YPO (Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation) was formed over 40 years ago by Yorkshire-based local authorities joining forces to buy their services together. It now has over 30,000 customers (public sector or public-funded bodies) across the UK from education to blue light services.
As professional bid writers we regularly produce winning tender results for our clients via YPO opportunities. In any month, we will always be working on YPO bids for our clients, whether the initial multi-supplier frameworks or DPS opportunities or call-offs/mini-competitions.
As specialists in bid writing for SMEs, we wanted to share some of the benefits of YPO frameworks and why it has proven so successful for our clients over the last 10 years.
How do YPO frameworks work?
YPO sets up frameworks or DPS agreements for their public sector customers to use. These frameworks allow their public sector clients to quickly and compliantly work with suppliers. Click on the links here for a comprehensive overview of what a DPS and Framework is and why they could be essential for your business.
YPO DPS agreements are continually open to new suppliers, so can often be a great chance for suppliers looking for new public sector customers without having to wait months or years for a framework to be retendered. YPO uses Proactis – you can register today, via the suppliers' login. You can view YPO opportunities here.
For more tender opportunities take a look at our comprehensive and free tender alert software, covering UK and Europe, Tender Pipeline.
The vast majority of their frameworks allow both a direct award and mini competitions. As a successful supplier on a YPO DPS or framework, means you can often offer your existing public client a compliant solution to continue to use your services, without the need to tender. Many public sector bodies will still require further competition via the framework, which also means there are regular opportunities to win new public sector business. They use YPO standard tender templates and procedures which means they often require a ‘similar’ response, which can save bid writing time. Any time saved can of course be invested in tailoring the bid to be the best fit for the specific contract, which is now up for grabs.
YPO Frameworks – committed to SMEs
With many DPS agreements, often split into 12 geographical locations YPO can be a great opportunity for SME businesses. They are committed to government priorities of engaging more SMEs, as well as a strong commitment to creating lasting social value. View our detailed and practical guide to Social Value here.
YPO Bid Writing Top Tips
- YPO frameworks are a competition! You need to answer the question as clearly and fully as possible. Use the structure of the question as your response subheadings to quickly demonstrate you are covering each point.
- When bid writing evidence is essential. This can be with facts, statistics, CVs, case studies, KPIs and testimonials, for example. We focus our bid writing on the following – benefit, feature, and evidence. So you are highlighting the benefit to the client, and the feature describes how, which then needs to be evidenced.
- Following the instructions – YPO provides detailed instructions covering how the tender will be evaluated, what you should do if something isn’t clear, and how to respond to the tender down to the font type and size.
- You will know your customers and understand their pain points. These may not be in the tender but if you can refer to these challenges along with your solution you can demonstrate you understand the sector and highlight your expertise.
- Consider the requirements in full, we like to use a table to collate these. Then in each column confirm how you can comply with the requirement, what evidence demonstrates this and where you exceed the requirement and why. This table then becomes a vital tool when bid writing.
To start further improving your bid writing skills why not take a look at our comprehensive bid writing training workshops and events.
Why do public sector buyers use YPO?
Put simply, public sector buyers use YPO because they are a safe pair of hands in the sector. They are well respected and trusted and other than CCS have one of the largest variety of ‘well-used’ frameworks in the UK.
As experts in procurement, they offer compliant solutions to their clients, saving time and ensuring value for money and cashable savings.
As YPO sets up flexible frameworks it often means a compliant solution can be found quickly and as YPO will manage the process for the public sector body, they can be confident they will get the right supplier.
Due to these benefits, it means YPO creates a lot of opportunities for companies across the UK. If you want to understand if you can supply your services or goods via the YPO, please contact us now to discuss. YPO also runs regularly events which you can engage with to find out more.
Bid writing support for YPO Frameworks?
