The social housing sector plays a crucial role in ensuring that people have access to affordable and secure homes. To achieve this goal, housing providers often engage in procurement processes to acquire goods, services and construction projects through housing consortia like CHIC. Traditionally, these processes have involved ranked frameworks, where contractors and suppliers are ranked in order based on their overall tendered scores (quality & cost). However, unranked procurement frameworks are becoming increasingly popular in the social housing sector.
CHIC has promoted using unranked frameworks for many years. In this blog, I will explore the benefits of adopting unranked procurement frameworks, emphasising how they contribute to efficiency, flexibility, innovation and a level playing field for SMEs’ right through to Tier 1 contractors.
One of the key advantages that CHIC has seen in the use of our unranked frameworks is the promotion of variety among suppliers as unranked systems encourage a broader pool of suppliers to tender. This diversity can and does lead to increased competition, stimulating a more dynamic marketplace where the potential of a direct award contract is available to all the awarded framework suppliers. This also gives CHIC members the opportunity to not only collaborate with local suppliers/contractors but also to push social value impacts in their communities.
Unranked frameworks offer social landlords, housing authorities and any other public body greater flexibility in decision making. Instead of being restricted by a predetermined ranking that may not fully capture the complexities of a project, decision makers can consider a broader range of factors, including expertise, implementation complexity and the use of a local work force. This flexibility allows for a more tailored approach to each procurement process, ensuring that the specific needs of a project are met without being constrained by other pre-determined rigid criteria.
Choosing unranked procurement frameworks in social housing can boost innovation and enhance quality. Without strict rankings, decision makers can prioritise suppliers with innovative technologies and sustainable practices. This focus on innovation can result in adopting advanced construction methods and energy efficient technologies, benefiting social housing project residents.
By utilising CHIC’s frameworks housing authorities and public bodies are able to mitigate risks. Instead of solely relying on supplier rankings, decision makers can individually assess risk factors for each potential contractor. By working with CHIC’s Member Services Team to create a compliant business case for a direct award contract or a focussed mini-competition, this method of procurement allows for a comprehensive evaluation of a supplier’s financial stability, past performance and ability to manage risks, ultimately minimising the chances of project failures.
In the evolving landscape of the social housing sector, CHIC’s frameworks offer both progressive and adaptable options. As Head of Partnerships at CHIC I collaborate and engage with the supply chain to actively promote diversity, flexibility, innovation and fairness through our (CHIC’s) frameworks, empowering social landlords to make decisions that best serve their asset management programmes as well as promoting social value into their communities.
CHIC has several forthcoming new frameworks which will be released to market in the coming weeks including Kitchens & Bathrooms, Mechanical and Electrical and Passive Fire protection, and I look forward to supporting our vast supply chain to become one of accredited service providers for our members.
Head of Partnerships
e: [email protected] | m: 07468 697613