DBA to launch approved list of design suppliers

The Design Business Association is set to launch an approved list of design suppliers – the DBA Design Directory – which clients will be able to access for free.

The directory, which will go live in June, will comprise DBA members who have been through a vetting process that will see them respond to a pre-qualification questionnaire-style entrance exam.

They will be subject to spot-checking and reference-checking once they are on the register. DBA chief executive Deborah Dawton (pictured) says, ’The emphasis will be on the DBA to make sure the information we hold is accurate.’ DBA members will be able to apply to become part of the directory as an extension of their membership, and clients from both the public and private sectors will be able to access it free of charge.

However, Dawton says, ’We will not be matchmaking.’ It is hoped the directory could allow publicsector buyers to fast-track procurement-ready consultancies to projects, in proposals put forward in the DBA/Associate Parliamentary Design & Innovation Group.

Dawton says, ’It’s up to our industry to sort issues like these out. If we leave it to the Government, it won’t get done.’ In addition to this directory, the DBA will be launching a full set of data to help clients through the design-buying process. Dawton says this will offer advice to novice and expert design-buyers alike.

Advice given may include documents outlining how to write a brief, how to run a tendering process, suggested questions for interested consultancies, and scoring sheets that might be used. Dawton says the DBA has been in talks with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, which holds similar information relating to the advertising industry, about potentially sharing or merging information.

A client advisory panel is being set up. It has advised the DBA on the formation of the register, and is likely to continue in an advisory capacity following its launch. The panel is chaired by Raymond Turner of Raymond Turner Associates. Although its composition has not yet been finalised, it currently includes Tom Foulkes, head of global marketing for Buro Happold; Philippa Butters, head of corporate communications for Yell; Dee Cooper, design manager for Virgin Atlantic; Clive Grinyer, director of customer experience for Cisco IBSG; David Mercer, head of design for BT; and Terry Bloom, managing director of Spearmark International.

The new Design Business Association register

  • Will be a list of Design Business Association members who have been through a pre-qualification questionnaire-style process
  • Will be free to access for clients Will be accompanied by a range of information for clients
  • The DBA has been in discussions with the Design Council about co-hosting this information, and with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising about potentially merging it
Hide Comments (5)Show Comments (5)
  • Natalia Mesh November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Deborah, its a great initiative. I hope that DBA foreign members will be on the register as well. Looking forward to it.

  • Steve Roberts November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Since when did the DBA become THE authority on design. If I lose a job because my company is not a member and, therefore, has not been vetted, then I promise to sue the DBA.

    Steve Roberts
    Fripp Design and Research Limited

  • Guto Evans November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    How about an approved list of clients! Just had a Wales government tender through this week, 4 made up briefs for us to prove that we are capable, after 3 months of waiting for them to go through 50 odd case studies of previous work and business information and policies by hundreds of companies…. absolutely hideous, I think the DBA should concentrate here, I mean there’s no excuse for a government!…Thanks for the small business support Gov! I mean if a design company isn’t any good don’t pay them, and sack them, move on…..

  • Deborah Dawton November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Steve and I have spoken and the article, it would appear, can be interpreted incorrectly. Check out this link http://bit.ly/cqWQ7E for additional detail.

    And Guto, we launched a report in the House of Lords yesterday about this – the DBA is on the government’s procurement tail. Email me and I’ll send you the report. Deborah

  • Belinda November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Get over yourselves guys. If you’re design professionals with half an ounce of common sense you should be wise to these things by now.
    I’m with Natalia – great initiative!

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