Microsoft and other big brands top government supplier ratings

26 April 2015

Microsoft has come out top in a survey rating strategic suppliers to the UK government.

In a poll of over 1,500 civil servants rating the 33 main government suppliers for trustworthiness, understanding public sector needs, and value for money, Microsoft came out best overall.

It was followed by DHL, BT, Virgin Media, Vodafone, BAE Systems and IBM in that order.

According to the study by Dods Research, 31 per cent of civil servants agreed Microsoft provided good value for money to government, 46 per cent agreed it was a trustworthy company, and 32 per cent agreed it understood public sector needs. In all three categories, this was the highest score of all the suppliers, although BT, BAE Systems and DHL were not far behind in the latter.

In 2010, the Cabinet Office selected a list of “strategic suppliers” with the aim of renegotiating contracts, collecting performance data, providing a crown representative to each company, and saving money.

In 2012-13, the strategic suppliers accounted for £10 billion of the £40 billion central government spend with third parties. The approach is estimated to have saved the government £840 million over the period.

The aim of the survey was to understand which of the Cabinet Office’s strategic suppliers was viewed most favourably by the civil servants who work with or alongside them.

Most of the top seven are household names, and nearly all are in the consumer market. Dods said that this suggested it could be difficult to separate the perception of these companies as suppliers from the perception of them as brands.

“The analysis was weighted so as not to give undue favourability to suppliers with the highest levels of awareness. Despite this, the household names – or companies that produce consumer products and services – still come out on top,” said Rebecca Sims-Robinson, research manager at Dods Research.

“BAE Systems is the exception to the rule, which gives hope that the results we see here are based entirely on perceptions of the companies as suppliers, and not as brands overall.”

The strategic suppliers are: Accenture, Airwave, Amey, Atkins, Atos, Babcock, BAE Systems, BT, Capgemini, Capita, Carillion, CGI, Cofely, CSC, DHL, Fujitsu, G4S, HP, IBM, Interserve, ISS, Level 3, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Mitie, Oracle, Serco, Sodexo, Steria, TCS, Telereal Trillium, Virgin Media, Vodafone.

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