SMB suppliers need to step up their game for G-Cloud success

Fordway CEO believes larger organisations still dominate the framework, despite attempts by smaller firms to win business

Posted 10 August 2020 by

Up to 80 percent of SMBs that attempt to win public sector business via G-Cloud fail to secure any contracts, according to one supplier.

Fordway CEO Richard Blanford

Fordway CEO Richard Blanford says too many smaller firms see “getting onto the framework as the goal, whereas it’s only the first step.”

Blanford tells TDP that SMBs need to improve the quality of their submissions, get the appropriate certifications and undertake more marketing.

“There are now around 2,000 suppliers on the framework. Many provide incomplete or very poor-quality information with their catalogue entries. These therefore don’t appear near the top of the searches, or they don’t have certifications or can validate that they have the processes in place that public sector customers want,” he said.

“I believe that because they now see that G-Cloud is being used by the customers, larger organisations are taking it more seriously,” he said.

“They have established relationships with customers, they are skilled at winning public sector business and it’s a very simple and flexible framework to contract through.”

Blanford believes that larger organisations also tend to have the certifications public sector buyers look for, such as ISO20000 and ISO27001, and are experienced in what their customers want.

“SMEs new to selling to Government aren’t. It took us several years to properly understand this,” he said.

It is, however, difficult to confirm how many tenders are awarded to larger organisations as data on sales and SMB share of contracts was last published in December 2018.

Fordway had its first G-Cloud win in 2013 and has won around £19 million of business through the framework. Blanford thinks it’s because the company was on G-Cloud from the first iteration, giving it an understanding of how to use the framework effectively and enabling it to quickly obtain reference customers.

The exec also maintains that the government is still committed to a Cloud First policy – primarily in central and local government. While he says it is less so with the NHS, “it’s building.”

“Almost all current and recent opportunities or requests we have seen are for cloud services, with an increasing acceptance and desire for public cloud,” he said.

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