The benefits of a consortium application

In response to David Bartholomew (Letters, DW 29 April), who referred to my consultancy Bell Design and its application to work for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (News, DW 15 April), I would like to stress that Bell itself is not bidding for the DCSF Integrated Service Provider tender. We are part of a consortium made up of number of creative service suppliers and procurement specialists – we are certainly not going it alone.

Much like Bartholomew’s group Folio Creative Communications, we also felt unable to bid individually and therefore looked into other options. Although the quote he uses is not exactly what I said, I do believe that our consortium submission for the DCSF tender has the potential for a more collaborative approach to creative services that will benefit them and many small to medium-sized enterprises.

Unfortunately, procurement rules do not allow me to go into any detail, but there is no suggestion that we, or any of our consortium partners, will be able to ’scrutinise rivals’ accounts, pricing structures and creative strategy’, nor do we envisage overseeing pitches – it would be both unethical and divisive.

I agree with his sentiment that we can only hope that the next Government ’will support SMEs and not abandon them in favour of mega-businesses and perceived – as opposed to actual – economies of scale’. That’s why we and others have got together to devise a new, specialist approach to the DCSF – the bid we are part of is a bespoke offer that we are confident will prove successful and has the potential to benefit many other SMEs, including Folio Creative Communications.

More than 100 creative consultancies have registered their interest with our consortium and we will be doing our utmost, if we win, to use all those with special skills.

Kate Sanderson, Joint owner/director, Bell Design, London WC2
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