Save money and reduce emissions with car share services

What is a car share service?

A car share service is a flexible approach to accessing vehicles for a short period of time for business travel purposes. It offers a model of car rental that means employees can access vehicles, as and when they need them, to fulfil their roles.

It is a great way of offering employees who drive their own vehicles for work purposes (known as ‘grey fleet’) an alternative to claiming mileage.

What are the benefits?

Running a car share programme will help you to:

  • reduce mileage reimbursement costs
  • lower carbon emissions
  • relieve pressure on parking spaces

It’s popular with councils and universities. Find out more in these case studies:

County council adopts new low cost, low emission travel policy

New travel policy saves district council £90,000 and halves emissions

How do I get started?

You can get help and support from suppliers on lot 5 of our Vehicle Hire Services framework if you would like to set up a car share service. To find out more:

Visit the Vehicle Hire Services framework web page

Get in touch

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

Boost productivity with technology products from the Purchasing Platform

Public sector organisations can save time and money by purchasing all of their technology needs on our Purchasing Platform. Through simple hacks, the technology we work with every day can boost productivity in the office significantly – here are our top tips to make technology work for you:

Smartphones

Smartphones and the use of smartphone apps for business have connected colleagues in new ways, and employees are increasingly using apps for business on their phones. Innovation, flexibility and an improvement in collaboration are all side effects stemming from greater use of smartphones amongst colleagues.

Use two monitors

It takes about 1.5 seconds to move the mouse and click to switch between documents. Two monitors can help to complete tasks in a shorter space of time and dual monitors have been proven to improve productivity. Tasks that can be made shorter by using two monitors include data entry, graphic design and project comparison.

Learn the keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are a great timesaver when working at your laptop or computer. There are shortcuts for almost every application – so taking the time to learn shortcuts on the programs you use most is a worthy investment.

Purchase your tech products via the Purchasing Platform

There are over 350,000 total items currently listed on site. The Purchasing Platform has seen over 800 Samsung Galaxy smartphones sold over the past three months, ‘Dell LED monitors’ have been one of the platforms’ most popular search terms, and silver Apple iPads with 32GB memory have proven a most sought after item.**

To benefit from significant cost savings, register for the Purchasing Platform today.

*according to ONS

*stats from Power BI analytics

GO Awards – CCS nominated in two categories for 2018 ceremony

Our teams have been nominated in two categories for this year’s GO Awards – celebrating excellence in public procurement.

The GO Awards take place on 24 April at Manchester Hilton Deansgate Hotel.

GO Leading Procurement Practice Award (Central & Health) – Policy Implementation team

The Policy Implementation team have been nominated for their work to simplify government procurement through the Public Sector Contract – developed in partnership with Government Legal Department and Government Digital Service.

The project team designed a contract that is easy to understand, easy to read and which will become digital by default. Buyers and suppliers will now be able to focus on what really matters – a sustainable relationship and quality products and services delivered on time.

The team brought together people with experience of different professional disciplines, including policy, legal, procurement, category specialists and digital design; adopting the principles of One Team Government to support our objective of focusing on our customers.

GO Procurement Innovation / Initiative of the Year Award: Health and Social Care Organisations (Health & Social Care Organisations) – Networks team

The Networks team from Technology Pillar have been nominated for their work to build a Dynamic Purchasing System that enables health and social care bodies to join the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN).

Health care professionals will use HSCN to communicate and share information in real time, supporting the delivery of frontline services. The Networks team worked with NHS Digital to deliver an innovative and robust commercial solution that enables migration to the new network.

As well as collaborating with an external partner this has also been a great demonstration of Strategic Category, Procurement Operations and Sourcing colleagues working closely together to establish a quality product.

More than 100 customers are already taking part in further competitions through the DPS, which opens up the market from a single supplier solution, to allow dozens of suppliers, including SMEs, to supply services to the government. The agreement will help unlock 35% cost savings for the NHS, and underpins the integration of Health and Social Care.

