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"Brilliant service, great people to work with, fair prices."

Housing Association (North West)
"Cirrus Purchasing has provided us with the benchmarking we required to make an informed business decision, we look forward to working with you in the future."

Housing Group (Wales)
"The project was delivered on time and to cost, transfer occurred on the target date and all project milestones were achieved on time."

Housing Association (North West)
"I would like to thank both Claire and Mike for their work on the tenders, they made the process very easy."

National Energy Consultancy
"The best thing about the project was the added value provided, and also the sense that Cirrus wanted the very best for us."

Housing Association (North West)
"The feedback was specific to our company and included information that was important to us. The experience was very enlightening. Overall we are very satisfied.”

SME Contractor (North West)
News
Environmental Focus No.2: Jewson
11th January 2021

As part of the Cirrus commitment to raise environmental awareness, our suppliers have volunteered to share with us what they are doing to help the environment.

Thank you to Jewson Partnership Solutions for the latest Environmental Focus article, discussing their environmental product offerings and the Saint Gobain Group journey towards carbon neutrality.

Read the full article here.
Goodbye OJEU/TED, hello Find a Tender (FTS)
4th January 2021

The end of the Brexit transition period at 23:00 on 31st December 2020 marked the end of an era for UK public procurement.

From this date forward, new public procurements subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 will no longer be advertised in OJEU/TED, but instead should be published through the new UK Find a Tender system (FTS).

Tenders already in progress that commenced through OJEU/TED notices prior to 31st December 2020 should continue on the European platform. For these tenders, statutory notices after this date should still be published through OJEU/TED. All new procurements are required to go through the new system.

Contracting authorities that use an eSender system (e.g. an electronic tender system that forwards statutory notices to OJEU) should check with their provider that they now integrate with FTS and new notices will go to the right platform. Buyers who manually post notices to OJEU/TED can register to manually upload notices to FTS.

FTS is available at www.find-tender.service.gov.uk

Other systems such as Contracts Finder and devolved administrations systems continue to function as normal and obligations to use these systems remain unchanged.

For full information on the new FTS system read the Cabinet Office policy note PPN 08/20 on the gov.uk website:

PPN 08/20: Introduction to Find a Tender

During this time of change there is a risk that some suppliers may not be aware of the new FTS system and miss new tender opportunities. Buyers are advised to take extra measures to ensure that suppliers know about new tenders to keep competition effective and achieve the best results.
Happy New Year from Cirrus
1st January 2021
Claire and the team would like to say Happy New Year to all of our clients, partners and stakeholders.

Despite unusual circumstances last year, we forged some great new relationships and further developed partnerships with our existing clients. We are excited to build upon these in the coming year.

We hope 2021 will bring you health, happiness and success; thank you for your continued support.


Environmental Focus No.1: Travis Perkins
3rd November 2020
During our 10th anniversary of being a carbon negative company, Cirrus have decided to raise environmental awareness and discuss what we all can do to tackle the issues facing the planet.

As part of this, our suppliers have volunteered to share with us what they are doing to help the environment. This is the first of a new series of articles called Environmental Focus.

Thank you to Travis Perkins for providing this interesting piece about their environmental efforts: Read the full article here.
New Look Cirrus Materials Benchmark Reports
23rd October 2020

We have had an exciting reboot and decided to reshape our benchmark reports. The reports have a fresh look, format and content and we are very much looking forward to rolling them out to our clients!
The first clients to benefit from these reports have said:

“I’ve used consultants many times over the years and it’s definitely one of the best reports I’ve seen” – Housing Association, North West

“It was a really good report, really interesting. The way it was presented was really smart” – Housing Association, South West

“[The report is] a good overview of where we’re currently at and something we wouldn’t have had time to do ourselves” – Housing Association, South West

“Really great [report], well done. I can’t imagine many people wouldn’t like this” – Housing Association, North West

Our report will help you:
Understand your current value for money
Identify what is driving that performance
Know what to do next

For more information on our benchmarking services and how they can benefit your organisation please contact us.
Magnet Contract Kitchen Solutions Merges with Rixonway
23rd September 2020
Last month Rixonway Kitchens merged with Magnet Contract Kitchen Solutions (CKS) and are now operating under the one brand as Magnet CKS.

Both Magnet CKS and Rixonway were previously available under the Cirrus Consortium Kitchen Materials Supply Framework and will continue to be available under their new consolidated brand.

Magnet CKS is ranked 1st and is available to trade through the Cirrus Consortium Kitchen Materials Supply Framework.

