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ESPO's Category Manager, Kate Richardson, discusses how our procurement teams engage with customers to create the best possible frameworks as well as new features on our recently improved Managed Training Services procurement solution (383).
Why do we engage with our customers when establishing a framework?
The key to a successful framework is that it meets our customers’ needs. Therefore we need to engage with customers during the procurement process and throughout the lifetime of a framework. We like to know what works well, or what does not, and our customers are best placed to tell us!
The benefit of engaging with customers is that we ensure our solutions are relevant, up to date and fit for purpose. The engagement process also provides us with an opportunity to identify any improvements or enhancements that could be made to our current solutions that allow us to ‘future proof’ our frameworks.
The consequence of not engaging with customers is that we face a risk of spending a great deal of time and effort procuring and implementing a new framework that turns out to be not quite right for our customer base. This is something we aim to avoid!
Although ESPO has developed a good knowledge of the learning and development market and trends, our customers are closer to the service than we are. They are able to provide a great insight that helps to shape the specification, pricing schedule and terms and conditions as well as KPIs and SLAs.
How has engaging with customers moulded the new Managed Training Services framework (383)?
Very early on in the procurement of the framework, ESPO held meetings with a number of customers of the current 383 framework to gather feedback. Following on from this, we sent a questionnaire to all current customers and organisations that were interested in the solution. As a result of this process, we were able to identify key trends that helped us structure our new framework.
Has customer engagement allowed you to successfully identify gaps in the market?
One area in particular in which customers were quite vocal around is apprenticeship training. In line with the introduction of the Apprenticeship levy this year, training for apprenticeships are high on the agenda for many organisations. Consequently, we have built this requirement explicitly into the scope of the framework to make sure that customers have a compliant route to accessing appropriate training.
What changes should we look out for in the new Managed Training Services framework?
There are a number of changes we have incorporated to enhance an already good solution. For example:
Our original specification was comprehensive in terms of the requirements for delivering training services. To avoid any uncertainty between customers and suppliers on our new framework, we have more clearly defined aspects such as expenses and cancellation policies.
We have improved our pricing schedule to make it more appropriate for our customers. We have used an alternative model for the MSP fee, developed a discounts schedule and included a price list for additional services.
- Contract Management
Customers and suppliers can expect more support and engagement from ESPO on the new framework as we have introduced a more comprehensive programme of SRM.
If you would like to find out more about our new Managed Training Services framework (383) click here.
You can contact our Resources team on email@example.com or 0116 294 4072