Amy Bond, Research and Insights Lead, explains how planning ahead can help ensure you receive quality research, even during these challenging times.

In March, the UK government brought in measures to control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), with a complete lockdown stopping a large amount of face-to-face research and attendant fieldwork in its tracks.

While restrictions are gradually being lifted, the uncertainty within the market is having a continued impact on the continuity and resourcing of face-to-face related commissions. The implications of this include the financial health of the industry itself and also the quality of data produced.

Here at CCS, we want to help you to look to the future and help ensure any research you commission is of the highest standard.

The best way to do this is to share your pipeline with us. By doing this, you can enable researchers to plan ahead and be in the best possible position to provide the best possible service.

Look back to look ahead

Check-in with your current contracts and ask yourself the following questions:

  • are any of them due to expire soon?
  • have you extended an old contract for ease but it doesn’t quite fit your requirements now?
  • are you closing in on the maximum you can spend?
  • are you still happy with the performance and outputs?

Then, you can start to focus on the future:

  • what do you want to re-procure?
  • do you have the background information required to build your plan of action?
  • what is it that we want to know before we forge ahead?

Once you have considered questions like these, the answers can help inform your needs and pipeline of work for the coming months.

By sharing your thinking with us, we can let our suppliers know what may be coming up in the next few months to give them a chance to prepare.

Face-to-face fieldwork takes a lot of time and effort in the preparation stages and requires suitable resourcing. If a requirement lands with little to no notice, it can be challenging to get all the pieces in place in time to deliver the best service and outcomes.

Giving the market plenty of time to complete quality preparation results in you receiving quality bids and reassurance that the outcome you receive will be fit for purpose, thorough and value for money. 

We’re here for you

Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into how planning ahead and sharing those plans can help suppliers to respond fully in a way that supports the overall sustainability of the research market.

Should you be planning research in the coming months, please let us know your pipeline and we will do the work to keep the market informed. 

The Research & Insights team at Crown Commercial Service are here to help you with your research objectives so please get in touch with us via email if you have any questions.