As bid writing professionals in the public sector, Thornton & Lowe has been helping clients win work on YPO frameworks for over 10 years. This has included sourcing relevant YPO frameworks, provision of bid writing and expert guidance and support with the submission. In addition, we will also help our clients secure call-offs from the framework (further competition) to win contracts.
See our bid writing top tips here, which will help you secure your place on YPO frameworks.
YPO frameworks typically have quality sections requiring 8,000 to 10,000 words, plus references, supporting documents and more basic compliance questions. They are committed to achieving quality and social value for their customers. The quality weighting largely outweighs pricing when bids are being evaluated. This means your quality method statements need to be compelling, evidence-based, well researched and tailored to the requirements and the ambitions of their members.
This quality submission is what our expert bid writing team deliver every day for our clients.
Once successfully awarded onto a YPO framework you will be invited to bid for new opportunities (only open to YPO suppliers) via further competition. Typically, they will have 3 – 5 quality questions relating to the specific requirement of the buyer - 1000 words each.
How will my YPO bid be evaluated?
YPO will always clearly highlight what percentage of the weighting is on price and quality – e.g. 40% / 60%. An often-overlooked part of the bid writing instructions for the quality method statements is how the marks are to be awarded. Below is a typical matrix of how the YPO awards marks across their different quality sections:
Excellent response with requirements being met and exceeded in some areas. Showing a comprehensive understanding and the ability to deliver to a high standard. Evidence relating to the proposed requirements shows high quality.
Good response with requirements being met understanding all requirements and the ability to deliver to a high standard. Evidence in relation to the proposed requirements shows good quality.
Acceptable answer with requirements being met in part but not fully. A reasonable understanding to have the ability to deliver the requirements. Evidence to show that the requirements are suitable for the purpose but have not met the standard expected.
A poor response where some requirements are being met but there are some large exceptions. Concerns that the requirements proposed would not be suitable for use.
Target requirements were only met on a few occasions. Low standard response. Major concerns that the requirements proposed would be suitable for use.
The answer not met the requirements at all. No evidence that the requirements would be suitable.
When writing your bid, it is important to review your tender responses and question yourself on what you are likely to score. And then what you can do to score a 5 or top marks.
Bid Writing Success and Feedback:
“We have only been using Thornton and Lowe since January 2022. The first tender they wrote on our behalf was amazing and secured us a win. The tender was against 4 competing companies and allowed our company to grow by 20%. I cannot thank Tom and Nathan enough for their hard work and really getting to know our business in such a short time period. Their process and attention to detail is brilliant. We have worked with a few tender writers in the past and to be honest after 6 attempts they still have not understood our business the way Thornton and Lowe do and I could not recommend them enough”.
“Thornton and Lowe came in to help us improve on our tender submissions. We were averaging high scores on pricing but always need to get across our information better in tender form. The team were great, helping us deliver the information we had in a clean, clear and professional structure. We achieved 1st place in our first submission which was even more pleasing”. Andrew Meeks, Sales Manager, Balmers GM
To view feedback from our existing clients, click here.
We have produced several case studies demonstrating what we have achieved for clients bidding into the public sector, which can be found here.
YPO Frameworks Overview
YPO Framework Categories:
- Building and Construction Frameworks
- Facilities Management Frameworks
- Health and Social Care Frameworks
- Corporate and Financial Services Frameworks
- Fleet Frameworks
- Highways Frameworks
- Emergency Services Frameworks
- Food and Catering Frameworks
- HR and People Frameworks
- Energy Frameworks
- Furniture Frameworks
- Technology and Communication Frameworks
Key YPO Building & Construction Frameworks:
From building materials to maintenance and project management
For general building supplies; from bricks and sand through to composite doors. Broken into regional lots to allow for local delivery. Running till the end of 2022, however, will be re-tendering ready for 2023.
This DPS agreement, which is open to new suppliers through March 2026, makes it a great framework for SME bidders. With 15 lots ranging from painting and decorating, plumbing and heating, air conditioning installation and servicing, mechanical and electrical services, fire alarms and sprinkler maintenance, lift maintenance and inspections works, aids and adaptations, as well as broader general building works lot.
