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01.09.16 - St Jude's Laundry - Profile

St Jude’s Laundry are an Edinburgh based social enterprise providing a bespoke, hand finished commercial laundry service with a clear focus on delivering a high level of customer service.  The organisation has clients across hospitality, healthcare, leisure and education and is also the preferred supplier for City of Edinburgh Council.  Therefore, when APUC (Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges) recently advertised a Framework Agreement for Laundry Services this was something St Jude’s identified as a clear opportunity.
Essentially, a framework agreement allows a purchasing authority (APUC, in this case) to establish the terms governing a contracts awarded over a given period, in particular with regards to price.  It doesn’t oblige the contracting authority to purchase - but if they do then the terms have been established.  Here, the framework for laundry services was split into lots, both in geographical terms and by the service delivered.  So for St Jude’s, they had the opportunity to bid for two separate contracts within the Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders lot - one which consisted of commercial wash and return services, the other which included the hire of garments.
In the end, St Jude’s finished in second place for the former and third place for the latter service, therefore making it onto the framework.  In short, when the first placed provider can’t (or chooses not to) deliver the service, the next placed provider picks up the work.  The agreement commenced on 1st August and will run for two years with an option to extend for further two years.  The level of business this will amount to is unclear - it may be a little or may be a lot - but St Jude’s are one of only four organisations to be able to deliver the service.
One of the most beneficial parts of the process for St Jude’s has been the feedback received from APUC regarding the tender application.  The organisation scored very highly on the quality of service and gained important extra marks for sustainable procurement, namely community benefits, environmental management, fair work practices and equality & diversity. Significantly, St Jude’s was also competitive on price - ranking in second place for both services on this criterion.
Emma deLoseby, Sales Manager at St Jude’s, had this to say of the experience: “The tender process and feedback provided gave us very useful benchmark or our level of service and how we compare with our competitors.  It’s very rewarding to see that our service delivery is considered very highly and that we’re able to compete with the private sector in terms of pricing.”


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