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    What are frameworks and should you pursue them?

    What are frameworks and should you pursue them?

    The term ‘Frameworks’ is often batted around in the tender world, but do you understand what that means and what it could mean to your business.

    A framework is an agreement between a buyer and a number of contractors who have met criteria in order to be accepted on to the agreement.  Once on the Framework you as a contractor will have the opportunity to bid for smaller contracts that will only be available to the buyers on the Framework.  Therefore by turning down the opportunity to tender for a framework could mean the individual projects within that framework will be closed off from you until the framework comes round for renewal – this could be 5-10 years down the line.

    With most Frameworks once you are on them you have very little work to do to secure projects other than pricing and project specific proposals.  Therefore, although the initial workload to be accepted on a Framework can be daunting, that initial investment of time and effort can end up delivering in the longer term.  You are not guaranteed to win work once on a Framework, and we have seen clients collect Frameworks ineffectively and not actually making the most of being on them.   Once you are on a Framework you will receive notifications of opportunities directly and will not have to search for them.

    Frameworks can last a number of years and the individual contracts that come from the framework are called call-offs.

    Frameworks usually include multiple contractors for the same discipline who are then called off to compete for individual works.

    In our opinion, completing the tenders for Frameworks is worth the time and effort if the Framework is a good fit in terms of types of clients/work for your business. Don’t collect Frameworks for the sake of it – apply the same bid-no-bid criteria to tenders for individual contracts.