Crown Commercial Service

Crown Commercial Service: Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Consultancy


DragonGate was commissioned by the Crown Commercial Service on the 28th of February 2017 to undertake quantitative research and interviews with departmental representatives to advise on areas of potential SME spend growth and to produce a plan of forthcoming government procurements with actions and approaches for increasing SME spend in these areas.



The scope of the commission was seven departments and six market sectors. The departments were:

  • Ministry of Defence (MoD)
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • Department for Transport (DfT)
  • Ministry of Justice (MoJ)
  • Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • The Home Office (HO)
  • The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)

The market sectors were:

  • Communications
  • Construction
  • Engineering Goods
  • Industrial Services
  • Logistics
  • Office Solutions

The work was commissioned in response to a Public Accounts Committee recommendation that “the Cabinet Office and the CCS should help departments to identify the areas where SMEs can best add value and how it will structure contracts and procurement to enable them to compete accordingly”.



The following outputs were delivered:

A category map against benchmarks showing:

  • Where SMEs are most and least prevalent.
  • Where Government buying (and spend with SMEs) matches what would be expected given the make-up of the market.
  • Where Government buying with SMEs does not match what we should expect.
  • Areas where the majority of SMEs continue to operate within a supply chain so Government can ensure prime contractors’ behaviour does not prevent subcontractors delivering benefits for the public sector.
  • An 18-month plan of forthcoming projects and procurements within these categories including anticipated spend. The plan also identified actions and approaches for increasing SME spend in these areas as well as providing advice and recommendations for where SME spend does not match the general market make-up.