More about Bloom

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Who is Bloom?

Bloom is an innovative private limited company that provides a single supplier solution for consultancy and specialist professional service suppliers to the UK public sector.

We are the delivery partner of the neutral vendor framework for specialist professional services from the North East Procurement Organisation.

As supply chain specialists, Bloom’s philosophy is underpinned by an ‘outcome focused’ approach to procurement. We focus on driving value for money by giving contracting authorities the best choice of large and small suppliers in a quick, compliant and collaborative way.

What is a neutral vendor service?

A neutral vendor helps clients source goods and services. It acts as a single point of contact for clients with no affiliation or interest in any one supplier.

As neutral vendor, Bloom does not deliver consultancy services itself but helps the buyer select the best subcontractor available based on the brief. We then manage and assure delivery to the client’s satisfaction.

What’s different about the Bloom approach?

The neutral vendor approach from Bloom handles all the complexities of supplier management for the client, as we contract back to back with suppliers.  Download our guide to Bloom for more detail.

We provide greater control and transparency of expenditure, whilst also ensuring compliance and helping support strategic ambitions. Such as creating greater social value.

We believe Bloom’s neutral vendor model is unique to the procurement of specialist professional services for the UK public sector. This makes it a safe and viable alternative to traditional procurement methods.

How does the Bloom approach work?

There’s no minimum or maximum value of project and it’s simpler than traditional frameworks. The only procurement decision and contract is with Bloom; via a compliant route.
First, we help to create the best brief possible. Then we present the buyer with a selection of the most relevant suppliers that meet the brief. Download our guide to Bloom for more detail.

Buyers choose from mini competition or direct award; our experience shows best value is achieved through mini competition; generating a 10% average saving on cost against budget. Our diverse supplier community means we can source suppliers with the right capabilities, capacity and experience for each project.

Our supplier accreditation process ensures all standard documentation; such as professional indemnity insurance, collateral warranties, right to work and recent references are in place. We assure delivery by putting in place all necessary contractual agreements and managing the relationship with the chosen supplier. That means risk is mitigated and quality assured.

Which organisations are using Bloom?

You might think that the Bloom approach is only available for North East based organisation. But that’s not true! We work with over 170+ Contracting Authorities across the UK meaning Bloom is now recognised as a nationally available solution.

In fact, a significant amount of our clients are based across the UK, outside the North East. We’re based in offices across the UK, with our Head Office in Newcastle upon Tyne.

This Framework Agreement is available for use by all UK Contracting Authorities. This includes, but is not limited to; Government Departments and their Agencies, Non-Departmental Public Bodies, Central Government, NHS Bodies, Local Authorities, Emergency Services, Educational Establishments and Registered Charities; who have a need to purchase specialist professional services.

The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities and the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium are also specifically named in the framework agreement.

The North East Procurement Organisation will be happy to help you access this framework, if you’re based outside the North East.

What’s the relationship between NEPO and Bloom?

Bloom is a delivery partner, awarded by the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO). We source, appoint and manage specialist professional services for its Member Authorities and Associate Members.

Bloom is a private limited company and has no shareholding or other commercial arrangement with NEPO. We also deliver frameworks with other buying organisations like Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO).

How did NEPO test the market for all 19 categories?

As part of their OJEU compliant framework tender process, the North East Procurement Organisation requested daily rates for each of the 19 categories, as well as the typical grades and roles from potential suppliers in the UK Consultancy Market.

This not only tested the market for categories ‘in-scope’ as part of this solution, but can also be used by contracting authorities for benchmarking purposes, pre/post appointments. This information is available on request from NEPO, please contact adam.smith@nepo.org.

How does NEPO ensure the framework is delivered in the best interests of its Members?

The North East Procurement Organisation holds regular performance reviews with Bloom. It’s the opportunity for NEPO and its members to share management information and review the quality of the service provided by Bloom.

Each client of Bloom joins the North East Procurement Organisation as a member or associate member. That gives access to the NEPO team, supplier and Contracting Authority networking days

How cyber secure is Bloom?

Bloom achieved Cyber Essentials certification in May 2017.  Cyber Essentials is a government-backed cyber security certification scheme that defines baseline cyber security.  Having certification means we’ve been checked against five controls that the government believes when implemented, can prevent around 80% of cyber attacks.

 

 

Start your journey with Bloom

If you’re a buyer or a supplier, talk to us today about how we can work together and keep opening up procurement.

 

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what our clients say about us

The pilot in 2014 showed that the NEPRO solution could assist the Council to achieve our aims of supporting local business while freeing up valuable time for us to concentrate on high value strategic projects.

Abi LindsaySenior Procurement & Contracts ManagerCumbria County Council

Working with Bloom to access the NEPRO solution has ensured we realise all the expected benefits from a neutral vendor approach in procuring and managing specialist professional services. They are a true partner and are continually looking to improve the way we work and ultimately the services provided by the suppliers.

Darren KnowdChief Procurement OfficerDurham County Council

Bloom was essential in the recent hiring of a consultant for a governance project within oneSource. Through the NEPRO solution, I was able to hire a consultant within 2 weeks of posting my project requirements. I was provided with proposals from a range of experienced and relevant suppliers and received valued support from Bloom throughout the process.

Jane WestManaging DirectoroneSource

Working with Bloom means we get access to the best choice of small and large suppliers, especially supporting local Cornish Small and Medium Enterprises suppliers. Working with a dynamic and competitive supply chain gives us flexibility, greater supplier choice and access to the latest thinking. Overall that delivers better value for money for the tax payer.

Kieran ToppingService Director – Commercial ServicesCornwall Council

I chose to work with Bloom as I liked the idea of outcome-based projects. It’s so much more efficient, as it’s a compliant process without the need to go through the OJEU process as it’s still competitive. Bloom has many suppliers already available but we can add suppliers whenever we want. Having someone who can help by providing a second opinion; a neutral point of view has been valuable to us.

Ariana BeattyVFM Commercial Contract & Risk Management ManagerUniversity of Sussex

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