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Creating a new purchasing framework with The University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham wanted to centralise their Apple procurement and ensure that every Mac in their estate had the same level of protection and support, so they decided to build their own procurement framework. After a competitive tender process, Jigsaw24’s expertise, value for money and ability to hit SLAs saw us chosen as the university’s sole Apple provider.

The University of Nottingham is primarily a PC-based organisation, but they wanted to ensure that all their Macs, and especially those used by their School of Psychology and their Marketing, Communications and Recruitment team, had the same level of support as their PCs. 

Over the years, they had tried a number of strategies but without success – buying ad hoc from different suppliers didn’t give them consistent support, and various exclusive agreements weren’t offering the level of service they wanted. Finally, they decided to design their own framework and put it out to tender, ensuring that any vendor they worked with could meet certain key criteria. 

“The reason that we wanted our own contract rather than buying off the back of a consortium deal was that we particularly value some extra services,” explained the university’s Apple supplier relationship manager, Kevin Hopkins. “For example, we have a defined replacement cycle of four years on all our desktop computers, so we want to make sure they’re all warrantied for that length of time then we can be sure staff will have full use of that kit for that period of time, without any further expenditure.”

Finding an IT partner for the framework 

When the university’s existing support contract came up for renewal they went out to tender with four key criteria: value for money; supply and service; orders and delivery processing; sustainability. Based on our combined score, Jigsaw24 managed to secure the contract. 

“We’d always had good feedback about Jigsaw24 [back when schools chose their own suppliers], and we’re still getting good feedback on what they do and their flexibility,” said Kevin. “For example, we use SciQuest, and they’ve worked with us to develop a punch-out site that gives us extra admin interfaces so that we can see previous orders and quotations. Being able to sit down with our account manager and their development team to go through things and work on improvements has been really useful.“ 

And because of our broad expertise, we’ve also been able to help the university with some of their non-Apple queries. “We’ve been able to enquire with Jigsaw24 about audio-visual content creation and support, (as we use Apple kit for this type of work) and they’ve been very good for our staff – particularly in research – who have been able to find solutions by working with partners that Jigsaw24 have recommended to them.

“Jigsaw24’s long term experience in the Apple market has benefitted us, particularly when it comes to getting advice from the sales team. And their large technical support team means the downtime on any support calls is reduced.”

“As well as their technical knowledge, sales knowledge and high rate of hitting their SLAs, [Jigsaw24 offer] a lot of intangible benefits that aren’t in the contract, they’re just part of the ethos of the company. So for example, if [a member of staff] lives locally to their office, Jigsaw24 lets them collect their own kit, and when a researcher found out they needed the data off a machine that was in for repair so they could travel abroad to present it, Jigsaw24 pulled the stops out to get their laptop back to them within a day. They go the extra mile to help us.”

Increasing visibility, control and efficiency 

“The agreed catalogue means that we can make sure that people here only purchase from a defined list, which we believe should be sufficient for their needs,” explained Kevin. “If they have a technical need for a higher specification we have a process to cover that, for which they have to make a business case.”

 We’ve also set the university up with bundled pricing on all their purchases “so that we know every Apple piece of kit with a University of Nottingham asset tag has the same level of support.” Our team has set up an asset tagging and reporting system, so that the university has more visibility over what they have onsite, and arranged for the collection and delivery of hardware to SLAs and on dedicated days, in order to lower the university’s carbon footprint. 

The university have been so happy with the results of the framework that they’re now opening it up to universities across the UK, with Jigsaw24 as the associated Apple supplier.

“Jigsaw24 were selected as a result of the value they could offer the University through additional services, and their wealth of knowledge in respect to Apple. They are also able to support our internal policies through restricting the range of devices on our e-catalogue system to only the approved models, and referring users back to procurement when they try to buy a non-standard model,” said IT procurement manager Jayson Tarr. 

“The framework agreement established by The University of Nottingham is open to use by any UK university, and orders can be placed with Jigsaw24 without the need for any further competition. 

Download the full case study here. If you want to know more give us a call on 03332 409 290 or email


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