Another very useful building DPS running till November 2027. With 10 lots covering glazing, cladding, insulation, installation and maintenance of a variety of requirements such as fire stops, canopies and automatic doors. It covers the design, supply, installation and maintenance of roofing, fire escapes, scaffolding, signage, surveying, stone and concrete repairs, as well as a broader lot for total building envelope services lot covering architectural services and project management.
This framework is in place till March 2024 but will be re-tendered in mid-2023. This modular building framework covers the design, fabrication, delivery, construction and maintenance of buildings, which could be used in a variety of settings such as temporary accommodation, mobile classrooms and healthcare-related environments.
Key YPO Facilities Management Frameworks:
Grounds maintenance, cleaning, fire safety, fire aid, catering and laundry services
Running till September 2024 this framework currently only has 2 suppliers covering the supply of cleaning equipment for hire, such as vacuums, carpet cleaners, sweepers and pressure washers.
14 suppliers are currently on this fire safety framework which covers the whole of the UK. The framework is in place till December 2023 so in early 2023 you can expect the new tender to be released. Across 11 lots this really useful framework covers the supply (only) of fire safety equipment, servicing of fire safety equipment, completion of fire risk assessments, fire safety training, fire detection and alarm systems, fire alarm monitoring, sprinkler systems, wet and dry risers and emergency lighting.
This competitive framework currently has 5 suppliers for first aid kits (BSI, HSE, catering, own brand), burn relief, dressings and bandages, first aid literature, plasters, defibrillation and sports first aid. With extensions, this will likely run till July 2024.
A popular framework within the grounds maintenance equipment market, this YPO framework is broken into 4 key lots with 8 – 12 suppliers on each. The lots cover the supply of grounds maintenance equipment, the hire/ lease of grounds maintenance equipment, servicing, maintenance, spares and repairs for grounds maintenance equipment and the disposal of grounds maintenance equipment. This framework is active until August 2023 so suppliers should expect the new framework to be advertised Feb – March 2023.
With 110 suppliers across 4 lots/ categories and 12 locations, this really is a key industry framework if you supply grounds maintenance services to the public sector in the UK. With extensions, this DPS can run until 2026 so a great opportunity for any grounds maintenance contractors looking to offer their existing clients a compliant solution and to find new public sector clients. Covering general grounds maintenance, winter grounds maintenance, specialist grounds maintenance and arb, along with a catch-all lot to cover all of the above.
If you are looking for more information on bid writing for grounds maintenance tenders then please click here to see our ultimate guide for the grounds maintenance sector and our grounds maintenance client case study.
Running till 2026 but with extensions 2028 this light commercial catering framework is designed to help school kitchens, canteens or other food providers covering crockery, cutlery, cookware, food storage, knives, baking equipment, buffet displays and menus.
Another YPO DPS agreement running, with extensions, till August 2023, so the new tender should be out in early 2023. With only 8 suppliers this is a great opportunity for those who provide general laundry, PPE laundry and contaminated laundry services and want to grow their client base in the public sector.
11 lots across 17 suppliers for this lifts framework covering the supply, installation, servicing and maintenance (across different lots) of stairlifts (straight and curved), step lifts, vertical lifts and ceiling track hoists.
This washroom services opportunity will be retendered around the middle of 2023. The current framework has only 4 suppliers so is a great opportunity for any interested bidders who can offer complete washroom service solutions such as collection and disposal for sanitary, nappy, sharps, clinical waste, roller towels, dryers and washroom equipment.
This competitive framework with 8 suppliers is currently in place until July 2024 so we would expect the retender to be at the end of 2023. This framework is for suppliers of workwear and PPE, specifically general workwear, hi-vis clothing, tabards and aprons, disposable workwear and disposable gloves, gloves, footwear, bespoke workwear, PPE (goggles, ear defenders, hard hats) and corporate clothing.