Magnet CKS’ new product range will be available across all price groups from budget to premium. The entry-level ranges, Trieste and Ascoli, will be known as the Rixonway collection and will complement the existing Magnet collection.

Click here for the latest Magnet CKS product brochure.

For more information on the Cirrus Consortium Kitchen Materials Supply Framework please contact Claire Paton on cpaton@cirruspurchasing.co.uk or 07828 143935.
Cirrus Consortium Framework Fees
10th September 2020

There are communications circulating in the market at present that paint all framework providers with the same brush, particularly regarding transparency and fee structures. While it is true not all frameworks have the same levels of transparency, equally not all framework providers are the same.
In the case of Cirrus Purchasing, our frameworks are free to use for consortium members, with no upfront or ongoing costs associated with membership of the Cirrus Consortium.

We do however charge our framework suppliers 0.5% of invoiced turnover from call-off contracts issued via our frameworks which cover our framework management costs. We have always been open and honest about this fee which has always been publicly available, and is stated across all of our framework literature and website.

While our framework fees are not charged to consortium members directly, all or part of this cost may be recouped from members through the costs of materials and/or services purchased. To minimise this potential cost impact for our consortium members Cirrus has always kept our fees low, and to the best of our knowledge, our materials supply framework fee is the lowest fee charged by a framework provider in the UK, and has been since our first framework agreement in 2009.

For more information about Cirrus Consortium frameworks please contact Claire Paton on cpaton@cirruspurchasing.co.uk or 07828 143935.
Rexel: New Van Stock and Smartstores Brochure
24th August 2020
Rexel are available to trade through Lot 3 (Electrical materials) of the Cirrus Consortium Materials Framework and have asked us to showcase their new Van Stock and Smartstores brochure.

Rexel’s Smart Stock Solutions are cloud-based inventory and asset management systems powered by market leading technology.
Click here to view the full brochure.

These solutions are currently being rolled out nationally to a number of public sector clients, if you are interested in utilising this service through the Cirrus Consortium Materials Framework please contact Claire Paton on cpaton@cirruspurchasing.co.uk or 07828 143935.

Rexel are more than happy to arrange face to face demos and webinars of this service, if you are interested please let us know.
Carbon Negative Decade – The Mersey Forest Foundation
17th August 2020
As we continue to celebrate our tenth year of remaining a completely carbon negative company, we have chosen an incredible local initiative to support. The Mersey Forest Foundation is a growing network of woodlands and green spaces across Cheshire and Merseyside.

Mersey Forest helps support the work of the Mersey Forest Partnership, who over the last 25 years, have planted over 9 million trees across Merseyside and North Cheshire. Trees are planted on a range of sites including hospitals, schools, along roadsides, in city centres, and on public and private land.

The trees provide a wide range of benefits to both the environment and to local people including:

• Better air quality
• Increased biodiversity
• Health and well-being benefits
• Flood risk mitigation
• Better, greener neighbourhoods

Alongside tree planting the Mersey Forest partnership also coordinate and deliver a wide range of projects which benefit local communities, including the Natural Health Service and Forest Education Programme.

In the Knowsley area alone they have worked with residents, local businesses, housing associations, local authorities and funding bodies to plant over 300 trees. This has helped to brighten residential areas, making them more wildlife friendly and resilient to climate change and has boosted health and well being in the area.

Cirrus is proud to have donated towards such an important and impactful scheme. To view our recognition certificate please click here. For more information on The Mersey Forest visit their website here.
Successful first year for the Cirrus Consortium Materials Framework 5
10th August 2020
We are celebrating 1 year of the latest Cirrus Consortium Materials Framework! We’d like to say a big thank you to all of our valued suppliers and clients for a great year of trading though this framework. We hope to continue building on the successes and partnerships created this year, throughout the duration of the framework.

Both our clients and suppliers have dealt with unprecedented circumstances this year through the COVID-19 pandemic and have adapted very well, we hope business returns to usual for you all as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

For more information on the Cirrus Consortium frameworks please click here.

Our Carbon Negative Decade: Public Transport
15th July 2020

As you may know, we are celebrating our 10th consecutive year as a carbon negative company. As well as supporting our carbon offsetting programs, we actively promote initiatives to reduce carbon emissions within our business practices.
This includes remote working, going paper-free where possible and targeting a large portion of our business travel to be by public transport.

Collectively as a small team, we have been on 2,251 public transport business trips to clients since the company began. A recent study found that a bus with just 7 passengers is more fuel efficient than the average single vehicle used for commuting. Using public transport not only reduces the number of vehicles on the road and therefore emissions produced but it also helps to reduce smog and improves air quality for local residents.