Read the full list of finalists

27 March

Get involved in our Construction engagement event

We are currently in the process of developing a strategy to procure Pan Government commercial agreements for Construction Works and Modular Buildings that will be accessible by Central Government departments and Wider Public Sector organisations.

As part of our market engagement activity, we are holding 2 market engagement sessions to provide an opportunity for customers and suppliers to get involved and help shape our upcoming agreements.

We will run a morning session and an afternoon session in order to accommodate all attendees.

Morning Session – Register here

Registration opens: 09:30am

Conference start time: 10:00am

Afternoon Session – Register here

Registration opens: 13:00pm

Conference start time: 13:30pm

Please note, places will be limited to 2 people per organisation due to high demand.

To keep up to date with the current projects please click on the links below:

Construction Works

Modular Buildings

Thank you for another great Procurex South

Travelling to events around the country and meeting with huge numbers of dedicated and passionate public sector professionals and suppliers is one of the best parts of my role at CCS. Last week myself and colleagues had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of such people at the Procurex South in London. I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who came to our stand or listened to one of our sessions yesterday. It was great to meet so many people.

Stand pic

In the main conference theatre our Chief Executive Malcolm Harrison spoke and outlined four key areas that he views as being key to CCS’ future success. These include a move towards digital procurement services, which is where the Crown Marketplace provides so many opportunities; a focus on collaborating with the wider public sector to ensure we can offer them the most value when procuring common goods and services; investing in the skills and talent of our people and continuing to support SMEs through public spending. If you missed Malcolm at Procurex South, here are the presentation slides.

We also hosted a dedicated CCS showcase theatre and stand, where my colleagues presented on a range of topics:

  • Procurement 101 – Nick Caton, Head of Wider Public Sector, Crown Commercial Service
  • No more excuses for not moving to cloud – Niall Quinn, Director of Technology, Crown Commercial Service & Steve Hall, CEO Crown Hosting Data Centres, Ark Data Centres
  • Procurement policy update – David Gigg, Policy and Public Sector, Crown Commercial Service
  • Making bidding easier – Francesca Pomlett, Senior Policy Advisor, Crown Commercial Service

View their slide decks.

Here at CCS we’re committed to helping you achieve your procurement goals and saving you time and money, which means you can focus on the things that really matt

Health workforce update

There’s a lot to tell you about our activity to support you with your workforce needs this month. In this blog you can find out more about staff banks, in particular developing a collaborative bank in your region, our NHS Improvement approval, data packs and our new customer steering board…

Staff banks

Following the NHS Improvement target to have a staff bank in place by March 2018, we hosted a series of workshops during January and February. Designed to help trusts reduce reliance on agency staff and increase use of staff banks to meet the target, we were delighted to welcome 60 NHS trusts to the workshops in Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol and London.

If you were unable to attend or would like further support setting up or improving your staff bank please get in touch, quoting ‘staff banks’ in the comments box.

Learn more about our Workforce Management framework.

We’re also helping a number of groups of trusts, including Lancashire, Hertfordshire and Sheffield Teaching hospitals, who are working toward a collaborative staff bank. Collaboration is encouraged by NHS Improvement as a way of controlling prices in a geographical area and sharing of staff grades. If you are interested in finding out more about how we can support your area, please get in touch, quoting ‘collaborative staff banks’ in the comments box.

Customer steering board

We are starting to develop our future strategy for the next generation of commercial workforce solutions for the NHS. We want to ensure we can help you effectively engage and manage substantive and flexible bank and agency staff.

If you would like to get involved in the development of this strategy, why not become a member of our new customer board? You will be able to help us thoroughly understand the challenges you are facing, test our ideas on new approaches, and inform the strategic direction of our new commercial agreements.

Our first customer board is taking place in London on 22 March. If you would like to attend please get in touch, quoting ‘NHS customer board’ in the comments box and we will send you further details of timings and location.

If you are unable to join us on 22 March and would like to get involved, please still get in touch.

NHS Improvement approval

We are pleased to confirm that all of our staffing frameworks have been approved by NHS Improvement for another year. Our continued approval status is an integral part of being able to operate as a framework owner in the health market and we are delighted to once again have been successful in our submission.

