Intelligent procurement solutions for the housing sector

Lesley Anderson, Head of Procurement for SPA, discusses the advantages of using frameworks and getting the best value through procurement.

Q: How is SPA furthering intelligent procurement in Scotland?

Although SPA is only a small team, we are made up of dedicated experts in our respective fields who champion best practice and ensure our partners have access to high quality procurement solutions. SPA provides a quick and easy route to market, whilst ensuring our clients are complying with the Procurement Regulations in Scotland. All of our frameworks are procured through a fully OJEU compliant tender process and provide our clients with the option to direct award or mini comp through the call off procedures.

We work closely with our clients and framework appointed companies throughout the procurement process and the duration of our frameworks. At pre tender stage, we invite clients and companies to workshops to discuss our proposals for future frameworks. In conjunction with our clients we look to determine from the outset the following: future requirements to be procured through the frameworks, which companies would be best suited to apply for a place on the framework and which procurement options our client would like to see available.

We are currently in the middle of a significant pre tender engagement exercise for two of our frameworks.  Whole House Refurbishment and Improvements (WH2) is a brand new framework encapsulating all types of minor works that may be required by our partners.  Whilst Energy Efficiency (N8) is a second generation framework which will replace our existing N7 framework offering with the addition of further innovative solutions.

Q: How does SPA ensure regional coverage throughout Scotland?

As part of our intelligent procurement strategy, we structure our frameworks into lots by NUTS code areas.  These lots are then further broken down into local authorities within these regions. This allows all interested companies from SMEs to large scale organisations to apply for the regions where they are willing and capable to work in. It also eliminates the need for companies to submit for regions that they have no intention of covering at call off stage                                 

This is advantageous to our partners as it ensures regional coverage for the whole of Scotland, whilst ensuring that the companies that have been awarded to these particular Lots and regions all have the capability and the ‘want’ to deliver the service/products at the best possible value.

Q: How can my organisation get best value through SPA’s frameworks?

SPA Frameworks provide our clients with a quick and easy route to market, saving our clients time, resources and money.  Our frameworks provide a collaborative approach with shared expertise and resources at the outset, helping to achieve economies of scale.

All of our Appointed Companies are pre-qualified through a fully compliant OJEU tender process, assessing each companies due diligence, and the mandatory/minimum requirements for each framework.

Through a rigorous evaluation process we ensure that the companies appointed to our frameworks are of the highest calibre and eager to work with our clients.  Our frameworks are generally evaluated on 70% quality ratio to ensure only the best value companies in the market are successfully awarded.

Once a project is registered by a client, SPA issue out an ‘Expression of Interest’ to the Appointed Companies to establish capacity to deliver the project specific requirements at that given time.  Clients therefore are only required to invite the Appointed Companies that confirmed interest in their project reducing time and effort on the part of the Client and Appointed Companies accordingly.

The client has the option to decide which Call Off process suits their project specific requirements whilst complying with their internal governance procedures.  All frameworks provide the option to Direct Award or carry out a Mini Competition. Prior to the client formally awarding their Call Off Contract, SPA offer the additional service of price validation to ensure the project specific rates are in line with the original terms of the framework ensuring best value is achieved at all times.

Q: What is in the pipeline for SPA’s frameworks over the next year?

Having delivered the New Build Framework (H1 WS2), Off Site Construction (NH2) and Consultancy Frameworks (H1 WS1) to support the delivery of the Scottish Government’s 50,000 houses target, SPA are now focussing on pre-tender engagement for a brand new framework to support our client’s ongoing maintenance of their housing and public building portfolios.

Our newest framework is for Whole House refurbishment, which will cover all aspects of ‘minor works’ for our client’s properties. We have already started pre tender engagement workshops with housing associations and RSLs. These workshops allow us to gather information, which will inform our procurement process, specification, regional lotting structure and timelines. Client engagement ensures that our frameworks are fit for purpose and meet our client’s potential needs over the duration of the frameworks.

Supplier engagement will follow, where will engage with companies that have noted interest and those identified by our clients through our workshops. Through supplier engagement we look to ensure that the companies are not only aware of the procurement opportunity but we provide an open forum enabling companies to ask questions and gain an insight in to our expectations in relation to the quality of submissions required.

In additions to Whole House, we are working on renewing our highly successful Energy Efficiency framework which includes: Energy Consultants and Project Management, Specialist Individual Measures and Energy Efficiency Refurbishment.  This will cover all aspects of the grant funding provided by Scottish Government to assist our partners in meeting the new EESSH2 energy efficiency requirements.

Our pre-tender engagement looks to incorporate all aspects of our clients’ future requirements taking into consideration any cutting-edge products introduced over the period of our existing framework and any innovative solutions that may be beneficial to include in our new framework

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