Key YPO Health and Social Care Frameworks:
This broad group of frameworks includes weight management and sexual health services, through to nursing, vaccinations and health and social care equipment and supplies.
This DPS agreement was set up in 2020 and could run as long as 2028! As a DPS it is open to new providers throughout this period. This Appropriate Adults DPS is aimed at providing a solution for Police and Crime Commissioners, Youth Offending Teams, Adult Social Care and local authorities. With 9 current providers across 12 locations this is a UK wide opportunity for those offering appropriate adult services to children and vulnerable adults.
This health and social care equipment framework is in place till 2025 and allows for direct awards as well as mini competitions. It has 3 providers across 2 broad lots covering daily living aids, kitchen aids, walking aids, wheelchairs, bariatric equipment, access ramps, beds, bathing equipment and adaptations, grab rails, rehab and therapy products, health and social care assessment and support services.
Developed a compliant solution for the public sector which may have quite broad requirements; this DPS is open to new suppliers until 2027. It covers health checks, weight management, smoking cessation and treatment, sexual health services, drug, alcohol and substance misuse-related services, well-being and lifestyle services, immunisation, vaccination and public health nursing.
Key YPO Corporate and Financial Services Frameworks:
From enforcement agencies services and cash collections, through to engineering inspection, insurance brokerage, postal services
This cash collections framework is broken into 12 geographic lots to support local provision, although only has 5 suppliers. In place till March 2024 we expect the new framework to go to tender in Autumn 2023. It covers premises and parking machine collections (on-street ad off-street parking machines).
An enforcement agency services DPS, open to new agencies, until March 2024. It is still a great chance for bidders to get onto the framework and work with new public sector clients. With over 20 enforcement agencies covering collection for council tax, parking fines, business rates, road traffic fines, sundry debts, housing benefits overpayments, social care debts and university accommodation fees.
The current insurance brokerage and placement DPS is in place until July 2023. With providers such as Allianz, Aviva, Hiscox, NFU and Zurich this is a competitive opportunity, however as a DPS quite accessible for specialists or smaller firms in the sector. We would expect the new version of this framework advertised in early 2023.
Key YPO Fleet Frameworks:
From electric vehicle charging solutions, telematics, fleet management services, home to school transport, to the supply of tyres and specialist vehicles
A DPS that is open to new suppliers of hydrogen buses, electric ambulances, e-scooters, e-bikes and car clubs until 2031! As a national framework, this is a great opportunity for a manufacturer or distributor of alternative fuelled vehicles.
National fleet management framework acting as a one stop shop for public sector buyers. Open to new suppliers till 2030 this is a fantastic opportunity for suppliers who provide route management, driver risk management, managed stores, fleet and managed workshops, vehicle and tyre disposal, vehicle asset management, vehicle washing, breakdown, roadside assistance and recovery services, PCN management and driving licence checks, vehicle livery and driving training.
In place till March 2024 this plant machinery, equipment and tools framework should be going out to tender mid to late 2023. With 12 current suppliers covering the hire and/or purchase of plant, tools and equipment often associated with highway maintenance, improvement works and buildings repairs and maintenance works.
This specialist vehicles framework is made up of mix of vehicle and equipment manufacturers and vehicle conversion specialists. It covers the supply (via sale or lease) of emergency vehicles (ambulance, police, fire and rescue), refuse collection, waste management, road sweepers, winter maintenance vehicles, gully emptiers, welfare units, access platforms, vehicle conversions, coaches/buses, gritters, tippers and the supply of chassis only options.
This highly successful DPS with currently over 45 suppliers of vehicle telematics and associated services is in place and open to new suppliers until 2027. Broken into 2 lots covering vehicle telematics and vehicle journey recorders, which both are an ever-increasing requirement to provide data to public sector managers with large fleets.
