OGC Buying.Solutions has introduced extended and managed services to the latest MFP Catalist framework agreement with the aim of cutting printing costs in the public sector.
Eight suppliers have been accredited to tender for business worth £70m over two years, and OGC Buying.Solutions is looking to consolidate similar agreements with the Ministry of Defence and Higher Education in 2010.
According to OGC Buying.Solutions, an agency of the Office of Government Commerce that develops procurement services for the public sector, the MFP framework differs from the previous framework in that it includes a raft of services.
"These range from a total print management solution, where the customer outsources the delivery of its entire print strategy, to bespoke services packages for specific customer projects," it said.
The procurement agency added that payment options would be flexible, with each supplier committing to offer lease, rental, asset management, cost-per-print and total volume plans.
On plans to consolidate future framework agreements, OGC Buying.Solutions told MicroScope that the various departments would work closely to share best practise, leading up to the Single Public Sector Framework in 2010.
The suppliers include Canon UK, Konica Minolta Office Solutions, NRG, Oce, and Xerox UK and dealers Altodigital, The Danwood Group and Ikon Office Solutions.
Simon Jones, national framework manager at Ikon, said the framework required suppliers to offer more than hardware alone. "We have a good in-house service capability, with 600 engineers in the field across the UK," he said.
OGC Buying.Solutions has tried to reduce the number of disparate frameworks to drive greater economies of scale, and Jones said that was likely in the print services market as well.
"In two years, should the market be amenable to it, OGC will offer the same contracts in collaboration with the MoD and higher education, which currently have their own agreements," he said.
Gavan Duffy, group OGC manager at Altodigitial, said the current agreement acknowledged the need to cut printing costs – once cited as the last un-audited cost centre in an organisation according to analyst company Gartner.
"Customers are more aware that printing as a cost has not been monitored… by rationalising the number of desktop devices, customers could look at savings of 25 to 30 per cent," Duffy said.