Firstly, let's be clear, this is a huge £10bn framework that is much anticipated and is to be massively welcomed. There has been an excellent level of market engagement and clarity from CCS that is is about meeting the requirements of key public sector buyers across 6 key Lots:

  1. Education + General
  2. Healthcare
  3. Residential
  4. Justice
  5. Defence
  6. Thermal Upgrades.

The focus is on  3D (Volumetric) and 2D (panelised) systems. Suppliers are sought who can demonstrate a track record of directly manufacturing a minimum of 66% PMV (pre-manufactured value). The projected spend is certainly encouraging and if converted to a sustainable pipeline, could deliver the workflows that 3D and 2D require to drive efficiencies of manufacture. Whether Departmental budgets and the annual spending round allow a consistency of pipeline remains to be seen. 

CCS, presumably guided by the buyer market,  are looking for those who can demonstrate Turnkey Solutions - Design, Manufacture, Delivery, Install, Handover, Aftercare of the Superstructure, Substructure and MEP, plus associated services.

Given the need to also be a direct manufacturer, the structure of the opportunity suggests that the strongest bids will be consortium bids that combine direct manufacture with turnkey capability. 

The table above (extracted from the CCS July 2022 response to supplier engagement) shows the mapping against the MMC definition framework.

CCS also provides a useful summary of the scope of the framework:

So, despite  the positive of a high value MMC framework, is there a missed opportunity? Perhaps the focus on the turnkey solution will diminish the opportunity for the truly innovative, losing the direct line of sight  between client and MMC innovator. Does the focus on the six sectors limit the use of the Framework for other public sector buyers? 

Nothing is said about a 'kit of parts' or Platform approach, potentially the solution above all others that builds in flexibility within a standardised grid, enabling adaption a reuse more easily. Whilst the framework supports an enables the principles of the Construction Playbook, is now the time to push further? 

Perhaps the the potential for mandating or encouraging interoperability of structural elements, whether 3D or 2D has not been fully seized. Here there is a role for the public sector to lead in a way that could really have a catalytic impact on  MMC capacity building with all that  can bring in terms of social value and new employment opportunities. 

Procurement reform is coming in 2023. One of the features we are likely to see is the overt ability to keep a framework fresh using KPIs and allowing new entrants at key points. It would be good to see some of the larger framework provider look at ways of delivering that freshness in current procurements. The danger in an area like MMC is that a framework established now- ostensibly for 4 years + 3 years does not keep up to date with advancing technology. In a year that has seen some worrying closures, resilience of any framework is clearly high on any priority list.