New Logistics & Warehousing commercial agreement from CCS

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Document Management and Logistics Category Team (DML), in partnership with YPO, are delighted to announce that in response to customer demand we are seeking to develop a Logistics & Warehousing commercial agreement.

This exciting development will be the first-ever cross public sector agreement in this marketplace.  We have issued a PIN notice to commence engagement with the market to understand the offerings, developments and future innovations and we are now reaching out to our colleagues within the Wider Public Sector and Central Government to ensure we design and deliver solutions that meet both your current and future needs.

Get involved

Our ask of you is that you join us right from the beginning of this process to help shape the design and scope of this agreement.  Regardless of the size or scale of your storage and distribution needs, we would highly value your input into:

  • The development of a fit for purpose, robust, commercially viable and highly competitive agreement that is suitable for all
  • Capturing the wealth of knowledge and experience of this market, and help us identify where we can learn from past experiences
  • The optimisation of commercial benefits that can be realised through a robust specification of requirements

By listening to your needs and combining a mix of suppliers that drive competition, our commercial agreement is intended to offer value for money whilst ensuring you have a fully EU compliant route to market.  As such we invite you to our initial engagement forums so that we can jointly shape this unique commercial agreement.

The dates for the forums are:

  • Thursday 11th July

Other dates and venues will be released shortly.

These will be hosted at Crown Commercial Service, 8th Floor, The Capital, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L3 9PP

Get started

To register for a place at one of the forums, or if you have any questions, please contact us via:

Fill in this online form quoting ‘engagement forums’

To find out more about this procurement, visit:


Call 0345 410 2222

Learn about the supply teachers deal at your local SBP network

It’s 9 months since the supply teachers deal went live and we have been busy attending events across the country to talk to schools and academies about the deal and how to access it.

From exhibiting at large events such as the Schools & Academies Show and EdExec to presenting at local school business professional (SBP) networks, we have been keen to meet as many of you as possible.

We want to introduce you to the deal, show you how it can help you and how to use it, but most importantly we want to:

  • Empower you to confidently make changes to how you source temporary staff and challenge the status quo with agencies
  • Help you manage your budget more effectively in this complex area, so that you can redirect savings to the areas in your schools where it is most needed.

Why attend a workshop?

Here’s what two of the SBP network leaders have said about our sessions:

CCS’ visit to our local primary SBP network proved invaluable. Jenny explained the supply teacher deal to us, which will in time save a lot of our schools a vast amount of money. Having the knowledge that we have the service to hand is extremely reassuring.”

Lesley Burton, Bradford SBM network 

“It was a very interesting session and provoked many questions with regards to how mark-ups from agencies differ and how schools can use this deal to gain both confidence when negotiating with agencies and budget savings.

Our own network will now be looking into collaborative working, to bring together a discounted supply offer for schools in the city. Jenny and her team will be working with us in the coming months to put this offer together, which will be a great help.

It was reassuring to know that moving forward, schools have both a contact and continued support from CCS.

We are hoping to arrange further sessions for schools in the new academic year and I would highly recommend other schools to engage in future sessions.”

Jo Coombe, Leicester Primary Business Managers forum

Join a network event in June

We will be at several events this month and it’s not too late to sign up:

Date     EventLocation
11 JuneYorkshire Multi Academy Procurement Network GroupHeckmondwike Grammar School, High Street, Heckmondwike, WF16 0AH
12 JuneEdExec Live London30 Euston Square, London Book a place
19 JuneKirklees SBM NetworkThe Textile Centre of Excellence, Red Doles Lane, Huddersfield, HD2 1YF
21 JuneWorcester SBM NetworkTBA
26 JuneSouthwark Diocesan Board of Education48 Union Street, London, SE1 1TD
26 JuneDurham SBM GroupEducation Development Centre, Spennymoor, County Durham

Contact the local network chair for more information about the event you’d like to attend. You can find out more about DfE’s SBP networks and contact details on GOV.UK.

Future events

If you would like to arrange a presentation or workshop in your local area please get in touch – we’re here to help:

Complete this online form stating ‘supply teachers workshop’ in the comments box or call us on 0345 410 2222.

You can also find out more about the deal on this web page.