With that in mind, using public transport as much as possible will remain a core value to us as a business. However, in light of the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 we have made a decision to refrain from using public transport in the short term until it is safe to do so; for both our staff and our clients.

We are continuing to take our meetings online until further notice and hope all of our clients and stakeholders stay safe and keep in good health at this time.
Check Out Our New Case Studies!
6th July 2020
Take a look at our new case studies here featuring three of the successful partnerships that have been established through our frameworks and outsourced consultancy offering.

We will be adding more case studies to our website in the coming months so keep your eyes peeled!
Celebrating Our Carbon Negative Decade
11th June 2020

Cirrus are proud to announce that we have remained a completely carbon negative company for the 10th consecutive year.
Over the last ten years we have planted over 150 trees in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya through a verified carbon reduction programme. As we celebrate our tenth year of remaining carbon negative, we have chosen a completely new initiative to support and also plan to support local green projects throughout the rest of the year (stay tuned!).

This year we are supporting a hydro power project in Himachal Pradesh, India. We have offset our environmental impact well beyond our calculated emissions through the United Nations carbon offset platform. Their certified projects reduce, avoid or remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.

This particular project produces renewable energy by using hydro power to supply electricity to the local grid. The project also generates employment for locals, contributes to basic amenities to the community and invests in local infrastructure in an area that is close to one of our employee’s hearts.

To view our 19/20 certificate click here. To read more about the UN carbon offsetting platform click here.
Supplier Focus No.17: City Plumbing Supplies
14th May 2020
City Plumbing Supplies are available to trade through Lot 2 (Plumbing and heating materials) and Lot 3 (Electrical materials) of the Cirrus Consortium Materials Framework.

The Cirrus Consortium Materials Framework provides quick and flexible access to the full range of building materials required by consortium members in full compliance with the relevant public procurement legislation.

The current framework (CCMF5) runs from August 2019 to August 2023.
City Plumbing have said:

"Branch Coverage
Operating through 370 branches nationwide we provide plumbing, heating, electrical and renewable products across the United Kingdom.

Ensuring Product Availability
Our branch network is supported by an internal supply chain..."

To see the full feature and to find out more about City Plumbing, click here.

For further information on the Cirrus Consortium frameworks, or the suppliers available under each framework, please contact us.
Record Year 2019 - 2020
15th April 2020
After another record year for Cirrus, we would like to say a big thank you to our clients, partners and stakeholders and of course to our staff for their continued hard work.

We are excited for what’s to come in the next financial year and hope to build on the successes of this year!

COVID-19: Supplier relief
25th March 2020
The Cabinet Office has issued a further Procurement Policy Note (PPN) connected with the COVID-19 outbreak. This PPN highlights the severe impact the virus is having on businesses that supply to public bodies and outlines ways contracting authorities can support their suppliers during these unprecedented times.
The methods identified to support suppliers include, but are not limited to:

• Paying suppliers immediately on receipt of an invoice

• Where appropriate, providing relief to suppliers against their current contractual terms (for example relief on KPIs and service credits) to maintain business and service continuity rather than accept claims for other forms of contractual relief, such as force majeure

The full set of guidelines outlined in the PPN to support suppliers can be viewed here.
UK National GO Awards 2020 Finalist
19th March 2020

We are thrilled to announce that Cirrus have been selected as a finalist at the 2020 UK National GO Awards for Best Service – Micro and Small Businesses and Third Sector Organisations.

The UK National GO Awards are the UK’s leading public procurement awards and are a chance for organisations to share public procurement success stories with the marketplace.

We have been recognised in this category for the success of our outsourced procurement contracts, in particular the ability to deliver value over and above the core requirement.

Congratulations and good luck to all of the other finalists, we look forward to seeing you on the night of the ceremony in Birmingham this September!
Public Procurement: Responding to COVID-19
18th March 2020
The Crown Commercial Service has today issued a Procurement Policy Note (PPN) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to provide guidance to contracting authorities who will now need to procure goods, services and works quickly, as a result of the virus.
The PPN highlights the procedures that are available under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 for contracting authorities who need to award an above threshold contract as a matter of extreme urgency. These procedures provide options for awarding contracts in significantly reduced timescales than the timeframes applicable to the standard procurement procedures outlined in the Public Contracts Regulations.

