Futures Housing adopts groundbreaking SME-friendly procurement contract

A Midlands housing association has become the first organisation to adopt a pioneering procurement contract designed to make it easier for small business to access big contracts.

Futures Housing Group, which manages more than 9,000 homes in the East Midlands, has adopted new Framework Alliance Contract (FAC-1), which is intended to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) grab a slice of significant public contracts.

Recent changes to procurement laws have removed barriers for SMEs and Futures has been one of the first to capitalise by adopting new frameworks and processes to make tendering for contracts more accessible.

The all-new FAC-1 Framework Alliance Contract, written by Professor David Mosey PhD, director of construction law and dispute resolution at Kings College London, provides a platform that is said to be easy to understand and helps improve legal compliance as well as value for money.

This new contract combined with the latest procurement rules has enabled SMEs to tender for parts of bigger overall frameworks with Futures, creating healthier competition in the marketplace and access to a richer resource pool for the organisation.

John Thornhill, head of procurement at Futures, said: “The first contract we’ve put out under these new rules, which was for planned maintenance works, has seen around 90 businesses bid for the contract – which is unprecedented.

“The changes to the law have put us in touch with smaller businesses that previously weren’t able to afford to work with us, for example due to cash flow constraints if they took up a works programme.

“Our new contract includes innovative ways of improving SME cash flow as well as making the bidding process and the use of Lots more attractive, allowing them to compete on a level playing-field against the larger companies.

“The new FAC-1 Framework Alliance Contract is exactly the right tool to ensure this happens. Its language is plain and the possibilities for collaboration across the supply chain are almost endless. We are very proud to be the first user.

“It’s a win-win situation as it means we have a better selection of contractors, which makes for greater competition in the marketplace and enables smaller firms to generate more income through big contracts and increase their cash flow.”

Professor Mosey was recently a keynote speaker at Futures annual supply chain conference which enables the organisation to meet with existing and potential suppliers. He said: “I am delighted that Futures are the first client to put FAC-1 into practice. They are creating a framework alliance of SME contractors with systems that will drive improved value, for example through shared suppliers and joint employment and training.”

Your News

If you've got a story that would be of interest to Builder & Engineer readers, send us an email

Features

2017-03-29 11:31

Jeremy Gould, VP sales Europe, TomTom Telematics, discusses how technological developments in vehicle telematics have opened up new workflow management possibilities for the construction industry

2017-03-21 10:31

With the demand of oil increasing, it’s estimated that the Earth will reach its full capacity for oil consumption at some point within the next 20 years. This is despite the production of oil decreasing, and the construction industry is no exception to this, reports Niftylift.

2017-03-17 11:55

With construction firms leading the way in drone technology, Claire Cameron takes a closer look at how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used onsite

2017-03-07 17:20

While the physical safety of workers is prioritised on construction sites, mental health is often overlooked, reports Claire Cameron

2017-02-28 15:53

As part of an ongoing revamp, the Joint Contracts Tribunal has rolled out an updated suite of standard form construction contracts for Design & Build. John Cleaveley, partner and head of construction at Weightmans LLP, takes a look at the changes

2017-01-04 10:35

As pressure mounts to achieve the government’s housebuilding objectives, the effective regeneration of brownfield land is becoming increasingly important. Builder & Engineer takes a look at the challenges of regenerating contaminated land

2016-12-30 10:15

New colour-coded system will see traditional helmet colour head out of site

2016-12-30 10:04

Building Information Modelling – or BIM as it is more commonly known – has become something of a buzz word for the construction sector since the Government launched its Construction 2025 strategy in 2011. Claire Cameron investigates why firms should be embracing the technology

Free E-newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up for our free e-newsletter

Looking for a company or service?