameworks offer the following benefits:

  • Free to access – there is no charge for contracting authorities to use us
  • Support – we provide extensive customer guidance to support customers using our framework
  • Fast – a streamlined route is provided, allowing all customers to access a comprehensive range of external suppliers
  • Simple – customers can use a form of agreement based upon ‘NEC3 Professional Service Agreement’ or a ‘CCS Standard form’
  • Flexible – the framework supports a wide range of customers needs and caters for niche requirements
  • Value for money – maximum standard rates are fixed for the first two years of the framework and may be reduced by suppliers at direct award and/or further competition

Want to find out more?

Get in touch

Visit our framework page

Join the conversation – follow CCS on LinkedIn and Twitter for all the latest news.

Education sector specific pricing now available with the click of a mouse

Getting all your immediate technology product needs is as easy as clicking your mouse thanks to the Purchasing Platform from CCS. We have now introduced education sector pricing to ensure your money goes even further when purchasing your technology requirements.

As an Education user on the Purchasing Platform, when you search for a product you will now see both the standard pricing and the educational pricing, where this is available. Where the standard and educational price are the same, you will only see the standard price listed. If the educational price is higher than the standard price, you will still be able to purchase at the cheaper standard price. That way you can always be sure you are getting the best available price. Buying from the Purchasing Platform can mean an average 8% saving and on some products and as high as 30% compared with Amazon. Prices are updated daily to ensure you are always getting best value.

The addition of Education sector pricing is another example of the Purchasing Platform promoting best value buying. It is already a great benchmarking tool which means there is no need to hunt around getting 3 quotes. We’ve done all the hard price comparison work for you, and on most products you will immediately get at least 3 prices and an industry benchmark price indicating a market target  price for that day. Along with the addition of the educational discounts and access to a wide range of suppliers, the Purchasing Platform is a great way to source all you immediate technology needs.

It is totally free to use, with pre-agreed terms and conditions with suppliers, and if you have any questions CCS is here to help you. You can buy with confidence as we’ve done all the due diligence checks to ensure all suppliers are assured, audited and financially secure. Use your ePCS card and you may even benefit from end of year rebates.

So to start benefiting from the Purchasing Platform – sign-up today and start transforming your procurement in a click.

Join the conversation  – follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for all the latest news on the Purchasing Platform.

A review of Smart Cities 2018 conference

Last week I attended the Smart Cities 2018 conference – I found it really informative and enjoyed hearing more about the future vision for making cities smarter and more sustainable. Although smart city transformation is expanding throughout the UK, cities still face major challenges in making this vision reality.

What is meant by ‘smart cities’?

A smart city is a place where the traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies, for the benefit of its inhabitants and businesses.

The use of smart phones, smart watches, connected vehicles and digital assistants is continually increasing. Smart cities utilises these connections and combines information from these sources, together with traditional networks and services, to transform the way citizens conduct their day-to-day lives.

Dougal Shaw, BBC World Hacks, said that such technology allows you to “make rational decisions about your life in the city”.

Why is it important?

Nathan Pierce, Greater London Authority, articulated that the Local Government’s aim is to “make citizens’ lives better by making sure they are happy, healthy and occupied”. With the prediction that nearly 70% of the UK population will live in cities by 2050; achieving that aim may be a challenge.

During the course of the day, some startling statistics were revealed by the speakers:

  • 50,000 deaths in the UK are related to air pollution
  • 30% of traffic is caused by drivers looking for parking
  • By being online, people are £500-700 better off each year

What can we do?

With smart city technology being adopted across a range of sectors, citizens are now able to make more informed decisions. But to build on this, and to assist Local Government in reaching their goal, effective collaboration is essential to ensure that our resources are being used as efficiently as possible.

Some common topics of interest at the conference were air quality, data and traffic management. All of which are areas that we can help with:

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, please get in touch or call our customer service centre on 0345 410 2222.

New Behavioural Insights framework launched

Our new Behavioural Insights framework harnesses advances in the science of behavioural insights to tailor public services for citizens.

Public sector organisations have long seen the benefits of using behavioural insights to tailor public services to citizens, and our new Behavioural Insights framework offers a wider choice of suppliers including small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

The new framework will support public sector organisations to procure the expertise of organisations that offer behavioural insights – changing the way policy is developed and public services are designed, making them more efficient and in tune with the needs and preferences of the public. 

David Skinner, Crown Commercial Service’s Director of Corporate Solutions said: ‘We’ve taken this opportunity to redesign our framework solution offer for Behavioural Insights, opening up the market to a wider range of expertise that can deliver greater outcomes and commercial benefit to our customers.’


Since 2010, the government has used behavioural insights research to inform policy, with an emphasis on using a strong evidence base about human behaviour to find innovative ways of encouraging, enabling and supporting people to make better choices for themselves.

The framework is available for use by central government departments and wider public sector bodies including NHS Trusts, schools, universities, colleges, local authorities and the police and fire services.

We developed the new framework in collaboration with partners including behavioural insights specialists across the wider public sector.

To find out more, visit our framework page or if you have a specific questions fill in our online form.

Leicester College saves over 38% on printer/copiers

Leicester College has saved time and money on the purchase of printer/copiers through a Crown Commercial Service framework.

“I was able to save time and effort and still be confident of achieving value for money for the college.” – Liz Wale

The requirement

Leicester College were looking to replace a fleet of printer/copiers (known as Multifunctional Devices or MFDs) as they were approaching the end of their current agreement. Print management software was already in place and owned by the college, so a hardware only upgrade of over 60 MFDs represented best value for them.

