We've previously featured G-Cloud 13 in our framework analysis here. As this framework services the whole of the UK Public Sector, from local authorities to the NHS and everything in between, it is an important aim to win a place as a supplier.
But what happens next? Here’s our advice on how to make the most of this exceptionally lucrative national framework and create the ideal supplier profile to win work.
G Cloud 13 at a Glance
G-Cloud 13 is the newest iteration of the G-Cloud framework, launched in 2012, which is used by the UK Public Sector to locate and procure a diverse range of cloud-based computing services. It was launched on 9th November this year, after two months of delays. This government framework is open to businesses of all sizes that operate within the digital information and technology sectors. Indeed, almost 40% of the total spend thus far has been with SMEs, driven by the government’s commitment to spend £1 in every £3 with small to medium enterprises.
Thus far, over the previous twelve iterations, the spend for this framework has totalled over £9bn, with upwards of £965million being spent on G-Cloud 12 alone. This iteration is expected to account for both the highest and most diverse profile of spend yet. G Cloud 13 continues to appeal to both buyers and suppliers due to the front-end “directory-style” layout and the ability to use direct work awards to procure services more efficiently.
G-Cloud 13 features four Lots:
- Lot 1 Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Lot 2 Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Lot 3 Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Lot 4 Specialists Cloud Services (SCS)
Want to find out more? Head to our dedicated G Cloud 13 blog here.
It is important to note that, as with other frameworks, simply getting onto to G Cloud 13 is no guarantee of winning work. However, with this framework’s unique process, the information you supply at the application stage is used to inform and attract buyers to your products and services, meaning it has never been more important to make every answer count.
How Do Buyers Access Suppliers Through G Cloud 13?
There are over 52,000 listed organisations that can buy from the Digital Marketplace, presenting a huge number of captive buyers to work with. Many cloud-based products and services procured within the public sector pass through this framework, however, the uptake from smaller local government sectors has been slightly slower. It is thought there could be a push for a higher engagement from these buyers with G-Cloud 13 – more buyers, potentially leading to more work and a higher spend.
Buyers can browse the supplier “directory” when seeking solutions for a specific requirement. Suppliers can get ahead by ensuring their profiles are up to date with competitive search terms, compliant information and clear benefits to the buyer. Much like any other search engine, ensuring your listing is found, particularly within such a huge, hotly contested framework is key. Testing keywords to find the ones which are most appropriate to the service or product you are offering is vital. A similar principle applies when you are writing your supplier summary too!
Buyers are required to “buy fairly” through this framework, adhering to the following regulations:
“You must not:
- combine the results of more than one search to create a shortlist
- hold a competition to decide the winner
- ask suppliers to tender, bid or submit proposals
- unfairly exclude any services without referring back to your requirements”
Click here for the full CCS G Cloud 13 buyer’s guide.
It is crucial then, as a supplier, to present your business in the best possible way, ensuring buyers understand who you are and what makes you different from a large number of competitors there will be on this large framework. Thinking of your application as your “shopfront” may help you whittle down what is important for buyers to see, and what added value and benefits to your product/service solutions you may wish to highlight. All of this crucial information needs to be considered within your application to get onto the Framework, as this is the information that will be shown to Buyers when they are browsing the directory.
Five Top Tips for G Cloud 13 Success
Finding all the information circulating about how to actually win work on G Cloud 13 a bit much? Here are five simple top tips from our expert bid writing team to think when completing your application for this Crown Commercial Services framework:
- Keep it simple - we'd always advocate using plain English but getting across your points in a clear and easy-to-understand manner will be crucial to winning business in such a hotly contested Digital Marketplace. Only use technical terminology that is necessary, such as those terms that customers may search for to find your solution. But otherwise, the usual rules of bidding apply, no one wants to read through heaps of very technical and dry information.
- Focus on the sections which support your search ranking. This includes the initial description and the features/benefits. We aim to keep these detail focused on highlighting the key things that any customer may be searching for. Think about what they would search for if using Google or any other search engine. And think about what is different. This is not a place for wordy descriptions or fluff, every character counts so keep it concise.
- Ensure your product features are accurate and benchmarked against competitors’ listings. Much like when using price comparison sites, customers of G-Cloud are likely to pick the products that offer the best functionality for their budget. As such, -it's important to not under-sell your solution.
- Check what sells in your sector! You can view all of G-Cloud spend here so check out which of your competitors are performing well and try to understand why. Don't copy them but perhaps there are product features or benefits that they are promoting that also apply to your solution and that you can convey in your own words.
- Don't scrimp on Social Value - in the last iteration, there was a level of choice about how many Social Value sections to complete so many will likely only have completed 1. Adding more, therefore, presents a great way to differentiate and with Social Value likely to be ever more prominent for public authorities under the new Procurement Bill, they are likely to look favourably upon those who are willing to make firm commitments and support their own Social Value objectives. Can you afford to cut corners on this? We think not.
How Can Thornton & Lowe Help You Win Work Through G Cloud 13?
Contact us now if you:
- Are assessing whether bidding for a place on the G Cloud 13 framework is right for you
- Want to know how to best complete the application to showcase your product or service
- Need support writing the application for this framework and completing the required research
- Would like to have your application reviewed by an expert Bid Writer who can offer advice with regard to compliance and added value opportunities before it is submitted
BID WRITING SUPPORT FOR G-CLOUD 13
There are several areas that Thornton & Lowe can support you with. This could include reviewing your current/previous content, supporting you to compile key information and evidence, conducting targeted research or reviewing/improving your bid process to ensure that you can get the most from the available time.
As professional bid writers, we can also help you respond to Crown Commercial Services tenders. Our bid consultancy services will ensure you fully understand the requirements for this critical tender. Our services include but are not limited to:
- End-to-End Bid Management - managing your G-Cloud 13 bid from conception to completion
- Support for Specific Bid Elements - targeted support to areas such as case studies, additional evidence or social responsibility
- Read, Review and Comment - expert feedback to add value to your bid
- Bid Design - bringing structure and a professional, brand-oriented design to support your bid
Thornton & Lowe can help you add significant value to your offering, showcasing your services to win work on this competitive framework.