A pilot project, developed by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB Cymru) and supported by the Wales Co-Operative Centre and Caerphilly County Borough Council Council’s Supplier Relationship Officer, has seen a group of four businesses celebrating their addition to a potentially lucrative framework agreement.
The successful consortium, Allied Construction Consortium Ltd, is made up of four partners who offer complementary building services in the South East Wales area. Rend Right Ltd offers rendering and insulations services, SD James Construction offers general construction and building services, CX2 offers quantity surveying and health and safety services and Huw Jones who brings finance, corporate strategy, accountancy and IT Services to the consortium.
Allied Construction Consortium Ltd. was accepted on to the Caerphilly County Borough Council Framework for supply and delivery of labour and materials for the External Works, Labour and Materials for the Welsh Housing Quality Standard Programme for works packages above the value of £750,000. The project made use of a new Joint Bidding Guide, developed jointly by the Welsh Government.
Ifan Glyn of FMB Cymru commented:
“FMB Cymru members, and smaller construction companies in general, are often frustrated that they’re unable to win contracts because of their size. At the same time, they would see contracts being won by larger companies and for that work to be sub-contracted to smaller builders anyway. We started the CEPP project to ensure that smaller construction companies in Wales have a fair chance to win contracts for themselves, and joint bidding was one option.
“Suppliers and procurement bodies in Wales often suggest that joint bidding is desirable, yet there’s very little evidence of this actually happening. Suppliers feel that it’s a gamble and are unsure how to bid with other businesses, while public bodies are often wary of joint bids and are unsure how to facilitate them. It was clear to FMB Cymru that something could be done to support joint bidding, and this is why the CEPP was developed.
“Allied Construction Consortium Ltd. has shown that not only is joint-bidding possible, but it’s also a successful process. We hope to develop this pilot project in the future, so the lessons learned can benefit businesses and procurers all over Wales. We would like to congratulate Allied Construction Consortium Ltd. and hope their work will inspire others in the future.”
Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Finance said:
“I am delighted that a new consortium of four businesses has been successful in securing a place on this framework. In working collaboratively with partners to produce the Joint Bidding Guide, the Welsh Government has shown the value of joint working, and its commitment to removing barriers that prevent Wales-based businesses from winning contracts in the public sector. I am hopeful that this early success will encourage more businesses to work together to bid for and win contracts, and I want to see all of our public sector organisations in Wales encouraging and welcoming consortium bids.”
Paul Cantrill, who is a business consultant for the Wales Co-operative Centre, and supported Allied Construction Consortium through the process, added:
“It is often tough for small and medium sized businesses to compete for large public contracts in Wales as often they do not have the size, capacity and turnover in their own right to service those larger contracts effectively. Consortia working can increase businesses capacity to service these large contracts and can help overcome many of the barriers small businesses can face when they are trying to grow.
“We were delighted to work with the partners in the new Allied Construction Consortium to help them come together and work out how the new business would work to the benefit of all the partners”.
Wales Co-operative Centre
The Wales Co-operative Centre is Wales’ national body for co-operatives, mutuals, social enterprises and employee owned businesses. It applies its co-operative values to strengthening communities and services as well as supporting these social businesses.