Procuring in the public sector

The Crown Commercial Service’s Kim Harrison discusses the organisation’s recently launched Dynamic Purchasing System, which enables public sector fleet managers and buyers to access a wide range of vehicle conversion services

Crown Commercial Service (CCS), the UK’s largest public procurement organisation, has just launched its first Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) – enabling public sector fleet managers and buyers to access a wide range of vehicle conversion services.

Having previously managed a framework agreement for these services, CCS has created the DPS to more closely fit with the conversions market, populated as it is by many small, local businesses and a customer base with specific demands on flexibility and simplicity.

The DPS is the latest innovation in CCS’s fleet offering.

A new way to buy – and sell

The DPS works in a very different way to a traditional framework – with changes affecting both customers and suppliers.

Customers have been demanding the ability to make simple, compliant transactions with suppliers in specialist areas.

They can use the DPS to access an online search function to identify those suppliers that offer the services and specialism they require. Search filters include geographic location, customer sector, vehicle type, service types (including conversion, decommissioning and design) and detailed products.

Suppliers in the market can apply to join at any time during the term, and to update their service offerings in a ‘live’ environment as they change and evolve their skills.

The DPS makes use of existing systems for supplier registration and the completion of selection questionnaires, allowing suppliers to reuse their company information for future applications and self-certify their status until the point of contract award.

A wider scope

The scope for this agreement is significantly wider than its predecessor, with services ranging from simple vehicle signage or internal storage, to full conversion into emergency vehicles or specialist communications equipment.

Conversion services are available to suit each area of the public sector, whether it be emergency services, local authorities or central government operations.

The DPS also supports contracts for standalone vehicle design and consultancy, meaning better access to specialist services for those fleets who may be stretched for internal resources.

Using the DPS as a contracting vehicle, opportunities have been opened up to the wider supply chain, who have previously only indirectly provided services as subcontractors.

Vehicle telematics

In addition to the new DPS, CCS offers a framework agreement for vehicle telematics.

Whilst it’s an area of relatively low‑cost investment, vehicle telematics are viewed by the CCS fleet team as the key enabler to understand where the areas optimise utilisation within fleet, and to identify opportunities for cash-releasing and other benefits.

CCS research suggests that, for every £1 invested in vehicle telematics, a return of at least £3 can be achieved through a combination of reduced fuel costs, decreases in insurance premiums, a reduction in the frequency and cost of vehicle damage, and improved risk management in support of an employer’s duty of care.

The CCS Vehicle Telematics agreement has multiple suppliers appointed with a range of specialities. In a fast developing, innovative market, the framework is deliberately flexible for the suppliers to adapt their offerings, and for customers to determine which area of fleet management they wish to target with their telematics, and the contract model they prefer.

The future

The existing CCS Vehicle Purchase and Vehicle Lease & Fleet Management frameworks will be expiring in the coming 18-24 months, and will be replaced.

Analysis shows that both frameworks provide excellent value, especially where customers have aggregated their requirements for vehicle purchase via the CCS eAuctions. CCS baseline the framework performance against other large UK fleets using a market comparator methodology which is currently demonstrating average savings of 11 per cent across both frameworks.

CCS is planning its next frameworks. In the coming months, the fleet team will be securing customer, supplier and general market feedback, and starting to draft future agreements.

A combined customer stakeholder group will meet in Autumn 2017 to discuss future requirements and options for contractual models. It is anticipated that the frameworks will further widen the scope of vehicle types available.

Get involved

Fleet are keen to hear from its customers on any of the existing agreements or wider fleet requirements.

The team operates a Fleet Customer Forum, bringing together fleet and commercial experts from across the public sector three times a year to understand best practice, identify market trends and seek areas to deliver savings.

The forum provides debate and networking opportunities, and enables the CCS Fleet team to share their market insight and to focus on key areas of interest for operational fleets.

About Crown Commercial Service
CCS is tasked with ensuring that the UK public sector realises the maximum commercial benefit when procuring common goods and services – to support efficient and effective public services.

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