08/04/2016

Our SME commitment

Mark Robinson

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of the UK economy and indeed the construction industry. Despite the fact that 99.9% of the 5.2 million businesses in the UK were classified as SMEs last year, the landscape is still a challenging one, so support in every sector is crucial.

Our framework delivery partners operate with approximately 36,900 SMEs engaged within their supply chain. In short, local business is crucial to the successful delivery of projects undertaken through our frameworks.

Every single one of our frameworks include stringent requirements regarding the engagement of SMEs, which has a positive impact on local economies and job creation. By way of example, our Asset Management, Surveying and Design Services framework operates with 320 SMEs supporting Faithful+Gould across the full breadth of the UK, and to date over £25 million has been directed to the supply chain under this framework.

We actively pursue the use of a local supply chain to deliver socio-economic benefits to our public sector clients and this is one of our key measures of framework success.

– Mark Robinson, Scape Group Chief Executive

Our commitment to SMEs is extended by the fact that all of our frameworks have performance measures in place that seek to achieve a 30 day payment term throughout the supply chain. This ensures that SMEs can operate in a sustainable manner and with confidence when working with framework partners. In addition we require minimum levels of local spend on each project. 

Our live procurement activities reflect this strategy; the National Built Environment Consultancy Services (BECS) framework and the National Construction framework extend our commitment to the local supply chain and once again, SMEs will be at the heart of these offers. 

SMEs are encouraged to apply to the framework in the form of a consortium which ensures their ability to reach the turnover specified in the Prior Information Notices. In addition, we recognise the benefit of including micro, small and medium sized businesses within the supply chain to further cater for the specialist skills and the local expertise that we (that is our clients and the Scape management team) require. 

On a day to day basis, clients are encouraged to nominate local SMEs that they have worked with previously, where they have proven reliability and have demonstrated value for money through their work on past projects.

Our frameworks operate with fully transparent open book procurement, requiring a minimum of 3 subcontractors to be invited to competitively tender for each trade package. We require that 85% of subcontractors are SMEs as a minimum standard and 75% of the contract value is spent with SMEs. 

This approach ensures the best possible outcomes for the public sector, who are on the ground delivering essential community facilities and infrastructure such as new school classrooms, fire and rescue stations and transportation networks under extreme time, resource and budget pressures. With these mechanisms in place, we can ensure a team of appropriate scale, skill and scope is both capable and appropriately located to deliver the volume of services required. 

We have seen over 200 firms registering to attend our four National Construction market awareness events, with a huge proportion of those attending being small and medium sized enterprises. 

We are delighted with this level of interest and anticipate that the framework will be highly beneficial to SMEs and local supply chains, in the same way as all of our current frameworks.

Mark Robinson
Written by:

Mark Robinson

Group Chief Executive

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