12 customers save £2 million on mobile voice and data services

Our latest aggregation brought together 12 customers’ requirements for mobile voice and data services, helping them achieve average savings of 69%.

The requirement

Purchasing mobile voice and data services is often a routine purchase for many organisations, regularly resulting in varied contract end dates from having to acquire individual mobile phones at different times. This can also create a barrier to switching suppliers to gain better value, as potential savings may be reduced or lost due to early termination charges.

We wanted to help customers find a way to aggregate their mobile requirements with other customers, helping to achieve savings which would not be reduced by early termination of existing contracts.

The solution

One of our national further competitions (which are based on a standardised specification), was planned as the aggregated value/volume was expected to attract more interest from suppliers.

Using the Crown Commercial Service Network Services Framework agreement (lot 6), a further competition was run and the most economically advantageous offer in the market was obtained by taking into consideration both price and quality factors. The further competition was concluded with sealed bids.

Innovative contract terms were introduced allowing customers to migrate connections as and when existing contracts expire throughout the first year of the contract.

The results

The competition which took place December 2018 – January 2019, brought together common mobile voice and data services of 12 customers, amounting to over 14,000 connections.

It achieved an average savings of 69% compared to current customer spend, which is the equivalent saving of £2 million for those customers who took part.

These results clearly demonstrate that with aggregated volumes and the adoption of a standard specification for commodity goods or services, significant cost savings can quickly be realised.  

Kirklees Council

‘We secured savings of 65% by taking part in the mobile voice and data services aggregation, which was a huge benefit to us as budgets continue to be cut. Not only did we save money, but resource was also freed up as CCS ran the procurement for us, meaning we had more time to spend on other important projects which proved invaluable. We were also able to agree pricing for the data bundle, securing data usage for the future meaning there will be no hidden charges.’

Dundee and Angus College

‘We are very pleased with the savings achieved, which are significantly more than we anticipated and are looking forward to these being realised over the course of the contract.  With ever-tightening budgets, we’d have no hesitation in looking at future aggregation opportunities following this positive experience.’

How can you get involved?

National aggregated further competitions are a tried and tested approach which has delivered significant savings to the public sector.

This is a fully managed service provided and funded by us. We will draft all documentation, build the specification and run the procurement.

Our next Mobile Voice and Data Services aggregation (NFC113) is set to launch in May 2019 and is open for customers to get involved until September 2019. If you would like to take part, please complete our online form quoting ‘NFC113’ and a member of our  team will be in touch.

Alternatively, you can call our dedicated customer team on: 0345 410 2222

Meet our ‘artists’ at Public Sector Solutions Expo 2019

We’re delighted to be supporting Public Sector Solutions Expo, and looking forward to two days of learning and discussion.

Our CEO Simon Tse will be delivering the keynote address on day two of the event – 26 June. Simon will be addressing the issues facing public sector procurement, so join him at 10:05am in the Commissioning and Procurement theatre to find out more.

This year our theme is ‘The Art of Procurement’ – an experiential gallery installation which will help delegates visualize and understand the various facets of public sector procurement.

CCS The Art of Procurement

We’ll also be hosting our open theatre where you can learn and engage on a range of topics such as modern slavery, social value, procurement 101 and the digital buying community.

Register now – it’s free for public sector delegates.

Our expert team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to seeing you there.

Benefits of following CCS on LinkedIn channel

Following companies on LinkedIn is an easy way to stay in the loop regarding what’s going on behind the doors of a company you’d like to do business with.

We know that you’re pressed for time. So, what can you do to stay updated on the latest industry news? Well, by following CCS on LinkedIn you get a whole lot of useful news and latest updates all in one place – and we have a lot to share with you!

What will you get if you follow us on Linkedin?

