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PfH framework brings new opportunities to independent merchants

Posted on 10 Jun 2019

PfH framework brings new opportunities to independent merchants

A significant new revenue stream potentially worth millions is available to independent merchants who take advantage of Procurement for Housing’s (PfH) Materials & Associated Managed Service framework tenders, according to the National Merchant Buying Society (NMBS).

Recent changes to the PfH accreditation framework means independent merchants who are members of NMBS can now bid for PfH contracts through their NMBS membership, without having to hold all the accreditations and policies usually required of a PfH supplier.

NMBS was re-accredited as a PfH supplier earlier this year, and holds all the required health and safety, ISO certification, Investors in People and data protection policies required. This level of policy requirement would usually prohibit smaller, independent merchants from being able to bid for the contracts, but NMBS members can use their membership to, in effect, pre-qualify them for any contracts.

PfH is a dedicated procurement services provider to the housing sector. The framework is open to all UK housing associations, arm’s length management organisations and local authorities.

Details of all active PfH tenders are sent to NMBS, which shares the details to with its interested members. The tenders are classified into ‘lots’, which detail exactly which suppliers are approved to bid on those categories. These include Building, Plumbing and Heating, Electrical, Managed Stores, and a brand new lot for 2019 – National Consortia for Independent Merchants – for which NMBS is the only approved supplier, meaning the work must be bid on and won by an NMBS member.

Dean Hayward, Sales and Marketing Manager for NMBS, said: “This new lot is offering contracts exclusively to independent merchants who are NMBS members, and councils are becoming increasingly keen to offer tenders out to that lot, because they want to keep the money they are spending within their local community wherever possible. Working with local independent merchants is a fantastic way of making that happen.”

Any NMBS member can bid on PfH tenders, but only a handful of members currently do so. NMBS is now looking to establish a steering committee to encourage more merchants to take advantage of this potential work. Going forward, any NMBS member who signs up and requests more information on the PfH framework will receive a welcome letter and more details direct from PfH, as well as regular updates from PfH whenever a tender is released in their area.

Dean concludes: “NMBS will hold this PfH accreditation for the next four years and we’re keen for our members to take advantage of all the potential new business this can bring. With more than £53 million worth of opportunities in 2018 alone, these contracts could be an incredibly valuable revenue stream for independent merchants across the UK.”

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