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SUPC Category Updates - 23 July 2020

SUPC Category Updates - 23 July 2020

23rd July 2020


As more information about the coronavirus and its impact is emerging, we continue to explore potential impacts on supply chains.  Our category managers are working with suppliers and counter-parts across the consortia to understand which suppliers may be impacted, how this might impact supply, and what, if any, contingencies can be made.  As part of our work we are keeping a close eye on the long-term sustainability of framework suppliers and will update you with information, as it becomes available. You can find updates on each of our Categories below.


Academic Services


Covid-19 issues: 

  • Dawson Books (as part of Bertram Books) is in administration. SUPC is working alongside APUC/EPS/CPC to manage the process on behalf of our collective members
  • Most other suppliers are coping and looking ahead to 2020-21 requirements.

Future implications:

  • Libraries are expecting reduced budgets with cuts of 15-40% expected but not yet confirmed
  • Libraries reticent to purchase print when students likely to be remote or there is a risk of a second lockdown
  • Whilst Zero-rating of VAT on e-publications makes them more affordable most libraries expect the saving to be cut from their budget in addition to a ‘real terms’ cut
  • Anticipated migration to remote learning will mean greater importance placed on discoverability/metadata of titles and also accessibility of e-book platforms – both issues were in tender strategy pre-COVID.

Member support:

  • Fortnightly virtual coffee mornings for SUPC Library Group
  • Fortnightly virtual coffee morning SUPC/LUPC Metadata & Discovery Group
  • Liaising with BUFDG to provide accurate information regarding VAT changes
  • Using appropriate library e-resource Jiscmail lists to reach librarians who may not be part of UKUPC commodity groups.

 Future category/pipeline activity:

  • Books/e-books retender – ITT planned for late 2020
  • APUC Streaming Video & Training Services – ITT planned for July 2020 with SUPC contribution to specification and evaluation
  • Working on e-book preservation solutions alongside APUC and EPS
  • Working towards affordable/large-scale digital textbook solutions alongside Jisc

Please contact Category Manager Gavin Phillips for more details.


Corporate Services

Covid-19 issues:

  • Travel Management services have seen another rough few months. Refunds are being made, but a lot of money is still tied up in vouchers and credit notes. There are indications that there are hints of recovery with air corridors with countries where quarantine isn’t required, which should help the industry recover. There will undoubtedly be redundancies and restructures within the TMCs to ensure they have an operating model that suits the market going forwards.
  • Temporary and Perm recruitment is still slow, but as campuses start opening towards the end of summer, we should see an uplift in that framework as well.
  • NERARs suppliers are essentially waiting for institutions to open and pick up relationships and move the business forwards.

Future category pipeline/activity:

  • NWUPC are progressing the Global Mobility Services. LUPC is bringing forward the retender of Legal Services and Debt Collection, although dates currently TBA.

Responsible Procurement: 

  • SUPC played an instrumental part in producing a set of questions for tender and call-off stage, which relate to the UN SDGs and the Social Value TOMS. This question set is currently available but is already undergoing an update as we look at model answers and what good looks like.
  • SUPC is also participating in the UKUPC Responsible Procurement Network that looks to deliver real value and outputs based on the requirement and ‘wants’ from the HEPA Responsible procurement group. Initially, this will look at standardised approaches to responsible procurement across the consortia.

Please contact Category Manager Jayne Thorn for more details.



  • Recent Estates Group meeting held via Zoom. Next session scheduled for September 15th with a placeholder to be sent out shortly and speakers joining from DCUK and Fusion 21.
  • Following on-going discussions with the London Housing Consortium (LHC) we are about to formalise our collaborative relationship with a signed agreement. LHC is a not-for-profit central purchasing body who develop OJEU compliant frameworks in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • SUPC PPE requirements exercise underway with a final list of items confirmed and soon to be sent to suppliers with approximate quantities for pricing, stock availability, etc.
  • PPE advice document currently being developed as a collaborative effort by SUPC, LUPC, NWUPC and NEUPC with a view to distributing to members. This is a summary and overview of our combined experiences in approaching the market for PPE and the considerations involved.
  • Taron is supporting the evaluation of the NEUPC led Flooring solutions framework.

Please contact Assistant Category Manager Taron Smith for more details.




The National ICT Group have been meeting bi-weekly since lockdown commenced.  The group have been sharing information on the market, projects and agreements. 

The following are areas they are working on:

  • Kinetics Software price increases (led by UCISA)
  • Microsoft transition to CSP models
  • VLE systems
  • LMS
  • Sharing information on plans for students returning/blended learning options etc.
  • Spend Analysis – a special meeting has been organised to discuss spend and opportunities for future frameworks

Covid-19 issues:

No further changes to suppliers on the 3 SUPC led ICT agreements.  All suppliers working virtually and continuing to be available for competitions, support etc.


Framework Updates:

  • NDNA – Price increases from some suppliers still under negotiation.  Price increases due to rise in costs for processors, memory and motherboards.  However, prices for memory have fallen in May and may be used to offset this.  Dynabook are amending a reseller.  Acer have switched a reseller to Academia. 
  • NEPA2 is due to be released in the next few weeks.
  • SSSNA – extended until end of April 2021.  Work has commenced on developing the strategy for the re-tender.  Plan is to hold a supplier virtual event in August.
  • JISC – research outputs repository systems framework now released – this is a DPS with 4 suppliers
  • AV products and services – the re-tender is now in the last stages of evaluation which is expected to complete on 8th July.  Still on target for the new agreement to be live from 1st August.
  • SLRA – extended until end of November 2020.  Re-tender is due to be released week commencing 13th July.
  • Apple – extended until end of December 2020.  Re-tender is due to be released in the next month.
  • APUC Streaming Video & Training Services – Tender has now been released for submission by end of July.
  • APUC VLE – market engagement days have now been held with all potential suppliers.  Work is now underway to finalise strategy.
  • APUC Library Management Systems – this agreement is now available.

Please contact Category Manager Tammie Purdue for more details.



  • Dani Sweeney has returned to SUPC after finishing her secondment supporting the NHS initiative with the sourcing of PPE.
  • The programme for the renewal of the Gases framework is currently under review to enable suppliers to focus efforts on support to NHS requirements.
  • The Framework renewal has been deferred for approx. 6 months as a result of COVID 19 pressures.