  • Track updates and developments on our wide range of commercial agreements, finding out about how they could benefit your organisation and help save you time and money
  • Make sure you don’t miss out on the growing number of events and webinars organised every month by our expert category teams and specialist suppliers
  • Get the latest industry news, press releases, notices and awards instantly as we update our LinkedIn page daily
  • Get access to our recently published content and advice including blog posts, case studies, whitepapers and introductory videos
  • Learn more about our organisation through affiliated pages; who we are, our partners, our products and services, and job opportunities, finding the best solutions to suit your organisational needs
  • Build a partnership with CCS and collaborate with us directly, identifying ways to work together and finding out how we can focus on your priorities and areas where you need support
  • Be heard and have your opinion counted through polls or surveys which we run throughout the year, including getting involved in developing or improving our products which matter to you
  • Take a sneak peek into our company culture, finding more about our teams and how we work to facilitate the best solutions for you

Examples of our recent LinkedIn posts

There are lots of different types of content you can access on our company page – case studies, blogs, upcoming webinars invites, agreements updates, and more:

SARS social media post - CCS
Travel whitepaper social media post - CCS
Procurement awards 19/20 social media post - CCS
Digital buying community social media post - CCS
New website launch social media post - CCS

How to Follow our CCS Company page on LinkedIn

On the Linked platform, search for “Crown Commercial Service” and click “follow”…it’s that simple! So why not follow Crown Commercial Service today and enjoy the benefits?

To find out more and to start following us on LinkedIn today visit CCS LinkedIn page

Be prepared and ready for the launch of our apprenticeship training marketplace

We have a number of customer webinars this month, as well as a useful checklist and tutorial film to ensure you’re in the best position for the launch of our new Apprenticeship Training Dynamic Marketplace

We have had a great response from potential suppliers and we are now going through the process of getting as many approved as possible and making them live and available on the system.

The marketplace is being developed to make access to ESFA registered apprenticeship training providers quick and simple. We’ve designed it so we can add new apprenticeship standards as they are launched, new training offers can be updated at any time, and new suppliers can sign up as they become ESFA registered.

Want to be ready and prepared for our apprenticeship agreement?

We’ve pulled together a number of different resources below to help you and your organisation be fully prepared and ready for go live:  

  • Join a Webinar in May – Gives you the opportunity to learn more about the agreement and how to access as the buyer. The webinars are FREE and you can sign up here
  • Watch our tutorial film – We’ve developed a quick video guide on how to access the DPS and how to buy through the framework – Watch it here
  • Customer Readiness Checklist – Use this checklist to make sure your organisation is ready to use the Apprenticeship Training Marketplace procurement solution. Download it here
  • Get ready and sign up to the platform now – To save time now, why not sign up to the platform and be one of the first to use it – Click here to sign up now

If you would like to be notified of further webinars on how to get the best out of the platform please get in touch stating ‘Apprenticeship Training Dynamic Marketplace’ in the comments box


Spend Analysis: recovering your money

You may have recently seen in the news, reports of errors or incorrect payments being made by local authorities/councils in Scotland, which could add up to large amounts of money being lost for those public bodies.

Incorrect payments can happen in any organisation. In fact, it is estimated that around 1% of transactions (invoices and payments) contain some form of error. Although some of these may be picked up through internal processes, the more complex errors are often not identified resulting in losses for your organisation – and this can quickly add up to a significant figure.  There is a solution!

Using our extensive knowledge of the market and suppliers, we’ve developed a framework called Spend Analysis and Recovery Services 2 that will do all the legwork to identify if you have been incorrectly charged or have overpaid for services (up to six years after an error has occurred).

Our framework suppliers have industry specialists who will analyse your spend data and identify over payments and duplicates etc. Depending on the level and detail you require, they can also analyse your contracts to ensure you have been receiving the required benefits and discounts associated. All findings are reported to you and you can then authorise the SARS supplier to initiate the recovery process. These monies are recovered directly to you and only then will you pay a fee to your supplier of choice.

What’s more there’s no upfront costs and is no win, no fee – It can have significant financial rewards for your organisation.

Want to know more?
Watch our recent webinar that looked at what spend analysis is and included an example from the U.S. where the Government has mandated the recovery process . Also there is a view from Nigel Rudyard from the Department for Education on the importance of spend analysis for schools and how contract management can help reduce errors.

If you have a specific question, get in touch and speak to one of our experts today.

Visit our agreement page for more info.

Switching tracks for business travel – our guide to changing suppliers

Switch travel agreement - CCS

If your travel agreement is coming to an end soon, or you don’t currently have one in place, now’s the time for you to consider your options going forward.

At Crown Commercial Service, we can help you plan a smooth transfer onto our Public Sector Travel and Venue Solutions (PSTVS) commercial agreement. If you’re short on time, here are a few pointers to help you switch to your new agreement as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Why switch?

