When to use the framework

There are some important considerations to think about in order to obtain the best volume discounts when you use the framework to buy commissioning support. These include:

  • Who could you collaborate with?
  • Could you tender with others at the same time, while retaining separate contracts?
  • When can you collectively buy from the framework?

The sooner you start to use the framework the quicker you will have assurance you have bought competitively and following procurement rules – allowing you to concentrate on delivering the rest of your commissioning plans. You should also allow enough time for the mobilisation of the service which could take up to six months after you have awarded the contract.

The mobilisation period depends upon the complexity of the service, if it is a new supplier or existing supplier and applies regardless of your decision to use the framework.

If you are currently satisfied with your existing supplier there are significant benefits to using the framework and going through a mini-competition as soon as possible. This will enable you to bench mark your existing supplier on quality and ensure you have access to competitive prices – determining whether or not your existing supplier is still the best to deliver that service.