Following up from our tips from Caroline Milton of CQC for buying from the G Cloud Store, our Steph H also put forward her advice for using the framework based on her experience of winning work from the public sector.
1. Suppliers are encouraged to use key words to help with the initial searches, so try searching for a few different terms – specific and general. Eg Web development / Drupal / Consultancy.
2. Suppliers are encouraged to productise services, but this isn’t always possible when you have a custom set of functional requirements, or a certain set of specifications for your hosting platform. Hence, you can ask suppliers to provide a quote based on your specific needs.
3. Treat the G Cloud like a Yellow Pages, or a directory of suppliers. Then, follow up to get more information on credentials or a better understanding of how each supplier works.
4. You can spill services into two lots, such as development and hosting. You can then get specialist services and maximise the best of 2 agencies rather than one that purports to be full service.
5. Take advantage of other buyers offer of knowledge transfer – those who have made purchases through the Cloudstore are often keen to share their experiences and provide their own top tips. In addition, take up the references provided by suppliers and ask referees about all the suppliers you are considering, as often those referees have worked with a range of suppliers and can give you a “warts and all” account of their experiences.
6. Having a face to face or skype meeting is always preferential as you need to know whether you can actually work with the supplier and they fit in with your company ethos.
7. Attend buy camps or webcasts for buyers if you can, and take advantage of the help team via firstname.lastname@example.org.