To recap, our approved staffing frameworks are:

Data packs

We are now able to produce data packs to help you to track your spend, analyse your performance and monitor adherence to NHS Improvement capped rates. If you don’t yet receive this data and would like to please get in touch, stating which framework(s) you are interested in in the comments box. We will put you in touch with the relevant commercial (framework) agreement manager(s) who will contact you to discuss your requirement.

Get in touch

As well as filling in our online form to tell us how we can help you, you can also call us on 0345 410 2222 or email info@crowncommercial.gov.uk. You can also visit the pages for our workforce frameworks using the links above.

New CCS website

We are working hard to develop a new website that will be easier for you to use and find the information that is important to you.

I am really excited to tell you that we have now launched the first phase of our brand new website, https://www.crowncommercial.gov.uk  and you can be one of the first people to use it.

The new site features:

  • Up to date look and feel based on research among public sector buyers and compatible with GOV.UK design patterns for ease of use and accessibility
  • Support articles to help new or less experienced buyers navigate the variety of CCS platforms and routes to market. These also showcase the breadth of CCS’s capability to seasoned buyers without hindering their familiar buying journeys
  • Dedicated pages for suppliers with help and useful support and useful content
  • A new look  procurement pipeline that brings all stages of the process into a single, intuitive, interactive format
  • News hub featuring the latest news, blogs and case studies from CCS.

In phase 1 the new site complements rather than replaces any of CCS’s existing web estate. Contracts finder and Find an agreement are still there, as is our presence on GOV.UK.

However, over the coming months we’ll be migrating functionality and content iteratively from our existing web properties to the new domain.

Your response to this first phase release will help us shape how we develop crowncommercial.gov.uk in the future. And, of course, we’ll keep you updated with our progress at each stage.

Please take a look around and if you have any feedback, please contact us.

 

An update on Category Tower 9 – NHS Office Solutions

NHS Office Solutions was the first category tower to go live in October 2017 under the new NHS Future Operating Model (FOM).

Since the launch a new team, which includes colleagues from both DHL and CCS and is based in Normanton, West Yorkshire, has been consolidating and reviewing the category, while maintaining product availability through NHS Supply Chain to ensure a seamless transition.  

All the products continue to be available to NHS Supply Chain customers as before,  including:

  • Office supplies (stationery)
  • Office furniture
  • NHS printed stationery
  • Batteries & torches
  • Printable patient identification wristbands

What’s next?

The team welcome your participation in the following activities:

A4 white copier paper 80gsm & 70gsm

Copier paper prices have been increasing so our challenge is to look at more cost effective products, such as recycled paper. Some initial trials have been undertaken, and if you would like to take part in further paper trials please let us know.

This project is also being expanded to include recycled and manila envelopes.

Branded ink & toner cartridges

There is a wide range of ink & toner cartridges available, many of which have a high yield alternative where the cost per page is lower than the standard yield. Some customers have made this switch, but as many haven’t there are more savings to be gained. If you have made the switch and would like to help the NHS save more money please put your trust forward for a case study to show others trusts how they can benefit by switching.

Core range (desktop) review

The stationery core range was introduced in November 2014 and while products have been added since, it has not had a further review. We plan to hold evaluation days where samples will be available for comment and we can get your ideas on how the range should look, which will be considered for the next tender exercise. Dates and venues are to be confirmed, but if you are interested in attending please let us know.

Office supplies questionnaire

We’d like to know what your thoughts are on the office supplies (stationery) range, so  please take 5-10 minutes to share your views on the service and the products available through NHS Supply Chain.  

Complete the questionnaire.

Lastly, we are working on updating the office supplies catalogue by:

  • Setting up new sections so that it is easier to find products
  • Changing some unit sizes which state each when they should be box / case / pack
  • Updating descriptions so they more accurately reflect the products

This will be done in conjunction with the NHS Supply Chain IT team so that any changes will have minimum impact on users.

Get in touch

If you would like to take part in any of these activities or have any further questions please get in touch by emailing tower9.procurement@crowncommercial.gov.uk.