Key YPO Highways Frameworks:
From the supply of asphalt, through to highway electricals, road marketing and surfacing and street lighting products
This DPS Highway Electrical Installation framework is broken into 3 categories/lots designed for:
Open to new suppliers until October 2024 this road marketing and surfacing framework, is not only limited to these areas but also includes cleaning and removal of road marketing, graffiti removal and surface treatments and traffic management installation and monitoring. With nearly 50 suppliers this is a great opportunity for those involved in road marking, surfacing and traffic management contractors.
Key YPO Emergency Services Frameworks:
From the supply of restraint equipment and drones, through to emergency response and rescue equipment and specialist PPE
Open for new suppliers until 2030! This framework is broken into 10 lots including water rescue equipment, hoses, pumps, vehicle cutting equipment, rescue tools, thermal imaging cameras, smoke control and land and sand rescue products and services.
This specialist PPE framework is to supply the emergency services and blue light bodies such as firefighters. In place until December 2024 we expect the new tender to be available to bidders mid 2023. 23 lots on this broad framework covering firefighter tunics, trousers, jackets, helmets, gloves, boots and decontamination. As well as police specialist PPE such as that for firearms officers, motorcyclist equipment, gloves and gauntlets, police footwear, body armour and flame retardant wear.
In place until May 2024 this uniform and workwear framework complements the framework above but includes broader requirements such as healthcare uniforms, name badges, kit bags, workshop/garage wear and corporate wear.
Key YPO Food and Catering Frameworks:
From catering equipment, through to domestic appliances, kitchen payment management solutions, the supply of food, beverages
Catering disposables framework running till September 2023, with a likely re-tender in early 2023. The current framework has 9 suppliers across lots ranging from drink cups, water cones, straws, plates, bowls, cutlery, bags, lunch boxes, containers, foil and cling film.
This catering equipment framework covers larger projects such as the design and layout of new build or refurbishing commercial kitchens, through to the supply and installation of catering equipment. The current framework is in place till September 2025, so early September you would expect the new framework to be available to suppliers. The current framework has 14 suppliers across the UK.
The number of YPO food supply frameworks and DPS agreements is vast. We have highlighted several here but this is a substantial area for YPO’s public sector clients, such as Schools, Colleges and Universities.
Key YPO HR and People Frameworks:
Apprenticeships, consultancy, language services, recruitment and occupational health
This YPO consultancy services framework is in place until August 2023 but there is an option to extend for a further 2 years. This framework has 21 lots covering a wide variety of consultancy services that the public sector may need to procure.
YPO language services framework is likely to be retendered mid 2023. With 18 current suppliers, this is a key language services framework in the sector. Lots are split by geography, buyer type – such as police, health and local government, and then the service itself, which includes face to face, telephone and video interpretation services, as well translation and transcription services.
This recruitment framework is broken into 12 lots covering temporary and permanent recruitment for Local Authorities, Central Government, Housing, Higher Education, Emergency Services, NHS and Schools/MAT’s, as well as vendor management system, talent pool technology, recruitment process outsourcing and total talent management. This recruitment framework is likely to be retendered mid 2023 ready for the new agreement to go live in Jan 2024. Agencies include the likes of Adecco, Capita, Hays, Morgan Hunt and Reed, as well as successful specialist and SME recruitment organisations.
To find out more about bidding for recruitment frameworks beyond YPO click here to view our guide to bids and frameworks for the recruitment industry.
This occupational health and employee assistance framework has been developed in conjunction with the London Borough of Islington. It can run until September 2026 at the latest (with extensions). It is a national framework with 17 current suppliers.
This YPO training DPS is open to new training providers until April 2024, so a great opportunity for those wanting to grow their client base in the public sector. It is a hugely diverse framework with 27 lots covering training for firefighting, prevention and protection, incident command, resilience, technical rope rescue, water safety, animal rescue, driving, firearms, crime prevention, leadership, equality and diversity, GDPR, IT, project management, coaching and mentoring, learning and development, through to first aid and health and well-being training.
