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LEE004F – Multi-Supplier Framework Agreement for the provision of Laboratory and Research Consumables and Equipment

What is a Framework Agreement?

Framework Agreements are a procurement tool for facilitating the purchasing of defined goods and services and from which considerable potential time and cost savings can be made. Framework Agreements are widely used across the Public Sector.

A framework is an agreement put in place with a supplier, or range of suppliers, that enables buyers to place orders with service providers, without running a full tender exercise. Frameworks are based on large volume purchasing. Aggregating different buyer’s needs means individual buyers can buy goods and services at prices below those normally charged, or with special added benefits and/or more advantageous conditions.

Public Bodies have requirements to purchase numerous Laboratory and Research Consumables and Equipment, either regularly or as one-off purchases. This means that costly and time-consuming procurement exercises are regularly undertaken across some organisations, while others struggle to quickly and easily access suitable products.

This Multi-Supplier Framework reduces the time and cost associated with procurement by offering an agreement that has already been competitively tendered for.

Why use this Framework?

The Procurement of Laboratory and Research Consumables and Equipment can take significant time and money, both for the awarding authority and service provider.

The Multi Supplier Framework for the Supply of Laboratory and Research Consumables and Equipment is fully compliant with procurement regulations. It reduces the time and cost associated with the procurement process by offering a facility that has already been competitively tendered for.

It aims to deliver easy access for Public Sector Bodies to quality Laboratory and Research Consumables and Equipment at the best possible price.

EPS Framework Agreement

Main benefits:

Easy access to pre-selected, suppliers

The framework provides an easy access route to pre- selected suppliers & prices that are best placed to deliver Consumables and Equipment to Public Sector customers.

Best Pricing

Because the public sector is speaking as one voice by going to market collectively for this requirement, it enables Framework Clients to aggregate Consumables and Equipment requirements over a given time period, thereby ensuring best pricing from suppliers for a range of core & non-core Consumables and Equipment products. 

Easy drawdown mechanism

Public sector bodies can easily call off the products they require without running a formal tender process. 

Lots 1 – 11 The framework provides a quick and compliant process to allow purchasing of a large range of Consumables and Equipment by Cascade, Quotation or Mini Competition call-off methods. 

Lot 12 Purchasing from lot 12 is by Quotation or Mini Competition call-off method. 

Lot 13 The Contracting Authority may purchase green, sustainable products via direct drawdown or request quotations from the supplier appointed to this Lot.

How were the suppliers chosen?

As part of the tender process, successful framework members demonstrated proof of the following:

Account Management Requirements

Suppliers Account Management was assessed through: 

  • Appointment of dedicated account management team
  • MIS Supply of Data and ability to provide a range of management information reports and Periodic business reviews
  • Sales & Marketing/Road-shows/Notification of New Products
  • Future Engagement/Support
  • Discount/Promotion Strategy during the lifetime of the Framework Agreement and Target Volume Discounting at annual review stage

Delivery Requirements

Tenderers were evaluated under: 

  • Delivery Offerings
  • Specific Response Times
  • Escalation Chart if service levels are unsatisfactory

Stock Requirements

Tenderers were evaluated under: 

  • Stockholding
  • Stock Management
  • Returns Policy

Ecommerce Requirements

  • Tenderers were evaluated under:
  • Purchase-to-Pay/Interfacing with financial systems
  • Web Based Stock-listing/Catalogue Portal
  • Separate Framework Login for FWA Clients

Waste, Environmental & Sustainability 

Tenderers were evaluated under: 

  • Packaging Waste Removal
  • Environmental & Sustainability Policy
  • Corporate Social Responsibility

Ultimate Cost

Tenderers have been evaluated according to Mystery Basket Pricing submitted in combination with Delivery Charges. The traditional approach to evaluation of a category of spend such as laboratory consumables is a Basket Evaluation approach where a list of products is provided to suppliers to price accordingly. A result of this pricing methodology is that target discounting occurs on the list of products provided. 