The benefits available to you under PSTVS include:

  • Access to a mix of approved suppliers to suit your needs, in a way that is compliant with the Public Contract Regulations
  • Low or no booking fees
  • Access to our negotiated programmes for air and accommodation leveraging c£700m travel spend.
  • Savings estimated at 13% independently benchmarked vs the market
  • Price match promise

What do I need to think about when planning to switch?

When does your travel agreement end?

Think about how much time you have left on your current agreement, and what timescales you need to work towards to put a new one in place.  

For large complex implementations, we usually recommend 8-12 weeks to fully transfer from your old supplier to your new one(s), once you have chosen them.  You should also account for the time needed to complete your internal approvals process when planning your transition.

If your existing agreement ends before this process would be completed, you have the following options to move quicker:

  • Direct award ASAP (including for solution 4 wherever possible)
  • Consider remaining with your incumbent, if they are party to PSTVS
  • Consider individual implementation timescales when picking a supplier, these can be shortened in some cases, if your requirement is straightforward.

What internal governance do you need to undertake before awarding your new agreement?

PSTVS includes a provision for direct award across all Solutions in a way that is compliant with the Public Contract Regulations, so ideally you should look to use this option wherever possible to save time, cost and resource (potentially reducing your timescales by up to a month).  

Find out what governance process your organisation requires you to follow to use a direct award – it may be a simple value-for money assessment, you may choose to ask the suppliers for demonstrations of their booking tools, or you may have a different process to follow.

For solution 4, we recommend that you only undertake a further competition if you need a supplier to develop proposals or a solution for your bespoke service requirements not included in the specification of requirements; and/or you need to amend or refine the agreement terms to reflect your requirements (to the extent permitted by the Regulations).

Does your requirement match the specification for one or more PSTVS Solutions?

For solution 4, we recommend that you use direct award where your service requirements are met by the specification.  Solutions 1, 2, 3 and 5 are single supplier agreements, so you must direct award under these solutions.

For solution 4, there are three suppliers but you also have the choice to direct award.  The transaction fees chargeable under Solution 4 are market-leading, meaning they are unlikely to be reduced further through a competition.  PSTVS also gives you the flexibility to mix and match the various Solutions to best suit your needs.

If you have any requirements that are not in the specification, consider whether you could amend your requirements slightly to avoid the need to run a competition (and potentially save you money), e.g. whether everything you are currently asking for is truly necessary, or simply a “nice to have”.  

Is your incumbent supplier on Public Sector Travel & Venue Solutions?

If you’re happy with the service you received from your current supplier, and they are on PSTVS, you could consider doing a short-term enabling agreement (up to one year) via direct award to ensure continuity of service, giving you more time to fully develop and plan your longer-term service provision.

Want to find out more?

Get in touch to discuss how we can help you transfer to our PSTVS agreement:

Email us

Call us today 0345 410 2222

Visit our agreement page to find more info

Follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter

Leicestershire County Council enforces school parking scheme with transport technology

Leicestershire County Council utilised CCS’ transport technology offering to purchase in-car camera enforcement.

Back in September 2018, a trial was launched across the county called the School Keep Clear Project, aiming to combat the issue that parents, residents and teachers experienced with inconsiderate parking outside schools during the school run.

Parking outside schools can be dangerous due to increasing traffic congestion as well as inconsiderately parked vehicles which can make crossing roads more difficult. This can have a negative impact on the safety, health and wellbeing of children, as well as their parents, teachers and communities. As a result, Leicestershire County Council decided to tackle this issue head on with the help of the CCS Traffic Management Technology 2 agreement.

The solution

To implement the trial, traffic regulation orders were put in place through upgrading the existing advisory school keep clear markings, with mandatory signs and lines to ensure that the new mandatory zig zag zones were enforceable.

Enforcement officers aimed to continue with their normal duties, while a patrol vehicle with a camera was used to enforce the mandatory zig zag zones outside school entrances.

To enable the vehicle to do this, Leicestershire County Council purchased in-car automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) using the Traffic Management Technology 2  agreement, allowing officers to collect the necessary evidence to enable fines to be issued via post to drivers who parked on the zig-zag markings.

