What is the mystery surrounding Dynamic Purchasing Systems? How are they good for you as a public sector buyer? How do they differ from Framework Agreements?
These are some of the common questions we get asked here at Procurement Assist. So we asked our CEO, Keith Armstrong, for his thoughts. And on reflection, Dynamic Purchasing Systems are just that – dynamic.
“Dynamic Purchasing Systems (or DPS as they are commonly called) are nothing new. They have been around for many years, but became more flexible when the PCR2015 was introduced,” explains Keith.
“I get asked a lot from Suppliers and Clients about how a DPS works, how this method of procurement would benefit them, their organisation, and how they are perceived as being better than Framework Agreements.”
“So, I think the best place to start is understanding what a DPS actually is. Well in the public sector we are very familiar with Framework Agreements. DPS’ are very similar in how they operate, except they must be a completely electronic process, a Supplier can join at any time, they can be open ended, cost and quality split is not fixed and a Client can tailor the specification to their requirements. In addition, Clients can determine pricing models, KPI’s and the form of contract. All contracts procured under a DPS must be undertaken through a Further Competition – you cannot Direct Award unlike Frameworks that are ranked. A DPS is significantly more flexible for Clients” says Keith.
He adds: “The application process to secure a place on a DPS is also a lot simpler for Suppliers. The application is a single stage, with Suppliers applying using an online Supplier Questionnaire (SQ) only, unlike a Framework Agreement, where a Supplier completes an SQ, then Invitation to Tender. Once on the DPS, approved Suppliers (known as Service Providers at this point) will be invited to all Further Competition opportunities for the DPS they are a Service Provider for. This is the second stage. If the Supplier fails the SQ, then they can reapply at any time – this is something that you cannot do when applying for a place on a Framework Agreement. This makes the DPS method of procurement significantly more flexible than Framework Agreements for Suppliers bidding for a place on them.”
So in establishing a DPS, it is clear that they are a more flexible approach to procurement compared with Framework Agreements for both Clients and Suppliers. Keith moves on to explain a DPS Further Competition. “The process is fully electronic. Here at Procurement Assist we ensure compliance for our Clients by running all Further Competitions using our e-procurement platform. A Further Competition is the second stage in the DPS procurement process for Suppliers. Specification, quality elements, social value, KPI’s, form of contract and pricing is determined by the Client. This is what the Service Providers bid against. It is, in effect, a more detailed Framework Agreement Mini Competition, with more emphasis on the Client specific requirements, rather than an ‘off shelf’ option which is what Framework Agreements tend to be.”
We asked Keith about his thoughts on what makes a DPS ‘dynamic.’ “The level of flexibility for both Suppliers and Clients makes a DPS a truly dynamic approach and I firmly believe they are far superior than ‘off the shelf’ Framework Agreements.” Keith adds: “This is why at Procurement Assist all our national OJEU compliant agreements are based on the DPS model. Flexibility is further enhanced with the different levels of support service we provide to our Clients, and with our close interaction with our supply chain, makes us a truly dynamic procurement solution for the public sector to use.”
Find out more about the Procurement Assist DPS’ by clicking here