Start making big savings on furniture with CCS

Furniture advert

Does your organisation require new furniture? Anything from office chairs to lockers, reception furniture to restaurant furniture, we can help you make big savings with our furniture framework.

Our furniture framework allows you to access the best market pricing on a huge range of furniture products. 18 suppliers have made it onto the framework, with 12 of them small and medium-sized enterprises.

There are 3 main categories from which you can buy furniture:

    • (Lot 1) High spec furniture. Anything that needs to be high quality.
    • (Lot 2) Office furniture. This is for all your office essentials.
  • (Lot 3) Residential furniture. Any items you’d find at home.

And there are 3 ways you can buy:

    • Direct award from our catalogue (orders under £20k). Browse the full furniture range in the catalogue, select what you need and buy direct.
    • Further competition from our catalogue (orders over £20k). Select your products from our catalogue and suppliers bid for your business.
  • Direct award without our catalogue (orders under £20k). Access a list of specifications and prices and make a direct award.

All the products cover the supply, delivery and installation. Our delivery time is guaranteed to be 4 weeks or less, and the best bit is, our service is free!

No matter the size of your requirements, we can help your organisation make big savings on furniture. To find out more about how we can help you buy, please get in touch.

CCS supplier assurance arrangements

Background

We aim to be the ‘go to’ provider for the procurement of common goods and services across the public sector. To achieve this we deliver high quality commercial agreements, containing suppliers who have the capabilities and skills to provide your requirements and who we are confident to promote.  

In order to give us that confidence in our suppliers, we undertake a number of supplier assurance activities at various stages, i.e. at the design stage of a new commercial agreement, during the sourcing process and the live running*.

We have recently reviewed our supplier assurance activities to ensure that we are doing the right things, at the right time. We want to provide you with clarity on our activities so you can:

  • understand what supplier assurances we will undertake 
  • determine what assurances you, as customers, may need to undertake for any call-offs.
*This applies to the majority of CCS commercial agreements. However, some products in the digital marketplace may have different arrangements and this will be covered in customer guidance for those specific commercial agreements.  

What supplier assurances will we undertake?

We will undertake the following supplier assurance activities:

During the design stage of a new commercial agreement

We will:

  • risk assess each new commercial agreement we put in place, to establish up front the necessary levels of checks/standards. This includes issues such as economic and financial standing, insurances and indemnities, cyber certifications, quality and industry standards.  
  • consider whether any specialist checks may be needed and how they might be undertaken.    

At the sourcing stage

We will:

  • require bidders to confirm that they have, or are willing to put in place prior to award, any required insurances and standards/accreditations for that commercial agreement. We do not check any certifications or evidence at this stage.
  • check their economic and financial standing, to ensure their current financial health is acceptable, based on the specific commercial agreement requirements. This is usually done by setting an appropriate Dun and Bradstreet financial failure risk threshold score but we may also check their financial accounts. In limited circumstances we may accept suppliers where a guarantor has been assessed and secured.

During the award stage

Successful bidders will be required to provide us with proof of any insurances and standards, e.g. copies of certification/documents. We will not make suppliers available for customers to undertake call-off contracts until all such proof is received by us. You can therefore be confident that any suppliers made available under our agreements have provided the necessary evidence.

In live running of a commercial agreement

We will:

  • check that certification/standards are renewed, where applicable   
  • ensure supplier spend is being recorded correctly
  • check that suppliers retain the necessary economic and financial standing
  • in some cases, we may undertake some specialist checks
  • review customer feedback to identify any major concerns or issues with our suppliers – you will take responsibility for the day to day contract management of any call-off contracts they let from our agreements.  

What supplier assurances might you need to do?

The customer guidance we issue as part of the launch of a new commercial agreement outlines the standards (including insurances/indemnities, cyber provisions, other standards or specialist checks), which have been applied to the suppliers on each specific commercial agreement.  

In the rare cases where you need to deviate from these, e.g. if you require higher levels of insurances or other standards, you would need to make that clear to bidders as part of the call-off process, and made any necessary checks on those.