By using the Mystery Basket Items approach suppliers presented their best overall price offering for all products in each relevant Lot in order to attain as many marks as possible under the Cost Criteria.

Who can use the Framework?

 The Multi-Supplier Framework for the Supply of Laboratory and Research Consumables and Equipment can be availed of by the following Public Sector Bodies, employees staff & associated departments;

  1. Ministers of the Government of Ireland, Central Government Departments, Offices and non-commercial Agencies and Organisations which have a formal reporting and legal relationship to Central Government Departments, including all local authorities in Ireland (themselves including regional assemblies, local enterprise boards);
  2. Entities in the Irish health sector including but not limited to the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), provided that such entities are contracting authorities within the meaning of Regulation 2 of the European Union (Award of Public Authority Contracts) Regulations 2016 (Statutory Instrument 284 of 2016);
  3. Contracting authorities which are Third Level Educational Institutions (including Universities, Technological Universities, Institutes of Technology and members of the Education Procurement Service);
  4. Contracting authorities which are Education and Training Boards (ETBs) and ETB schools, primary, post-primary, special and secondary schools as well as ETBs acting on behalf of schools;
  5. An Garda Síochána (Police);
  6. The Irish Prison Service; and
  7. The Defence Forces.

What products are covered by this framework?

Lot Number

Lot Description

Lot 1 

Lot 1 Plastics Major PCR (Multi-well plates, tubes, sealing film, strips and lids), spreaders & Loops/Petri Dishes/Reservoirs/Weigh Boats etc 

Lot 2 

Lot 2 Tissue Culture Flasks/Tubes/Dishes/Multiwell plates/Roller bottles/Cell Scrapers and lifters/ Cell culture surfaces and inserts, etc

 Lot 3  

Lot 3 Centrifuge Bottles, Tubes & Containers (Sterile and non-sterile) Centrifuge Bottles/Centrifuge tubes, Caps/Tubes (Inc. micro centrifuge tubes)/Containers/Pots/Cylinders - Plastic/Vials (including cryogenic vials)/Bottles/Universals – Plastics, Cling film, tin foil, Para film/Autoclave bags/Tapes and Labels etc

Lot 4 

Lot 4 Filter Paper & Membrane Filter paper/Membranes (nitrocellulose, PVDF and Nylon)/Blotting paper & Benchcote/Filtration units, cartridges etc

Lot 5 

Lot 5 Histology & Microscopy Glassware Coverslips/Slides/Pens/Mounting medium/Cassettes/Blades/Scalpel/Microtome etc

Lot 6 

Lot 6 Laboratory Glassware & Bottles Beakers/Measuring Cylinders/Universals - Glass/Bottles/Caps/Flask/Pasteur pipettes etc

Lot 7

Lot 7 Storage Boxes, Racks Racks/Storage boxes/Trays/Tube holders etc

 Lot 8

Lot 8 Syringes, Needles and Blood Collection Syringes/Needles/Vacutainers & Blood collection tube etc

Lot 9

Lot 9 Disposable Pipettes & Tips Disposable Pipettes (including aspirating pipettes)/Tips/Pastettes etc

Lot 10

Lot 10 Chromatography Consumables Colums/Tubing/Plates/Syringes/Paper/Sample Prep/Vials & Wells/Parts & Accessories including nuts, ferrules and adapters etc

Lot 11

Lot 11 Laboratory Gloves Nitrile, Vinyl, Latex, Chemical Resistant, Cleanroom, Knotted, Glove Liners etc 

Lot 12

Lot 12 Laboratory and Research equipment below the value of €5,000 ex.VAT Safety Cabinets/Water baths/Centrifuge/Ovens/Balances/Benchtop Apparatus/Incubator/Vortex Mixer/Hotplate/Stirrers Mixers/Meters/Pumps/Chillers/Power Supplies/Pipettes/Deionizers/Fridges/Freezers/Measuring Apparatus, Calipers etc

Lot 13

Lot 13 Green sustainable product options


Which Lots are Carl Stuart Ltd admitted as member to this Framework?

