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The benefits of direct award frameworks to SMEs and your community

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How do the benefits of direct award frameworks filter down to the supply chain?

The benefits of a direct award framework to clients and the main contractor are undeniable. Not only an efficient procurement route, direct award also includes early contractor engagement, time and cost savings and embedded social value outcomes.

But, how do these benefits filter down to the lifeblood of the construction industry, the supply chain?

By negating the need to go through a lengthy and expensive tender process, your local SME’s (small and medium-sized enterprises) can make their business stable. For a consultant such as an architect, an OJEU style bid can cost up to £20,000, when considering the staff time required to create convincing design proposals and answer lengthy and detailed questions. With direct award frameworks, money that would have otherwise been spent on the tender process, can be reallocated and invested into creating jobs for local people, creating apprenticeships, work experience placements, graduate opportunities and delivering social value for the local community.

T Im Bell

We recently spoke with one such SME that has directly benefitted through the SCAPE Consultancy supply chain with delivery partner, Perfect Circle. Tim Bell, Director at Bell Phillips Architects in London, told us that not only does his business benefit by avoiding the excessive costs of bidding, but having work commissioned via a direct award framework has significant mental health benefits for his team, too.

"The reduced pressure on the team is clear to see. By not having to go through a lengthy, stressful and costly bidding process, myself and the team at Bell Phillips are able to get on with the work we are passionate about. This is to the benefit of the project, since money which might have been spent bidding can instead be used to better resource projects, further helping our clients better achieve their project aims.

Tim Bell

Director | Bell Phillips Architects

Tim continued, “Direct Award frameworks such as SCAPE’s also give us more time on the project, time to engage with the local community we are designing for, and time to give some sustained and invaluable social value through our work. This helps the local community come together to influence the future of their environment.”

Bell Phillips Architects are strong believers in local employment. Based in London’s Tower Hamlets, the team is made up from a diverse range of backgrounds from the local community. They regularly engage with schools and colleges to educate pupils on the benefits of working in an architectural practice, giving real life experience of how they got their qualifications and demonstrating that if they can do it, so can the local young people they are talking to.

Bell Phillips Architects are a great example of putting the circular economy model, promoted through our frameworks, into practice. When a client procures a project or programme of works via a SCAPE framework, our delivery partners can engage with local SME’s like Bell Phillips Architects straightaway. In turn, they can employ local staff to work on the project in their local area and reinvest into their business.