Leicestershire Council - CCS

The results

Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for environment and transport, said:

“The trial isn’t about catching and fining motorists – we want people to stop parking inconsiderately near schools as it endangers the lives of pedestrians and causes a great deal of concern for schools and parents.

“We work closely with schools and colleges to improve issues around on-street parking which also involves providing help and guidance on school travel plans to help tackle the problem where necessary.”

Since it launched in September 2018, the scheme has seen 154 schools sign up.

For further information

To learn how Traffic Management Technology 2 could support your initiative:

View the framework page

View the Government eMarketplace

Complete this online form

Call us on 0345 410 2222

We have started looking at Traffic Management Technology 2’s replacement. To find out more about this, please take a look at: Smart Cities – Transport Technology Infrastructure. 

Water eAuction helps customers achieve savings

The requirement

Crown Commercial Service is tasked to make savings for customers across both central government and the wider public sector. Our aim is to achieve maximum value from every commercial relationship whilst improving the quality of service delivery for common goods and services. We do this by managing the procurement of common goods and services, so public sector organisations with similar needs achieve value by buying as a single customer.

The standard approach for the management of procurements is via Commercial Agreements and further competitions.

There are a number of approaches by which a further competition can be run, the most familiar would be the sealed bids process. Under a sealed bid process suppliers are requested to submit their bids based on a pre-published set of requirements, which are then evaluated. Whilst this provides a successful route for some categories and products, it can be limiting for suppliers, as it introduces an element of uncertainty and chance in relation to what level they bid.

The solution

In order to help overcome the lack of transparency of the traditional bidding format CCS introduced an electronic auction (eAuction) process to conclude the further competition. An eAuction is a procurement tool that uses web-based software to allow potential suppliers to compete online, in real time, to provide prices for the goods/services under auction.

The eAuction process presents all suppliers with the statement of requirements up front in the form of an Invitation to Tender (ITT). The suppliers are required to submit a response to the ITT in relation to specification and quality requirements. Once evaluation and compliance checks have been completed, successful suppliers are invited to participate in an eAuction which can be based on price alone or include a quality score assessment (these are referred to as a transformed or weighted Auction).

Some of the benefits of using an eAuction include:

  • A legally compliant process – suppliers have multiple opportunities to bid (a traditional tender only provides one opportunity)
  • Transparency to all parties – suppliers know where they are ranked at all times and have visibility of the leading bid. A well proven procurement technique using secure internet-based technology (which does not disclose supplier organisation) used for a wide range of common goods and services
  • Increased savings / revenue potential – encourages buyers to clearly specify their requirements so an ‘apples with apples’ comparison can be made

On the 11th October 2018 the Buildings Pillar at CCS ran a reverse eAuction for the supply of Water and Wastewater Services (RM3790). An aggregation of 118 customers, with a total spend close to £21.5m, was included in the eAuction competition. Five suppliers successfully passed the initial assessment and evaluation stage and were invited to the eAuction.

The CCS eAuction team managed the eAuction at no cost to the aggregated group of customers.  In order to help prepare and support the suppliers, they were able to attend a pre-arranged training session and participate in a practice eAuction in order to familiarise themselves with the tool and ask any questions.

The eAuction itself ran for 1 hour 8 minutes, during which time a total of 52 bids were placed. All suppliers participated in the eAuction and competition for the portfolio was high.

The results of the eAuction was that Castle Water were in overall 1st place and as such were the recommended supplier.

Gary Hinks, Commercial Director with Castle Water, said: “The CCS Water, Wastewater and Ancillary Services (RM3790) framework has helped our public sector customers access lower prices for their water and wastewater services as well as new ways to realise additional efficiency savings.The CCS approach to procurement ensures a consistent, best practice tender process for buyers while the highly effective CCS eAuction platform is intuitive, user-friendly and highly professional enabling us as a supplier to bid quickly and easily. This market-leading approach helps to control the cost of procurement and ensures that we can continue to pass on savings to customers who want a dedicated service tailored to their specific needs.”

Get involved

Customers interested in achieving savings by running an eAuction to conclude a further competition from a Crown Commercial Service commercial agreement should contact the eAuctions team by emailing: or by calling 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