Multifunctional Devices Framework FAQs

1 August 2019 By Zoe Morgan-Kriek - Category Buyer ICT

What exactly is framework RM3781?

It’s a framework that deals with a multitude of things around manage print and documents. Essentially, it’s a compliant route to market to procure MFDs. Printers are classed as print room equipment and then the software solutions around that such as follow me print and paper cut is prominent in the education market and that’s where you go to your MFD device, use either a card or a pin and it prints off the documents that you’ve sent to print. It follows the stream of documents, so it also deals with document management, which are documents we’ve been working on and printing for hundreds of years that need to be housed in secure temperature-controlled locations.

The documents now need to be digitised with digitisation looming which involves scanning. We also need to securely shred documents we don’t require anymore, and this is covered on the framework. The seventh lot also deals with an independent audit and consultancy piece which can be quite comprehensive. The whole document scanning with what you can and can’t keep, where you store it, what you procure, software, GDPR implications etc is allcovered in a lot of detail in lot 7.


So, can you break down each lot starting with lot 1?

Lot 1 is a sole supplier, Canon, and they’ve gone away and developed a bespoke portal which is recommended by the DfE because it’s an easy and compliant route to market for the education sector predominately but can be used by others such as housing and central government. It’s an online catalogue of MFDs and when you log on you choose a specification of MFD you require, you’re then presented with a picture of the actual MFD and by the side it shows you the lease or purchase cost, then the mono or colour click charges and you make your selection from there. It’s compliant and is classed as a direct award which is easy to use for education establishments.


Tell me more about lot 2?

Lot 2 is where you can either direct award or carry out a further competition and it really tests the market to make sure you’re getting the best value for money. Lot 2 consists of nine suppliers which can seem a little daunting when you’re going to market, as you potentially have to engage with them all. Procurement is a busy job and what we do here at YPO is take some of that work away from you. We’ll go out to those nine suppliers and obtain quotes from them on your behalf which will enable you to re-establish a price for your specifications and direct award. On the further competition side, we can help you set pre-engagement sessions with the suppliers and we can house your further competition documents on our e-tendering portal and manage the clarifications piece with you. There’s a realm of services we can offer around lot 2 to make that process easier for you and make sure you’ve tested the market in order to get the best option.

And what about lot 3?

Lot 3 is our managed service which means you could have one of the main suppliers on site that totally manages your fleet of MFDs; your print, print reduction, the innovation around print, the software, moving some of your processes such as annual revenue billing. However, please don’t think it means any of your staff’s roles will become redundant. These suppliers are happy to work alongside your skilled staff, upskilling and complimenting existing skillsets along the way.

With a managed service the aim is to scope widely, innovate and cost save continuously. You don’t have to lease the equipment here so it’s a different pricing structure, but it works for many customers and we’ve had some great success on lot 3 of the framework.

What is lot 4?

Lot 4 is our record management piece. That’s where records need to be stored in specialist offsite storage locations which are temperature controlled and have high security. Not only are the records stored, but if you need to retrieve anything during this time, there is an auditable and trackable process in place.

Any records that are frequently requested can be digitised and stored online, therefore reducing the cost of storing hard copies. We like the suppliers to work with you to only store what you really need. 

What’s lot 5 about?

Lot 5 is the scanning element of the framework. If you’re going down the route of looking to start digitising records you need to get that paper scanned in and that can be a big task to carry out yourself. A lot of providers have specialist scanning facilities and staff that can do it on-site or off-site for you.

What is lot 6?

Lot 6 is our sensitivity review lot. This is where parts of the public sector have documents they need to keep for certain periods of time. For example, it could be a historical document related to parliament and there are specialists who review these documents, stipulating if they can be kept, if they can be scanned and if they can be digitised.

And finally, on to lot 7. What does this lot involve?

Lot 7 is our independent audit and consultancy lot, which compliments lot 1 and lot 2, and sometimes lot 3. It’s where maybe you don’t know how many devices you’ve got, you’re a housing association with a hundred sites and you’ve got MFDs, but they were procured some time ago and they’ve moved around sites. An independent auditor from the industry will come in, audit what kit you’ve got and also consult on how you go about your procurement. Do you want software? Are you looking to innovate? Reduce? Are you moving from desktop printers to MFDs for the first time? Are the software solutions you need on the market? All of this is done prior to going out to your further competition and is very useful lot for customers that maybe don’t have the in-house support.

My contract for my photocopiers is due for renewal, can you help me?

YPO is part of the RM3781 framework, collaborating with CCS and ESPO. We conduct ourselves a bit differently, as we’ve got a full team to support you.

You’ve got two routes to market here. One route is via the sole supplier, Canon, which means you can just log on to the Canon portal and see a selection of devices, the rental or purchase price of the devices and the click charge. That is a compliant route to market.

The other option is lot two and under lot two there are nine suppliers. We understand that this is a large number of suppliers for you to engage with, so we’ve got a full-time employee who deals with all our quotes to ensure we work closely and in a timely manner with our suppliers. We know exactly what information they need from you such as your current specification and volumes that you print, which means they can pull a quote together efficiently.

We will then collate those quotes from the multiple suppliers on your behalf to present back to you in a standard format. We also explain what the total cost of ownership means to you and look at what your current costs are, and help you realise where you can save and feedback to the business.

What does TCO (total cost of ownership) mean?

TCO can be misunderstood in the market and is a really important factor to realise in your savings. What I have seen in the past is some schools might compare rental charges only, but when you’re purchasing from a printer, it’s all about the click charge. Click charge is the amount of time you actually print in black and white or colour (mono or colour).

In order to work out your TCO, you need to know the rental charge, plus how many prints you do, multiplied by the cost of those prints. If you look at that over a year that will give you the TCO for your current device and new devices to help you realise the savings. What we often see is customers just look at the rental charge. It’s also important to fully understand the contract because a lot of suppliers that aren’t on our framework will put a threshold in of how many prints you can have at a certain cost.

Will we get an engineer to set up the machines and fix them?

On the framework we have put some KPIs in place which we measure at framework level for you, and the benefit will come at the call-off stage. There is an uptime of 97% and a call out of four hours as well as some diagnostics that can be done on multi-functional devices and printers over the phone. Suppliers we work with that understand the education market have a lot of engineers on the ground and we measure all those KPIs every quarter face to face with the suppliers. Also, by using a framework you’ve got the added benefit that if you don’t feel you’re getting that type of service, you can always come to the framework provider and we’ll follow that up with you.

How do I order my toners?

MFDs and printers are quite advanced and they automatically dial up when the toner reaches a certain threshold. This means you don’t have to worry about running out. The MFDs are built into the software and they dial up the provider so that the toners are at site within the time that the toners have run out. However, if you are reaching a peak period, the machines won’t know that. In which case, it’s best to call in and order some extras or let your supplier know when you’re due to reach peak time for the toners. The process is very easy and as part of the framework you don’t pay separately for the toners. They are classed as a consumable and are part of the click charge, but that differs quite a lot on the contracts outside of the framework.

I’d like to procure through one of these lots, where do I start?

What you should do is get in contact with me and the team and we can provide you with some documentation to help you understand what next steps to take. We do have documents and templates available on our website, but I always like to have a quick informal chat initially just to make sure some of the daunting procurement jargon is explained before customers get started.

Get in touch via email at [email protected]

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