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NEPO Frameworks: The Ultimate Guide

Written by Thornton & Lowe


Apr 16, 2024

NEPO Frameworks: The Ultimate Guide

The North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO) is a collaborative procurement organisation that works on behalf of the North East local authorities. NEPO frameworks are pre-tendered agreements that allow public sector organisations to access a wide range of goods, services, and works. These frameworks are designed to streamline the procurement process, ensuring efficiency, transparency, and value for money.

By participating in NEPO frameworks, publicly-funded organisations can save time and resources by avoiding the need to go through a lengthy procurement process for each contract. The frameworks have been developed through a rigorous and competitive process, ensuring that only high-quality suppliers are selected. This means that organisations can have confidence in the reliability and expertise of the suppliers available through NEPO frameworks.

Understanding the NEPO Procurement Process

The NEPO procurement process is designed to be fair, transparent, and compliant with public procurement regulations. It begins with the identification of a need for goods, services, or works by a public sector organisation. This need is then assessed, and a decision is made as to whether it is suitable for procurement through a NEPO framework.

If the need is deemed suitable, the organisation will then invite suppliers to bid for the contract. This is done through an open and competitive process, ensuring that all interested suppliers have an equal opportunity to participate. The bids are evaluated based on a set of predetermined criteria, such as price, quality, and sustainability.

Once the evaluation process is complete, the winning suppliers are appointed to the framework. These suppliers are then available for public sector organisations to access and contract with as needed. It is important to note that being appointed to a NEPO framework does not guarantee a contract; it simply means that the supplier is eligible to bid for call-off contracts as they arise.

Who Can Bid on NEPO Frameworks?

NEPO frameworks are open to a wide range of suppliers, both large and small. Any supplier that can meet the criteria set out in the tender documentation can bid for a place on a framework. This means that regardless of the size or location of your business, you have the opportunity to participate in NEPO frameworks.

For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), participating in NEPO frameworks can be particularly beneficial - take a look at our pros & cons blog! The frameworks provide SMEs with access to a wide range of public sector contracts that they may not have been able to compete for individually. This can help SMEs like yours to grow their business, gain valuable experience, and build relationships with public sector organisations.

It is worth noting that NEPO frameworks cover a diverse range of categories, including construction, professional services, IT, and social care, among others. This means that there are opportunities for suppliers from a wide range of industries to participate in NEPO frameworks.

Benefits of Participating in NEPO Frameworks

Participating in NEPO frameworks offers a range of benefits for both public sector organisations and suppliers. For public sector organisations, the frameworks provide a simplified and efficient procurement process. By using pre-tendered agreements, organisations can save time and resources, allowing them to focus on delivering essential services to their communities.

For suppliers, participating in NEPO frameworks can offer a steady stream of business opportunities. Being appointed to a framework means that suppliers are prequalified and have access to a pool of potential customers. This can help businesses to build their reputation, increase their visibility, and expand their customer base.

Additionally, NEPO frameworks are designed to ensure value for money for public sector organisations. The competitive nature of the procurement process means that suppliers are required to offer competitive pricing and quality. This benefits both the public sector organisations and the taxpayers who fund them, ensuring that public money is spent wisely.

How to Find and Access NEPO Frameworks

Finding and accessing NEPO frameworks is a straightforward process. The NEPO website provides a comprehensive list of the current frameworks, along with details of the goods, services, or works that they cover. By browsing the available frameworks, organisations can identify those that are relevant to their needs.

To access a NEPO framework, organisations must first become a registered user of the NEPO Portal. This is a secure online platform that allows users to view and access the frameworks. Once registered, organisations can search for specific frameworks, view the suppliers appointed to them, and access the relevant documentation.

When a need arises, organisations can then issue a call-off from the framework. This is a mini-competition process that allows organisations to select the most suitable supplier for their specific requirements. The call-off process ensures that organisations have the flexibility to choose the supplier that best meets their needs, while still benefiting from the efficiency and compliance of the NEPO framework.

Tips for Bidding on NEPO Frameworks

Bidding on NEPO frameworks requires careful planning and preparation to maximise your chances of success. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process:

Before bidding, take the time to thoroughly research the framework and understand its objectives, requirements, and evaluation criteria. This will help you tailor your bid to meet the specific needs of the framework

Highlight your experience, qualifications, and track record in delivering similar goods, services, or works. Provide evidence of your expertise and showcase any relevant certifications or accreditations

Consider partnering with other suppliers to strengthen your bid. Collaboration can demonstrate a wider range of expertise and resources, increasing your chances of success. This is also referred to as a consortium, and is often used by SMEs

Develop a competitive pricing strategy that offers value for money while still ensuring profitability. Consider the long-term benefits of being appointed to the framework and the potential for future contracts

Clearly articulate your value proposition, addressing each of the evaluation criteria. Use concise and persuasive language, supported by relevant data and evidence

If your bid is unsuccessful, don't be disheartened. Request feedback to understand where improvements can be made, and use this knowledge to enhance future bids

How Thornton & Lowe Can Support Your Success with NEPO Frameworks

At Thornton & Lowe, we have extensive experience in navigating the NEPO procurement process and successfully bidding on NEPO frameworks. Our team of experts understands the intricacies of the framework requirements and can provide tailored guidance and support to help you maximise your chances of success.

We offer a range of services, including bid writing, bid administration, and public sector sales and marketing advice. Our team will work closely with you to understand your specific needs and develop a customised approach that aligns with your objectives. With our expertise, you can confidently navigate the NEPO procurement process and position yourself as a competitive supplier within the frameworks.

If you're ready to take advantage of the opportunities offered by NEPO frameworks, contact us using the form below.

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