Key YPO Energy Frameworks:
Supply of electricity, gas, liquid fuels, low energy lighting, renewable biomass services, solar/PV systems, invoice validation and energy management, wastewater services
This low energy lighting framework is open to new suppliers until December 2025. It is looking for suppliers and contractors who design, install, commission and maintain low energy lighting. With only 11 suppliers now across the UK, this is a great opportunity for lighting contractors.
Another useful YPO DPS open to new suppliers until August 2025. This framework is broken into 2 lots covering biomass fuel chips and biomass fuel pellets, which 7 – 8 suppliers on each.
This YPO metering framework was established in July 2021 and is open to new suppliers until July 2025. Broken into 5 lots it covering heat metering and heat meter services, automatic meter reading for water supply and wastewater, data collection, metering operator services, meter assess management and sub metering for electricity and gas. This is an established DPS with only 11 current suppliers.
Key YPO Furniture Frameworks:
Early years furniture, fitted furniture, library shelving, to office furniture
In place till Feb 2025 this furniture framework is broken into 6 lots and includes the supply and installation of fitted furniture and library shelving. As well as libraries, this heavy duty furniture framework will include the requirements for laboratories, food technology, IT suites and bespoke furniture for the education market.
Another key industry framework, especially within the education market. With 10 supplies and national coverage this framework is ideal for office furniture manufacturers and distributors who supply desks, storage solutions, tables and seating, alongside the planning, design and installation.
Key YPO Technology and Communication Frameworks:
Data centres, cloud hosting, electronic office supplies, ICT managed services, MFD, print and digital workflow, telecommunications, postal services, software applications, technology hardware, software and services
This national technology framework runs until August 2023 and we expect the new tender to be realised early 2023. It covers data centre build, management, security and hosting across 12 lots including facility maintenance, enterprise hardware management, design, audit and consultancy, cloud and hosting, disaster recovery, data security solutions and network connectivity services. With over 20 suppliers on the current framework this is a great opportunity.
Active until April 2025 this office supplies framework is made up of over 40% SME suppliers. It covers electronic office supplies, consumables and IT peripherals.
With 14 suppliers this MFD and print framework is broken into 4 lots. This includes multifunctional print devices, print management software, digital workflow and print consultancy services.
Take a look at our MFD/ Print Management client case study, which describes how we have helped them grow their business by providing bid writing and consultancy support.
This highly successful network connectivity and telecommunications solutions framework has 38 suppliers across the 7 lots. 55% of the supplies are SMEs! The lots include wide area network (WAN) services, local area network (LAN) services, digital fibre infrastructure services, smart cities and IOT, cyber security solutions, communications services and mobile, voice and data. Likely to be retendered February – March 2024.
Software Application Solutions - 1095
This software application framework will start in February 2023 and run until January 2027. It will cover business application systems, HR and payroll, financial and accounting, election management, cashless parking, library management, procurement, property management, booking systems, learning and health and social care systems.
This YPO technology hardware and software framework will likely be retendered February – April 2023. It currently has 33 suppliers, across 8 lots and 66% are SMEs! The 8 lots include the supply of hardware, software applications, XaaS, technology operational services, service design and IT Asset Management.
“Dave, Adam, Beth and the team at Thornton & Lowe assisted us in completing a large tender for a multi-million pound, multi-year utility framework which was of the utmost strategic importance for our company. They were proactive, efficient, extremely thorough, demanding of us in the right ways, and wrote for us some excellent answers to the numerous questions asked of us by the tender submission. The tender was completed within a short notice period and was ultimately successful in helping us to win this important framework. I'd recommend Thornton & Lowe and look forward to working with them on future tender submissions” Alex Dinham, Executive Chairman, Celtic Process Control