Find out more

If you need further information please do not hesitate to get in touch or call our customer service team on 0345 410 2222.

A successful CCS Construction Works industry day

On Wednesday 14 February, we hosted the first of our engagement events for the new Construction Works Contractors commercial agreement – the largest procurement opportunity ever developed by CCS. The event also saw discussion of the 4-year Modular Solutions agreement, due to be awarded in summer 2018.

The day was split into two parts. The morning session hosted prospective customers, including government departments, arm’s length bodies, local authorities and other wider public sector bodies. In the afternoon, more than 150 representatives from interested suppliers packed into the conference room.

Both groups watched presentations by the Buildings strategic category team, and took part in an interactive session and a lengthy Q&A.

For each session, we used the interactive presentation software, Menti, to give attendees the opportunity to feedback on key aspects that will inform the development of the agreements. Each part also ended with a question and answer session featuring a panel of the Buildings team that are responsible for designing and rolling out the new agreements.

Details of the outcomes of the Q&A sessions and slide decks are now available on the CCS procurement pipeline pages for Construction Works Contractors.

Presentations

Both sessions began with presentations explaining how the agreements will help to deliver on the government’s strategic priorities around construction, and setting out the huge opportunity the agreements represent for prospective suppliers.

Sam Ulyatt, Strategic Category Commercial Director, provided an overview of the work of CCS including the 17 different key areas of the Buildings pillar. Other CCS agreements including Project Management and Full Design Team Services and the forthcoming phase 1 of the FM Marketplace will dovetail with Construction Works to provide a full, end-to-end solution.

Sam also explained CCS’s policy priorities around small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), prompt payment, simplification and transparency through open contracting – all of which will be taken into account in the design of the new agreements.

 

‘There have been catastrophes in this industry. We need to pull together and put infrastructure back where it belongs.’ Sam Ulyatt

 

Sam committed CCS to being as open and transparent as possible in how it engages with the market, and talked about how CCS wants to work with customers and suppliers to develop agreements which serve the construction landscape as a whole.

Kevin Murray, Head of Property and Construction at CCS, went further into the detail of how the new agreement was being developed.

Kevin explained that CCS has been working closely with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs on the launch of the department’s Fit Out framework – CCS’s first foray into on-site construction work. With CCS’s help, the agreement took less than 6 months to put in place – from contract notice to award.

‘We have structured our strategy around three main offerings: construction works, products, and services.’ Kevin Murray

 

Looking more widely at the public sector landscape for construction procurement, Kevin pointed out that there are going to be less frameworks in the market in the near future, creating some big potential advantages for industry and the public sector.

Again, CCS has been working cooperatively to develop the new solutions, including with the Construction Leadership Council and with King’s College, London. CCS believes that there is a need to link considerations of building construction with that of ongoing performance.

‘We consult with the Infrastructure and Projects Authority regularly. With the departments who have frameworks expiring, there is going to be strong demand to support the figures in the PIN.’ Kevin Murray

 

Offsite construction was discussed at length, with reference to it being at the forefront of the government’s thinking around delivering on the Industrial Strategy. Kevin also highlighted the potential importance of project bank accounts, using unamended, standard forms of building contract, and ensuring that strong focus remains on improving health and safety and the reinforcement of fair payment terms.

Kevin provided an overview of CCS’s relevant frameworks in the construction arena, including Building Materials. He discussed the importance of ensuring a pipeline of work would be in place, and that the progression towards greater use of offsite construction will be supported by the inclusion of commercial agreements for construction management. This will give customers the option to use main contractors to engage the off-site manufacturers, and for customers to contract directly with off-site manufacturers, with on-site assembly overseen by a construction manager.  

‘There is a big focus in government now on value, and that is going to be at the heart of what we do.’ Kevin Murray

 

Find out more

If you missed this event – don’t worry. Due to high demand, there are further events being planned in Birmingham and London. Dates and times will follow. 

Contact us: construction@crowncommercial.gov.uk

Visit the following pages for the latest news on the developing solutions:

Construction Works Contractors pipeline page

Modular Building Solutions and Off-site Construction