The Spark DPS Explained

Published22nd February 2021 AuthorJohn Hudson

What is the Spark DPS?

The Spark DPS holds the full title of Spark: The Technology Innovation Marketplace. The DPS was established by the Crown Commercial Service to allow public sector bodies access to new and emerging products. The DPS uses a filter system that helps buyers to find the relevant products and suppliers. Focussing on emerging technologies, the marketplace welcomes technology predicted to have the greatest impact over the next 2-5 years. Buyers can filter through the marketplace for the following:

  1. Internet of Things (IoT)
  2. Artificial Intelligence and Automation
  3. Simulated and enhanced environments
  4. Engineering/materials science
  5. Data
  6. Wearables
  7. Transport
  8. Security

What is a Dynamic Purchasing System? 

DPS stands for Dynamic Purchasing System. As the name suggests, it’s a process for buyers to purchase goods or services. The DPS agreement is set out by the buyer who oversees and establishes the procedure. In the agreement documents, the criteria to join the DPS will be stipulated. When applying to join a DPS, you will typically need to complete a tender response to demonstrate that you meet the criteria.

Once accepted, buyers will publish calls for competition for their individual service requirements.

Applying to Dynamic Purchasing Systems is a good option for new or smaller businesses. As you are not required to deliver all the requirements, the criterion will be different from a single-supplier contract. Often, DPS requirements don’t include the same high turnover thresholds as larger contracts. Delivering work through DPS’ is an effective way for a business to build their portfolio and work towards larger projects.

Who can participate?

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has chosen to run the Spark DPS under the restricted procedure. This means that anyone can submit a bid in response to the published notice. Bidders will then be accepted if they meet the required criteria.

The DPS will allow organisations to submit a bid as a single entity or as a Group of Economic Operators. If you opt for the latter, the CCS requires you choose a lead member who will represent the collective group. You will also need to identify the contributions that each party brings to the bid. This can be done in the Request to Participate.

Economic and financial standing requirements

As with the majority of public sector bids, your economic and financial standing will be assessed. This helps the buyer to determine if your business is eligible for delivering the products required. This stage will be evaluated as a pass or fail. A financial risk score will be obtained from Dun and Bradstreet. Your score must be 60 or above to pass. If you pass this check, the CCS will request to see two years of financial statements. However, if you don’t have this available, they will ask for:

  • Statement of turnover, profit and loss account/income sheet, balance sheet.
  • Statement of financial position and statement of cash flow for the most recent trading period.
  • Forecast financial statements and cash and a bank letter outlining your current cash and credit position.
  • If none of the above are possible, they will ask for an alternative way of demonstrating your financial status.

If you choose to name a guarantor instead, the CCS will repeat this process for them.

How to apply

If you provide any of the listed services and want to get involved, this is how to do it.

Please be aware that this information is correct at the time of publishing this blog. The deadline for requesting to participate is the 17th of April 2022.

Step 1:

You must first register on the Suppliers Registration Service (SRS) before submitting your bid. If you are not already registered, you can do so by:

  1. Creating an account
  2. Select ‘Supplier’
  3. Click on the DUNS number button to ensure the correct DUNS number is associated with your organisation.
  4. Complete the required information.

Step 2:

If you are already registered to the SRS, simply sign in to your account. You will also need to be registered on the CCS eSourcing tool. This will ensure that, if successful, you will be invited to the calls for competition.

Step 3:

From here, the application process takes the form of a Selection Questionnaire (SQ). Once you have completed the SQ and submitted the response, the CCS will determine if you are eligible. If successful, you should see your Spark DPS status change from ‘Assessing’ to ‘Agreeing’.

Step 4:

If your application progresses into the ‘Agreeing’ stage, you will need to re-submit your SQ on the SRS. You will be asked to agree to the terms and conditions electronically. Your status should now change to ‘Appointed’ and you will have joined the Spark DPS

Please note, you will be required to provide one contract example with your SQ. This will be assessed as part of your technical and professional capability. The contract example should also include a Letter of Confirmation of Works. This should be signed by the customer who you name in the case study.

What happens if you’re accepted?

If you are accepted and awarded a place on the DPS, this is certainly a cause for celebration. You are one step closer to securing new business contracts. Once you have signed the legally binding documents, you can look forward to calls for competition. Buyers can choose to invite relevant suppliers to bid. For example, if a public sector authority needs IoT, they will invite the suppliers who list IoT as a service. In accordance with the Spark DPS terms, you will be given a minimum of 10 days to return your bid.

Need support?

If you have read all of the above and still feel baffled by the process and requirements, fear not! Our Bid Writers at sister company, Hudson Succeed, excel in DPS applications and responding to calls for competitions. Simply get in touch to see how we can support you with your bid submission.

Our team have over 60 years of collective bid writing experience and proudly hold an 87% bid success rate. When it comes to the technology sector, we have a wealth of experience. From software to IoT and hardware to security, we are well-equipped to write and submit your technology bids.

For submitting a Spark DPS response, we would recommend our Tender Writing service. Tender Writing is the perfect solution when you’re short on time or resources. Our Bid Writers will write and submit the bid responses on your behalf. They will manage any clarification questions and make necessary amendments.

Get a free quote

If you have already written your responses, but need a second pair of eyes, Tender Mentor is ready and waiting. Our Bid Writers will assess the work you have already done, in line with the specification. They will check for any grammatical or spelling errors as well as ensuring that you have answered all the requirements. You can then submit the bid with confidence.

Upload your work

Where to find more opportunities like the Spark DPS

Finding technology contracts can seem like a daunting task. With thousands of buyers spread across the UK and thousands of sites publishing tenders, tracking them is a full-time job. We know this because that’s exactly what our team of Opportunity Trackers do.

To combat the time-draining problems with tender tracking, we created Technology Tenders. The sector-specific portal is updated daily by our Opportunity Trackers. We don’t rely on CPV codes or algorithms to collect our tenders. Our manual team source new opportunities from thousands of sites. They then upload each tender individually, tagging them with industry-driven keywords. This means that all you have to do is log in and search by filtering.

If you don’t have time to filter, you can tailor the portal to suit your business. Simply tell the system which keywords are relevant to you and only see these tenders.

If you don’t even have time to do this, don’t worry. We’ll send you a daily email alert, containing all the tenders that have been uploaded each day.

On Technology Tenders, we source:

  • DPS opportunities
  • Framework agreements
  • Single-supplier contracts
  • Pre-market engagement opportunities
  • PIN notices and more.

We actively source tenders for services including:

Upgrade to Discover Elite  

We understand that you’re very busy. Even with our intelligent tracking system in place, the pre-bid admin can stack up. That’s why we recently launched Discover Elite. This upgraded feature eliminates all the frustrating time-wasting elements of tendering. The feature is broken down into two packages.

Both contain access to a maximum of two Discover portals. This is handy if your services cross over into another sector.

The Ultimate Time-Saving Tool

  • A dedicated Account Manager on-hand to track opportunities for you.
  • Up to five bid breakdowns to help you make your bid or no-bid decisions.
  • Weekly phone calls with your Account Manager to discuss viable opportunities.
  • Buyer portal management including registering, password management, downloading documents and assessing viability based on your bid/no-bid strategy.
  • Award and pre-market engagement notices monitored on your behalf.

Become a Pre-Bid Master

  • All of the above.
  • The development of a bid strategy delivered by our Senior Bid Manager and our Global Bid Director.
  • Up to seven bid breakdowns per month.

Contact us for more information.

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