  • Lot 1 Plastics Major
  • Lot 3 Centrifuge Bottles, Tubes & Containers (Sterile and non-sterile)
  • Lot 4 Filter Paper & Membrane
  • Lot 5 Histology & Microscopy Glassware
  • Lot 6 Laboratory Glassware & Bottles
  • Lot 7 Storage Boxes, Racks
  • Lot 8 Syringes, Needles and Blood Collection
  • Lot 12 Laboratory and Research equipment below the value of €5,000 ex. VAT
  • Lot 13 Green Product Offerings

How do you Purchase goods?

Purchasing goods in an easy, flexible and simple manner is a core element of the Framework. The nature of the requirement will determine the most appropriate route to adopt.

Client Activation Process

EPS Framework Agreement

In order to be able to purchase goods from the Consumables and Equipment Framework on an ongoing basis, Framework Clients (Public Sector Bodies) will need to follow the step-by-step process below in order to ensure compliant activation:

  1. Framework should contact the EPS to express interest in using this Framework Agreement as their basis for procuring Laboratory/Research Consumables and Equipment (EPS contact details are provided at the end of this document).
  2. Framework Clients should sign up to the Framework Agreement by completing and signing the Confidentiality Agreement and NAGF with each supplier. The EPS will co-ordinate the distribution of pricing and promotion information in consultation with Procurement & Contracts Offices (PCO’s) in Public Sector Bodies. (NAGF – required once only for each supplier)
  3. Framework clients should then take time to assess the Rollout File and associated pricing files issued by the EPS.
  4. Evaluate your requirements and assess the best form of arrangement required. For example:
    1. I need a small quantity of goods which are a one-off requirement. (Cascade drawdown method would be the most suitable, engage with the 1st ranked tenderer in the relevant Lot).
    2. I need a medium/large quantity of goods which are a one-off requirement. (Requesting quotations from ALL the appointed suppliers in the relevant Lot).
    3. I need to facilitate a recurring order of a large quantity of goods. (Requesting quotations from ALL the appointed suppliers in the relevant Lot or running a mini-competition between all appointed suppliers in the relevant Lot).
  5. Document and record your supplier engagement for audit purposes. Ensure reference to the FWA and Lot are included.


Activating Contracts

There are two options available to activate contracts for the purchase goods from the Consumables and Equipment Framework. 

  1. Option 1 – Notification to Activate Goods Form. When using the Cascade Method or Quotations process; if it is your first time purchasing from a supplier ensure the Notification to Activate Goods Form (NAGF) is completed. The Framework Client (Contracting Authority) and the Framework Member (Supplier) must complete this form in order to proceed with the first drawdown/transaction between both Parties. This process must be completed ONCE for each Supplier the Framework Client engages with, but ONLY for the initial transaction/order.

In order to activate the Framework Agreement, Framework Clients and Framework Members (Suppliers) should sign and countersign this form and keep it on record as proof of activation of the Framework Agreement. You have the option to insert an end date in the NAGF form, if an end date is not included the NAGF arrangement will conclude on Framework expiry. Please refer to folder two within the Rollout pack.

  1. Option 2 – Contract. If you are entering into an ongoing supply arrangement as a result of a mini competition or quotation process which is over a recurring purchase or a supply arrangement over a set duration of time. Ensure the contract detail is included and issued to the supplier for signing, then the Contracting Authority countersigns, returns to the supplier and keeps a record of the contract. Please refer to folder two within the Rollout pack.
  2. Please note that the User Confidentiality Agreement needs to be completed and signed by both parties for both options.
  3. Record keeping is of vital importance, as all Public sector spend is auditable. Please ensure to keep a record of all NAGF forms, Confidentiality Agreements and Contracts. Reference to the framework title should be made in any associated Purchase Order and kept on file for future audit record purposes.

Want to Know More?

Contact our sales team today by email or on 01 452 3432 for more information on how to sign up and avail of these offers. Our team will be happy to assist you.

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