Framespan: An all-in-one framework search platform for procurement teams
Trying to source the right products quickly adds immense pressure on procurement teams. It’s a daily race against time to find what’s needed at the best price and through a compliant framework – and that’s where things can get complicated, stressful and time-consuming.
With a vast number of frameworks from various providers, across many different websites, buyers can spend hours trawling websites to find the right one for their needs. Each site has a different way of searching with different data available.
It makes speedy decision-making tricky and when the clock is ticking, it’s more important than ever to find the right information first-time.
Claire Bye, Chief Procurement Officer at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, knows this first hand and was keen to find a better way to do things.
Speaking to Ed Bradley, founder of Virtualstock, 1 year ago, Claire explained the time-consuming process of procurement in healthcare and agreed together to come up with a simpler process for this critical exercise.
“I asked Virtualstock to build a single directory of all the frameworks we buy from at the Trust and they created Framespan.
“I’m delighted with the platform and not only use it myself but have encouraged other hospitals throughout the Southwest to adopt it – and the feedback has already been fantastic.”
Ed said: “I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Claire when she was about to join University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, the largest hospital in the southwest peninsula.
“Claire made a clear and simple statement that set the idea running – to have all the procurement frameworks in one place. She went on to share the procurement journey that buying teams across the country have to endure on a daily basis,” he added.
What Claire was describing wasn’t too different to the consolidation platforms that helped transform the way people searched for homes to buy or rent, which are now commonplace.
Ed explained: “For many years, the only way to search for property at an estate agents was to either pop in to their office or by painstakingly searching every website offering homes for rent or sale in an area – making one of the most stressful life experiences even more so.
“Each website would be different, displaying properties in their own individual way, using different data and in a web layout of their choosing.
“It meant every property-seeker’s experience was completely different, depending on the site they were searching, which created two fundamental issues – the first was that what they saw and how they saw it would vary hugely, meaning the user experience was poor.
“The second was that people searching for property could never be sure they were assessing the whole market – and that’s similar to what we were hearing when it came to accessing procurement frameworks.”
Six months after Claire’s request, and with her guidance, Framespan was created – the first and only platform containing all NHS and Government frameworks, making searching for the correct procurement pathway quick, easy and accurate.
Framespan has gone from strength-to-strength since its launch in October 2022, with over 1000 users signed up to the public sector framework search platform in a short space of time, helping them find compliant and correct frameworks in just a few clicks.
Mat Oram, CEO and Co-founder of AdviseInc, who work closely with the NHS to deliver greater value for money, agreed that Framespan is the way forward.
He said: “We are excited about our partnership with Framespan, which will help create the perfect ability to link spend analytics with compliant procurement, through frameworks.
“The way our platforms work seamlessly together produces a truly unique data set, which will save time and cost to the NHS.”
Working closely with NHS Trusts has really been key to the success of the platform and
Ed is keen to continue growing this relationship with customers.
“The continued success of Framespan is about listening to what providers are telling us,”
“Being collaborative in our approach to development and creating a tool that’s easily
accessible, adaptable and fit for the future is key. We have plans for many further enhancements and are excited to take so many NHS trusts on this journey with us.”
Today, Framespan holds over 1,500 frameworks from 17 framework providers with over 20,000 supplier records - and more are being added every day.