ConsultancyONE finally complete – list of successful suppliers on framework published

Hooray! As thousands of management consultants dance in the streets (see picture), the full list of successful suppliers who have gained places on the UK government’s ConsultancyONE framework has now been released. I was expecting some sort of formal announcement, but it just seems to have been slipped out quietly to the providers and with this list on the website. Perhaps the government doesn’t want to draw attention to what has been a somewhat troubled procurement, ultimately requiring 18 months from start to finish.

There are 15 separate Lots, ranging through functional consulting, audit, finance and multi-disciplinary work, and it is designed to support what we might call mid-range consulting contracts. Those under £100,000 are supposed to go through the Government Procurement Service “Dynamic Marketplace”,  whilst projects over £2M should, according to Cabinet Office, go through a full and separate tendering process. (I suspect we won’t see many of those...)

What can we observe from the list? Well, the big firms have done OK, with KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young well placed across most of the lots. PWC may be disappointed however to only be on 6 lots, and PA are only on 4, although they may have taken conscious pricing decisions that have kept them out of some. We are aware of firms scoring 100% in the non-price evaluation sections and failing to make it onto certain lots because of their pricing. (I don’t have any conceptual problem with that, I should emphasise).

Outside the giant firms, Capita, Baker Tilly, Methods Consulting, and EIB Professional Services all did well in their particular expert areas. And there appear to be a good percentage of smaller firms (SMEs) on the list, although the proof will be in how much business they actually win. I was personally delighted to see one SME, 2020 Delivery, making it onto two Lots. I have done a little work with them in the past, and as really deep subject matter experts in the health sector, with a team who prioritise the social value they can bring above their own corporate profit, they’re just the sort of smaller firm that the public sector can and should benefit from using.

I’m somewhat less positive however about the list of firms who have made it onto the ConsultancyONE Procurement Lot.

They are:

·         Quo Imus Limited

·         CMC Partnership (UK) Ltd

·         Evolve Business Consultancy Limited

·         Actica Consulting Ltd

·         Methods Consulting

·         BMT Hi-Q Sigma Ltd

·         EIB LLP t/a Excellence in Business

·         Capita Business Services Ltd

·         KPMG

·         Quintec Associates Limited

So these are the firms who are going to support public sector procurement over the next three years. If you’re familiar with the market, what do you notice? Yes, that’s right. They’re not principally procurement consulting firms (with maybe one exception).

KPMG of course are strong in our field, as they are in many others. But the rest are in the main generalist project / change management firms who (going by their websites) mention procurement as one of a number of disciplines. Nothing wrong with them as firms I’m sure, but are these the right people to conduct a capability review for a public sector organisation? Do an assessment of people skills and training needs in the procurement function? Develop a procurement and commercial strategy for a tricky major procurement?

I don’t know. But it does seen a shame that some of the genuine specialists  in our industry haven’t made it, although they may not have even bid of course  – Efficio, State of Flux, Proxima, ADR, Brain Farrington Ltd, Future Purchasing, PMMS, Expense Reduction Analysts etc.  And indeed, firms like Ernst & Young and Deloittes have deep procurement capability – which I guess can still be accessed via the “multi-disciplinary” Lot of the framework.  So it will be interesting to see how much procurement work actually goes through the actual procurement Lot: I feel a Freedom of Information question coming on in a year or so!

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Voices (9)

  1. PlanBee:

    more or less a year late, poor communication throughout, and for a 2 year contract (unless that changed) that guarantees you no income whatsoever. Most bidders will do well to get a return on their bid costs, in my opinion.

    And who said the public sector was out of touch with the real world?

  2. life:

    (BTW I’m the one at the back on the left with the head dress on)

    1. Bill Atthetill:


  3. life:

    I don’t know all of them but aren’t at least some of those listed actually in a better position than some of the ‘specialists’ to deal with the breadth of procurement work that these sorts of frameworks are supposed to push out? I think saying that the likes of say, Methods, or Actica, for example are not capable of doing the type of procurement work referenced can’t be right.

    We all have our favourites but a mixed model of delivery is just as ‘genuine’ (and fallible, and everything else!) as boutiques, specialists etc. And the people doing the work, over time, will often have backgrounds in all of them.

    1. Bill Atthetill:


      1. life:

        Is it possible for you to extend on this exhaustive analysis? 🙂

  4. RJ:

    I’m surprised to see no specialists at all on the list but given the high cost of bidding in such a drawn out process and the scale of business that might be awarded in competition with the large generalists, perhaps we shouldn’t be shocked that smaller organisations should “no bid”, which is what I would gamble has happened by and large.

  5. wowitsusual:

    I – and many like me – wouldn’t be able to ply my wares into Government without firms that sub contract. A single specialist SME can’t get onto these frameworks (and I wouldn’t do it myself) and many of the specialist firms mentioned are much less likely (or don’t) use single independents, by themselves or in teams. And nearly all the firms sub contract work in some way, including the big four and some smaller specialists. What’s the problem…?

  6. Final Furlong:

    If there aren’t any specialists on the procurement lot then it’s been a complete waste of time (and money and use of resources…for both buyers and suppliers). These firms will simply sub-contract out much of the work, acting as primes to the wider contractor marketplace.

    Why did they bother

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