Most public sector frameworks are simply too large for an SME to take on single-handedly. But a consortium of small firms can add up to more than the sum of
its parts and take on national contractors.
A group of SMEs can qualify for a large regional public sector framework, divide the work between themselves and then use that consortium to bid for bigger
projects in the future.
IBE Partnership partner Vassos Chrysostomou says when this happens, everyone wins. “SMEs get higher turnovers, a greater geographical spread and diversity
of expertise,” he says.
“Local authority clients, meanwhile, get a contract with a local direct labour force with a low carbon footprint.”
When considering other firms to partner with, pay attention to the soft issues. Mr Chrysostomou says: “The major criterion is culture. Do the managing directors
have the same vision and culture? Can they trust each other?
“It’s like a marriage. You’re choosing a long-term partner. It’s not about a specific framework; it’s about for the long term.”
Dividing work is in fact, the easiest part of the process, according to Mr Chrysostomou. “Work can be divided by postcode area, or by value, for instance,” he says.
“Also, it may be that one partner has more experience in one sector than another so they can work together there. They can also share staff to reduce redundancies.”
IBE Partnership: 020 8468 7722