Leiceister College saves on printers and copies

The solution

Lot 1 of the Crown Commercial Service Multifunctional Devices, Managed Print and Content Services and Records and Information Management framework (RM3781) was chosen as the best route to market for the college to achieve the best value solution. This is a single supplier lot with a quick and easy to use online portal.

Liz Wale at Leicester College commented:

“By sampling a few devices on the new RM3781 framework it was immediately apparent that significant cost savings would be made on both rental and click charge costs. By using Lot 1, I was able to save time and effort and still be confident of achieving value for money for the college.

“In many cases the speed of the device is greater than that which it replaces, simply because of the improved specification. Feedback from users has all been positive, they like the new look; the single pass feed for duplex copying; the colour quality, which is especially important for the photography department, but at no extra cost to the college.

“Meter readings and uniFLOW activity reports provided all the data needed to make sound decisions on the types of device required. Most of this analysis was carried out by our Canon Account Manager, who presented her recommendations. After a couple of sessions to tweak the list, she prepared a simple order form.”

The results

Overall, the college was able to save over 38% on the cost of the MFDs.

Liz said:

“Lot 1 delivers great cost savings and has made the process of replacing a large fleet of MFDs and printers so much quicker and easier than I could have believed possible, thanks to help from ESPO and our Canon Account Manager. Access to the Lot 1 store portal means that I will be able to easily cost additional devices should I need to add them part way through the main contract.”

To find out more about the framework and how you can make significant savings on MFDs:

Visit the framework web page

Complete this online form

Call us on 0345 410 2222

Get involved

If you want to find out more about how we can help you, why not ask one of our customer team to give you a call or sign up to our newsletter?

Get in touch

Is your procurement team ready for the next financial year?

I know light nights may still seem like they’re light years away right now, but spring really will be with us before we know it – it’s just a matter of weeks. And that means only 8 weeks before the start of the new financial year.

We want to help you make your procurement as effective and efficient as possible in 2018/19, so here are the 5 questions I’d urge you to be thinking about as you prepare for the next financial year:

1. Are your data processing contracts ready to comply with the new data protection legislation (GDPR)?

From 25 May you must comply with the new rules or face hefty fines. We’ve recently published a Procurement Policy Note to help inform you of your responsibilities. Read more in this blog from Emma Gallacher, Head of Domestic Policy.

2. Have you considered a financial audit?

We’ve just launched a new Spend Analysis and Recovery Services framework to help you recover funds by identifying overpayments and duplicate payments.

The use of spend recovery services is commonplace in the private sector, not just to identify and recover valuable funds, but also to understand where to make process improvements to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Under the framework, accountancy and audit specialists with expertise across areas like utilities, telecoms and VAT will work with you on a “no-win-no-fee” basis. They will analyse your financial transactions and commercial agreements to identify monies that could be recovered. They will then recover them for you, and make recommendations so you can take steps to avoid such issues in the future.

We estimate that over £220 million could be recovered across the public sector over the next 4 years. With no upfront investment required, can you afford to miss out?

Take the next step to setting up a financial audit.  

3. Can you take advantage of compliant procurement in minutes?

Did you know that our Purchasing Platform offers you access to compliant, direct award solutions for technology products, office supplies and multi-functional devices for printing, copying and scanning?

There’s no need to run a further competition as click and buy catalogues mean you can buy in minutes. It’s ideal if you have urgent requirements before the end of the financial year or need to quickly buy a small number of relatively low value products – whether as a one off purchase or on a regular basis.

As well as offering a speedy procurement solution, you can expect to make great savings – up to 30% on technology products, 50% on office supplies and 15% on multi-functional devices.

Register now and learn more.

4. Have you considered aggregation to help you maximise your buying power?

You may have already seen information about our free to use aggregation service, but I wanted to mention it again here as we really can help you make great savings.

By combining your requirements with other public and third sector organisations, we can not only help you make great savings, but also save you precious time as we will do all the hard work for you. If you don’t know much about our aggregation service take 2 minutes to watch our film to find out how it works.

We’ve got several great opportunities coming up, from fuels and fleet to mobile voice and data services so get involved now.

5. Are you telling us how we can help you?

To be your procurement provider of choice we know we need to create the right commercial solutions to meet your needs. With such a wide ranging customer base from charities and schools through local councils and universities to NHS trusts and central government departments, this is not always as easy as it sounds!

I’d urge you to get involved in the many opportunities we offer you to have your say – whether that is by joining a stakeholder group, responding to a survey or attending an event or webinar.

We really value your input and your collaboration goes a very long way to making sure we develop the solutions you need. Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter to get details of all the latest opportunities delivered straight into your inbox.

If I can help you with any of these topics – or indeed anything else – please get in touch.

And if you or your colleagues would like to learn more about how CCS can help you, why not join an Introduction to CCS webinar? These short 30 minute sessions will give you an overview of how we work and the buying options we offer.

Get involved in our Workplace Services customer engagement

We are pleased to announce we have released the Prior Information Notice (PIN) for the Workplace Services Framework (RM6089).

The framework will encompass the following lots:

    1. Security
    1. Catering
    1. FM Integrator
    1. Linen & Laundry
    1. Housing Services
  1. Defence FM 

As part of our customer engagement activity, we have developed a range of lot specific surveys, (excl. Defence), which can be accessed via the links above.

We would be grateful if you could provide your feedback and share the relevant surveys with your colleagues, to allow us to capture their experience and technical knowledge.

The surveys will be open until 5pm on Thursday 29 March.

We are also holding an introductory webinar to present to you our initial plans for the strategy of the framework:

Friday 9 March, 10:00am – Register now to reserve your place

If you would like to know more about how you can help shape the specification or would like to volunteer to be part of the evaluation process, please fill in our contact form and quote ‘FM Marketplace phase 2’.