NMBS has been re-approved as a supplier under the Procurement for Housing framework.

NMBS has been re-approved as a supplier under the Procurement for Housing framework.

The accreditation enables NMBS members to bid for PfH tenders for work from local authorities, councils and social housing schemes across the UK, which would otherwise be unavailable to independent merchants.

PfH is a dedicated procurement services provider to the housing sector. Managed by Inprova Group, the PfH framework is open to all UK housing associations, arm’s length management organisations, and local authorities. Its work is supported by The National Housing Federation, and the Chartered Institute of Housing.

NMBS first inherited the PfH accreditation during its amalgamation with Unimer, before successfully re-bidding under its own name in 2015. Suppliers must renew their accreditation with PfH every four years, undergoing a comprehensive review to ensure they remain competitive, and that they have the correct procedures in place to be able to work with local authorities, such as health and safety, ISO certification, Investors in People, and data protection policies.

Now that NMBS has again been accredited as a supplier, any of its members can bid on the tenders published by PfH through their NMBS membership, without having to hold these policies themselves, although independent merchants cannot hold NMBS membership purely to bid for PfH tenders. PfH sends details of all its tenders to NMBS, which, in turn, passes the details on to all its members. Any NMBS member who is interested can then complete the tender documentation and bid to complete the work.

If successful, the merchant then deals directly with the housing association as their customer – NMBS doesn’t get involved in pricing or invoicing, instead acting only to facilitate the merchant getting new or continued business.

The PfH business is currently worth an estimated £16 million a year to NMBS members. Currently around 25 NMBS members take part in the scheme, but participation is available to all.

NMBS’ HR and Facilities Manager Vicky Spofford, who manages the PfH relationship and the accreditation process, said: “I would encourage all our members to have a look at the PfH tender paperwork that comes through, because it could potentially be worth a lot of money.”

The new award begins on 1 April 2019, and will last for four years. Of the nine categories, or ‘lots’, specified under the framework, NMBS bid for and was awarded five, namely building, plumbing and heating, electrical, managed stores, and national consortia of independent merchants.

This final lot is a new framework category introduced specifically for independent merchants, with NMBS currently being the only approved supplier.

Spofford said: “Some PfH members prefer to work with independent merchants, rather than the nationals. Any tender categorised under this lot will be sent out exclusively to NMBS, and only our members can bid for it. So, an NMBS member is guaranteed to get that work.”

For more details, contact Vicky Spofford at NMBS on 0116 261 4914.

For more information on how to become an NMBS member, visit www.nmbs.co.uk