The full PPN is available here.
COVID-19: Working Practices Update from Cirrus Purchasing
17th March 2020
In the light of the recent government guidance issued on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) that people should refrain from any unnecessary social contact and work from home where possible, Cirrus has made the decision for our staff to work remotely, taking meetings with our clients and stakeholders online for the foreseeable future.

Our staff have been briefed and we are confident that this decision will not negatively affect our working practices or our clients in the coming weeks. All projects and business will proceed as usual. We will continue to deliver high quality support and advice to our clients using appropriate technology solutions to replace face to face meetings. We are not reducing our availability or support offerings, simply adapting our methods of delivery to help protect the health and wellbeing of our staff, clients, stakeholders and the wider community.

Our preferred communication channels are currently telephone, conference/Skype calls, InTend tender platform and email, in addition to any specific methods used by our individual clients. We may also, going forward, implement additional communication channels to facilitate specific project activity as needed.
As a company Cirrus has always embraced remote working, having done so since the company’s inception in 2004. Consequently the Cirrus team are experienced and already have the systems in place to successfully conduct all of our work and deliver our clients’ projects remotely.

We understand how disruptive the disease and the Government’s efforts to manage it will be across society, and want to reassure our clients and stakeholders that our team are working to minimise this disruption and risk.

The UK Government has projected that if the UK does nothing at this point, 81% of people would be infected and 510,000 would die from Coronavirus by August, so inaction is not a viable option.

We are keeping up to date with daily government guidance and have adapted our service in line with their recommendations. With this in mind, our plans will come in to effect as of today.

We hope all of our clients and stakeholders stay safe and keep in good health at this time.

Please contact cpaton@cirruspurchasing.co.uk or 07828 143935 if you wish to discuss this matter further.
Post-Brexit public sector procurement
3rd February 2020
The United Kingdom has now left the EU and has entered into an 11-month transition period whilst final agreements on what the future relationship between both parties will look like is thrashed out. During this phase of negotiation, the UK will remain in the EU's customs union and single market and will continue to follow EU law.

As such, there will be no change to public procurement legislation in the short term and public sector entities should continue to go about business as usual. The EU procurement directive still continues to apply and is enshrined in UK law under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

The current position will continue to apply until December 31 2020 at the earliest. How post-transition public procurement will look is however less certain. The extent of any change will depend on a number of factors, including whether a trade deal is agreed between the UK and the EU.

Regardless of the agreement reached this year, it is highly likely that future public procurement in the UK will continue to be governed by a similar legal framework as is currently in place. Whether this is as stringent as current arrangements is however yet to be seen, with some high ranking Government officials criticising the current rule set.

As with most things Brexit related, there is still a lot of uncertainty as to what the future of public procurement in the UK will look like in the medium to long term. What is certain however is that Cirrus will continue to monitor the Brexit negotiations in order to provide up to date advice and updates to our clients.

For advice and support please contact Claire Paton via: cpaton@cirruspurchasing.co.uk or 07828 143935.
Happy New Year 2020
6th January 2020
Happy New Year to all of our clients, partners and stakeholders!

We hope 2019 served you well and we wish you all the best for 2020.
After another successful year, we are celebrating the highs of 2019 for Cirrus and are looking forward to the year ahead.

Claire and the team would like to say a big thank you to all of our clients. We’ve created some great new partnerships this year which we hope to build on and of course look forward to creating even more in 2020.

To see our new year feature, please click here.
Supplier Focus No.16: Sovini Trade Supplies
14th November 2019
Sovini Trade Supplies is the latest supplier to be featured from the Cirrus Consortium Materials Framework.

Now in its fifth iteration, the Cirrus Consortium Materials Framework provides quick, flexible access to the full range of building materials required by consortium members in full compliance with the relevant public procurement legislation.

Sovini Trade Supplies have offered the following insight:
"Sovini Trade Supplies provides a supply chain solution and managed store service for clients across the UK.

As the most Inspiring Supplier 2019 and Northern Housing's Supplier of the Year 2018..."

To see the full feature and to find out more about Sovini Trade Supplies, click here.

For further information on the Cirrus Consortium frameworks, or the suppliers available under each framework, please contact us.
New Procurement Thresholds
11th November 2019

The European Commission has announced the new public procurement threshold values which will apply to contracts advertised from 1st January 2020.


The updated values are (excluding VAT):
• Works Contracts: £4,733,252
• Supplies Contracts (sub-central authorities): £189,330
• Services Contracts (sub-central authorities): £189,330
• Light Touch Regime: £663,540

Contracting authorities will need to ensure the new values are circulated to staff and updated in company policy documentation.

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