Supplier Bidding Guide

What is Procurement?
  • Procurement is the process of sourcing and acquiring goods and services that a company needs to fulfill its business purpose.
  • 2buy2 help organisations, like schools, churches and charities to secure excellent contracts with great suppliers. Our aim is to help customers to secure best value contracts which deliver excellent service as well as supporting social value outcomes.
  • To us, procurement means helping our customers to secure value for money, compliance with procurement legislation and best practice, fair commercial terms, and vetted and quality suppliers.
  • 2buy2 procure agreements on behalf of their customers via a tendering process, using a range of contract models including framework agreements and Dynamic Purchasing Systems.
What is a Tender?
  • A tender is a terms used to refer to a sealed bidding process to provide a supplier's bid. More than just a quote, a tender sets out detailed information about how the goods and services will be delivered.
  • Buyers will request a Tender from Suppliers when buying complex or high value goods or services. It allows then to compare responses from a number of suppliers on a like for like basis. Buyers spending public funds are obliged to follow a specific tendering process – see OJEU and PCR 2015 for more details.
  • A tender should include all the information requested in the "Request for Tender" or "Invitation to Tender" document.
  • All tenders should :
    • Include all of the information requested in the instructions issued by the buyer
    • Be returned by the deadline
    • Be evaluated by the buyer on predetermined criteria, including price and quality, which will be published in detail in the instructions issued by the buyer.
  • As tenders are not just scored on price, suppliers providing high quality products and services are given the opportunity to be awarded the contract despite not being the cheapest option.
What is a Framework?
  • A framework agreement is an overarching agreement with suppliers to establish terms that govern contracts and a list of pre-approved supplier(s) for a specific market.
  • A Framework can involve either a single supplier or multiple suppliers and a single customer or multiple customers. 2buy2 framework agreements are for large groups of customers.
  • Therefore suppliers on the 2buy2 frameworks are exposed to a larger number of opportunities and a greater customer base than may otherwise be possible.
  • The benefits of a framework for suppliers include:
    • Direct access to new business opportunities
    • Limited competition as the supplier panel is fixed for the term of the contract and only those suppliers on the framework can be invited to bid
    • Light-touch bidding for opportunities once the framework is live
    • Market longevity as the framework can have a maximum duration of 4 years
    • Frameworks are structured in-line with market characteristics, often with regional lots allowing to only bid for the opportunities you want to deliver
  • There is no guarantee that a supplier will be awarded a contract for goods / services under a framework agreement.
  • To be a supplier listed on a framework agreement, you must respond to a tender in order to assess the quality and cost of your goods or services.
What is a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS)?
  • A Dynamic Purchasing System, like a framework agreement, is an overarching agreement with suppliers to establish terms that govern contracts and a list of pre-approved suppliers for a specific market. The difference between a DPS and a framework is that the suppliers listed on a DPS can change at any time (based on qualification) and a framework agreement can be for a maximum terms of 4 years whereas a DPS can be for a longer term.
  • Once awarded onto a DPS, bidders are invited to provide a tender for customers' specific requirements under a Further Competition using a closed bidding tender process.
  • The benefits of a DPS for suppliers include:
    • Direct access to new business opportunities
    • Competition is limited as only those suppliers on the DPS can be invited to bid
    • DPSs are structured in-line with market characteristics, often with regional lots allowing to only bid for the opportunities you want to deliver
    • You can join a DPS at any time, following a qualification review
    • Annual audit of all suppliers on a DPS ensuring that quality levels are maintained
    • Reduced timescales for bidding and evaluation meaning quicker turnaround on contract set up
  • There is no guarantee that a supplier will be awarded a contract for goods / services under a DPS.
  • To be a supplier listed on a DPS, you must respond to a tender in order to assess the quality and cost of your goods or services.
What is OJEU and PCR2015?
  • PCR 2015 or Public Contracts Regulation 2015 or "the regs" is the legislation that covers all organisations that spend public money in England and Wales. All public sector organisations, including maintained Schools and Academies must be compliant with the regs. Therefore all contracts let for these customer groups by 2buy2 follow the regs in order to be compliant.
  • Currently, all tenders from organisations that are outlined in the regs which exceed £189,330 in value must be published in OJEU. OJEU can be accessed via a website to see all the tender notifications published across Europe.
  • From 1st January 2021, all Tenders of value for England and Wales will be published on a new website called Find a Tender Service (FTS – no website available yet).
  • The regs set out to ensure:
    • best value is obtained when using public money to buy goods, services and works
    • that each tender is open to competition and that suppliers are treated equally and fairly
What is Further Competition?
  • Once a framework agreement or a DPS is live, customers may carry out a Further Competition or a second competitive bidding round for their specific requirements. This means inviting the bidders on the approved supplier lists to provide a tender under a "Further Competition" process.
  • This is a light-touch approach to bidding for the goods or services within scope of the framework / DPS based on the customer's specific requirements.
  • Only issued to the approved suppliers on the framework / DPS.
  • Governed by a pre-agreed set of terms and conditions for award.
  • Follow a clear and prescribed process to ensure fair competition.

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