It is not often that SMEs get put on a level playing field with larger organisations. Resource restraints are a huge factor to this but SMEs can also get overlooked when compared to their larger competitors. We spoke to Matt Whitaker and Martin George from Bis Henderson Space on the change that SMEs need to undertake and how Bis Henderson went through the transformation to become a named supplier on the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Storage, Distribution, Kitting and Associated Services Agreement (RM6282). You can watch more in the short video below.
Who are the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and what does it mean for Bis Henderson Space?
Matt Whitaker: CCS is the biggest public procurement organisation in the UK using it’s commercial expertise to help buyers in the public and third sector to purchase their requirements. It allows SMEs, such as us, to access government contracts and the opportunity to respond to public sector procurement activities. They are procuring based on government standards to provide the best value for the taxpayer.
Martin George: It is a rigorous process to get on the framework and it is not just about price or commercial services. It is also about the wider processes within the organisation and the culture. For us that was useful, as it helped us to look at ourselves and work on the quality
we provide, the processes we use and how we approach broader topics such as ethics.
How would this affect your suppliers and partners?
MW: The framework impacts not just us but our suppliers too. We have a duty to fulfil and ensure that anyone we work with can fulfil the same criteria when it comes to required accreditations and standards.
What changes did you have to implement in order to get onto the framework?
MG: The changes weren’t too difficult but involved the whole of the organisation. We are a relatively small company and that was a benefit. We had to look at our capabilities and be able to demonstrate them. Also, we had to prove aspects such as financial stability, plans and company procedures around sustainability and anti-fraud. It was a team effort across the whole company.
What advice would you give to companies who are looking into undertaking a similar transformation?
MG: As a SME we had to look at all our processes and compare them to the larger organisations and make sure we can deliver the same value. To a medium size company I would say, before you embark, make an audit. Check your wider business processes before you get started. It is not just about your core business but also your backroom processes.
Has the public sector become more aware of the benefits of a sound logistics partner?
MW: For us, the public sector’s understanding of the supply chain has improved immensely. We attended a Procure Health Event to connect with the public sector and talk about our offering, as well as mentioning that we are a named supplier on CCS’s RM6282 framework. CCS hold regular meetings with the framework suppliers and share knowledge and best practice. They also held training events to support suppliers with key aspects of the public sector and how we work with them. CCS recognises the value that SME’s can offer to the public sector.
Watch the video with Matt Whitaker and Martin George from Bis Henderson Space below. ✷
About the Crown Commercial Service
The CCS is the largest public procurement body in the UK. The service supports government entities with their purchasing decisions and helps them source goods, services and solutions. CCS offers a simplified process and suppliers which have already been approved. In 2021/22 CCS helped its customers achieve commercial benefits totalling over £2.8 billion of public money by using a CCS agreement.