As part of our ongoing Case Study series with Craven College on their deployment of Managed Print Services (MPS) and Managed IT Services (MITS) within the UK Education Sector at Apogee, we wanted to look at how through utilising Frameworks with a Managed Workplace Service (MWS) provider the opportunity for Digital Transformation can significantly improve.
The Public Sector, across Central Government, Local Government, the NHS, and Education face persistent pressure to achieve their goals while maintaining their budget. Due to these budgetary concerns, alongside the ramifications of wastage, under the watchful eye of oversight, contracting with a supplier, whether in the Managed Workplace Services (MWS) sector or otherwise, can be daunting. The task of engaging with and enabling Digitial Transformation for the Public Sector can be an intimidating prospect for any sized organisation. However, there is a solution to this issue that can significantly improve organisations' prospects within the Public Sector. By utilising Frameworks, and their Framework Agreements, a Managed Workplace Service (MWS) provider can offer and deliver Digital Transformation under strict and comprehensive guidelines that protect Public Sector organisations.
Craven College learned the importance of Frameworks and what the tender process can offer while attempting to engage with a supplier. Gareth Dixon, VP of Finance at Craven College, explained. "It allowed us a proven route to market for us to access what we've now got across the College, and it was something that we knew we could rely on. We benefited from our previous working relationship with Apogee on the print side. Still, through the tender process, we discovered Apogee could offer the same level of service on our devices as well, which is helping us–as well–that we can link our print and our devices as one through one relationship."
Why should organisations use a Purchasing Framework?
Organisations deploying any outsourcing partnership are willing to give the service provider the responsibility of taking care of their clients or customers and company operations. For organisations in the Public Sector, this can be a disconcerting experience due to the stringent guidelines these institutions operate under. Many organisations fear a loss of control or failure through the reduced quality of service by moving away from in-house teams. However, these fears can be mitigated and removed entirely by utilising Frameworks and Framework Agreements. Through Frameworks, organisations within the Public Sector benefit from austere Service Level Agreements (SLAs), KPIs, and expected deliverables within their contracts. As part of these Frameworks, outsourcing companies in the Managed Print Services (MPS) and Managed IT Services (MITS) spheres undergo immense scrutiny and vetting to achieve approval to tender for projects and the supply of services.
The transparent and competitive structure of a Framework and its Framework Agreement reduces the risk for any public sector organisation. Frameworks achieve the reduction in risk through Framework Agreements that are utilised as the vehicle to deliver the scope and scale of the procurement. These frameworks are fundamental to providing much-needed value and transparency for the Public Sector whilst achieving compliance in procurement.
What is a Purchasing Framework?
Essentially a purchasing framework is an 'umbrella agreement' that sets out the terms of a contract between supplier and organisation. Most commonly in relation to pricing and expected deliverables and SLAs under which individual purchases or long-term contract agreements can be made for the period. The contract is formed under the guidance of the Framework, with vetted suppliers engaging with organisations in the Public Sector. The method of access to suppliers for organisations varies from Framework to Framework. The two most common forms are either comparing price lists and selecting the cheapest from vetted suppliers or for more complex requirements, specifically appealing to those wishing to undergo a Digital Transformation with Managed IT Services (MITS); the organisation will define its requirements, then place those requirements out for tender through the Framework.
What are the benefits of utilising a Purchasing Framework?
There is a multitude of benefits of utilising a Purchasing Framework within the Public Sector, whether in Central Government, Local Government, NHS or Education. The most notable benefit that pertains to the Public Sector is the vetting procedure that enables a supplier to access the Framework and its tender process. This vetting process and a supplier's subsequent approval means that a Public Sector organisation or institution can have their fears of poor work or supply assuaged. The Framework has attested to the supplier's quality and their subsequent capabilities within the field, whether that be Managed Print Services (MPS) or Managed IT Services (MITS).
A further benefit for an organisation using a Framework, is the constant upkeep a supplier must adhere to, in order to remain on the Framework as a preferred supplier. By engaging in a tender process supported by the Framework, suppliers are engaged in repeated competition for access to new business. This competitive edge adds not only value in terms of getting the best service for the best price, but it highlights the need to suppliers to keep their services up-to-date and efficient. Additionally, the Framework can ease the process with its position as an overseer with valuable insights and information, aiding the purchasing organisation's decision.
A third and final benefit of engaging with a Purchasing Framework within the Public Sector is the growth in buying power the Framework can provide. A Framework, such as the Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) Framework for the education sector, has shown that enabling a sector and its individual institutions and organisations to join a Framework results in better services and pricing to be available. While moreover to this gaining the support of the Framework and the organisations it operates with to collectively resolve an issue with a supplier, through strength by numbers.
Why choose Apogee through a Purchasing Framework?
Apogee's ability with our modular Managed Workplace Services (MWS) solutions allow us to tailor the provision of Managed Print Services (MPS), Managed IT Services (MITS) and Outsourced Document Services (ODS) to Public Sector organisations with unique and challenging requirements. Apogee, over our thirty years of experience as a Managed Services Provider (MSP) has become an approved supplier on multiple Public Sector Purchasing Frameworks ranging from the CPC Framework to the Scottish Procurement Directorate. Our expertise across the Public Sector and Purchasing Frameworks ranges across Central Government, Local Government, NHS and Education. At Apogee, we comprehend the pressures the Public Sector are consistently under and, therefore, the vital importance of keeping costs low, the ability to maximise budgets, and the provision of security of data.
Our partnership with HP through acquisition has become its most valuable when engaging with Public Sector organisations. Our partnership with HP provides Apogee with best-in-class technology and innovation, enabling us to deliver true Digital Transformation to Public Sector organisations that we engage with through Procurement Frameworks.
Through its partnership with HP, Apogee operates on various Public Sector frameworks as HP Public Sector, dovetailing Apogee's 'Service Excellence' with the scale and expertise of HP's technology solutions.