Government departments must be able to access professional services to ensure the successful delivery of a project or programme.

But such specialist staff can be expensive, costing you twice as much as their nearest permanent staff counterpart. 

To control this spend NAO (National Audit Office) issued a directive in 2011 to Government departments on the use of external consultants and contractors. Since then, consultancy can be procured only through limited routes.

In this blog post, we compare a managed service service provider offering with marketplaces, such as Bloom.

Managed Service Provider vs Marketplaces

We do have a quick disclaimer before we begin this blog post. We won’t be pitting the two routes to market against each other. Instead, the more sensible option is to examine how these two routes can be combined to work together.

Why would you choose 1 when synergy of the two can make 1 + 1 = 3? But how can these two routes be combined and used together? In this post, we examine the usefulness of an managed service provider offering thorough the Bloom Framework and a managed service provider offering through the G-Cloud Framework.

1) A Managed Service Provider offering through Bloom

Bloom is a marketplace framework that allows access to a thriving community of users and practitioners. Recognised as one of the fastest-growing marketplaces for buying services in the UK, Bloom Procurement Services have been the UK’s exclusive operator of the NEPRO solution since its original inception in 2012. NEPRO³ provide an OJEU compliant managed procurement service covering:

  • Specification development
  • Supplier identification & onboarding
  • Full contract management
  • Lessons learned upon successful delivery of outcomes

What we found most impressive was that its speed of execution makes it a good fit for fast-moving specialist talent markets. Unlike G-Cloud, the nature of consultancy work that can be commissioned through the Nepro framework is unrestricted. Bloom have Commercial Managers who facilitate order closure and are also a party to the supply chain with payments running through them. 

Shows a quote from Amit Kapoor
Amit Kapoor, Director of Mindful Contract Solutions

Mindful are a Bloom Accredited Supplier

As a Bloom Accredited Supplier, we can support public sector buyers with our pool of experienced consultants and practitioners. We have a breadth of skills and knowledge at our disposal covering Training Management, BI consultancy and PMO leadership. 

2) A Managed Service Provider offering through G-Cloud

The Digital Marketplace is the public sector’s equivalent of Amazon. Whilst many other frameworks have a restricted set of suppliers, G-Cloud has a database of thousands of suppliers for buyers to choose from. Through the Digital Marketplace, you search, select and directly award contracts to the most suitable supplier.

The advantage of G-Cloud is that there is a large number of suppliers for you to choose from. With over 31,000 cloud services on the G-Cloud framework, it is more than likely you’ll find what you need on Cloud. In comparison, Bloom is a private framework and only has a limited number of suppliers spread across 20 categories. Therefore, it is less likely you’ll find what you need on the Bloom marketplace.

Another advantage of G-Cloud is that the price is significantly lower than Bloom. The 0.75% fee charged by CCS for G-Cloud is significantly less than the 5% fee charged by Bloom. However, this comparison is slightly unfair because the role of Bloom is much more involved than that of CCS in G-Cloud. Buyers get a different level of service compared to the CCS framework, which arguably justifies the higher price. Nevertheless, if you just need to a simple search and award contract then G-Cloud is highly recommended. 

Find out how you can buy G-Cloud services on the Digital Marketplace in our 5 Step Guide to Buying on G-Cloud

Where do you go from here?

So which route to market should Government departments use to access professional services? We have argued that combining a Managed Service Provider offering with a Marketplace is the best option. A decision must then be made whether to use the Bloom or G-Cloud framework (or indeed another framework).  

Do you want expert programme support and best in-class interim resourcing? View our signature Transformation Services to discover how we can help ensure your major project has the best shot at achieving positive outcomes.

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