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The power of frameworks

The construction market is a particularly volatile environment, cyclical between ‘boom and bust’ which of course makes everybody’s life difficult, not least the client. In a public sector environment, budget allocations and expenditure are known to departments and authorities at the same time, resulting in a mass approach to the market. The general effect of this, especially in terms of estates’ project expenditure, is to create inflation in the goods and services they require. When the general market is buoyant, providers tend to chase the markets with higher margins and less cost to tender, exacerbating the cost-inflation spiral which can result in public sector clients feeling left out.

How does a client ensure they get real value in such an environment? As in so many situations it’s the relationships we develop that breed trust and deliver added value. Framework contracts have the capability to build that trust, align aspirations, gain business understanding and deliver real value, but they have to be actively managed and have clear outcomes shared by all members. It is for this reason not all clients have the time, skills or pipeline of works to engage in the procurement or management of frameworks.

Public sector budgets consist of money provided by the public. Consequently, there is an added responsibility on public sector clients to evidence they are getting value for money. The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 makes it clear that for every £1 spent the local community/public purse should receive the same amount in added value.

Scape Procure offers a suite of frameworks which provides public sector clients with all the benefits of a well-managed, socially focused framework where the delivery partners share publically concentrated aspirations and values. It provides clients of all sizes and capabilities with the opportunity to access services with a procurement route that addresses many of the issues highlighted above.

Faithful+Gould, in partnership with Arcadis, has been working in the roads sector throughout Wales. As part of an Arcadis CSR initiative, F+G has provided positions for trainee engineers. Some 60 young people have been through the scheme since its inception four years ago. The scheme takes local young people into funded permanent positions, provided by the companies who are party to the roads framework. Arcadis has put in place agreements with local FE colleges, universities and chartered institutions to provide training through ONC/HNC to degree and onto institution membership, providing opportunities that would not otherwise be available. This is an example of the power of frameworks and mirrors Scape Group’s aspiration to support local people through local works.

Scape Reinvest is one such initiative supporting local community projects and entrepreneurial activities without being restricted to construction. School support programmes, university lecturing, volunteering, apprenticeship programmes and more form a key strand in delivering added value to the framework client communities.

Any public sector client signing up to a Scape national framework can rest assured they will receive the services of an expert supply chain selected due to their industry-leading skill sets and cultural and social alignment with Scape’s values. Plus the ability to deliver projects on time, within budget and achieve industry leading levels of client satisfaction.

Scape Procure delivers local clients local value with a lasting legacy whilst providing clients of all sizes with the benefits that come from being a major procurer.

Terry Stocks FG

Written by:

Terry Stocks

UK Head of Public Sector - Faithful+Gould

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