Crown Marketplace – what’s the latest?

As our thoughts turn to summer holidays, I’d like to take this opportunity to give you an update on the progress we are making with the Crown Marketplace (CMp) programme and let you know how it can help you today.

As many of you will know, we are currently in the test phase for the CMp programme, which aims to transform the way in which the public sector procures its common goods and services.

It is being designed to make public sector procurement easier for both buyers and suppliers, as well as offering the best deals as part of an Amazonesque-style service.

We went live with a new purchasing platform earlier this year which currently contains online catalogues for Technology Products 2 and Office Supplies. Collectively these catalogues offer close to 400,000 products for sale, with 800 organisations now registered on the platform.

In June, I gave a presentation to visitors at the Public Sector Show outlining our vision for the CMp – this was a fantastic opportunity for me and the team to meet and engage with a large number of stakeholders, all of whom were excited about the potential of the purchasing platform.

CMP Public Sector Show

I also used this opportunity to showcase 2 of our new videos – see below:

These show the opportunities we see for the CMp programme moving forward and demonstrate how easy it is to use the platform – please share with your colleagues  – they really are a great way to illustrate the potential of the site.

So, what else have we been up to?  

In terms of progress, you will be aware that in May, we launched government purchasing cards, known as e-PCS cards, as a payment method on the purchasing platform.

This has been a tremendous step forward for us, and I know customers value the ease of use this gives them when procuring goods for their organisations.

Also in May, we shared our vision for the platform for cross-government colleagues, as well as speaking at the Trilateral Procurement conference. This gave us the chance to share our CMp plans with colleagues from the USA and Canada, as well as gather valuable feedback.

In June, we hosted our Supplier Open Day for potential partners. Almost 100 people from a range of blue chip firms attended, where a range of speakers including John Manzoni, head of the UK Civil Service, Malcolm Harrison, CEO of Crown Commercial Service (CCS), and myself outlined the importance of CMp to CCS’ future strategy and the tremendous opportunity for a future partner or partners to run the purchasing platform.

So what’s next?

Our third catalogue – Multi-Functional Devices (printer/copiers) – will join the other 2 in late summer, which will stretch our product range even further.

Please, help spread the word – sign up and log on here and see what all the fuss is about.