The Digital Marketplace Contenders, 10: Milk & Jam, Eastbourne

Jan 11, 2016

In the latest in our series looking at small, promising new entrants to the UK public sector tech supply chain, we meet Shaun Cheesman, Managing Director of small accessibilty consultancy and web designers Milk & Jam

Tell us about your company and value proposition, please, Shaun.

I was born with a rare sight disability, and founded Milk & Jam in 2012 after years of working for other people as a consultant and specialist web developer. That's because I had a drive to help build a better, more inclusive Internet everyone could benefit from. In terms of what we specifically offer, Milk & Jam positions itself as a small but highly innovative South Coast-based Web design agency 100% dedicated to the design and build of very easy-to-use websites.

What makes us different? We think out side the box with every project we do. We allow all our clients direct contact with our creative director and senior management, all the way to our production, web and design team, and this allows us to have better client relationships because nothing gets 'lost in translation'. Basically, we have a open door policy here - one we are very proud of.

Why did you enter onto G-Cloud/The Digital Marketplace? What do you expect to get out of it?

We joined G-cloud for a couple of reasons. The main reason was we want to showcase to public sector organisations our great but cost saving and value for money services, like that accessible design, consultancy and web design UI & UX, digital and print design services, Web development and our accessibility and digital transformation consultancy I just told you about.

But we also believe in the process behind the Marketplace and what it stands for. I have seen many positive case studies coming out from G-cloud in the public sector, and can see collaboration and long-term cost saving opportunity from being on G-Cloud and helping public sector organisations with what we do.

We are also excited about how we can do to help public sector organisations. Isn't that why we are all on G-Cloud?

How did you find the process of applying, as a new entrant?

We used the advice of an outfit called Advice Cloud which gave us the advice to be able to go and list ourselves onto the Digital Marketplace. The process was a learning curve for us, and we spent many weekends going over all the paperwork and the process - but when we got our heads round all of the legal information, we came out the other side feeling happy that we done everything we could do to get listed. We would probably pay Advice Cloud next time to list us if we could, to be honest, though, as the process was not always straightforward. 

Cool. How have things been working out for you on the Marketplace so far, then?

We successfully listed with no problems first time round, and doing it on our own without outside help was a big achievement for us. We have just had our marketing approved and now we are starting to market our services and engage with several prospects Without being on the Marketplace, public sector organisation are not able to buy our services, and so therefore we can't enter into a conversation with public sector organisations of all sizes to explore our capabilities.

Thanks, useful. So, based on your experience, do you have any top tips for other suppliers on how to make the most of the G-Cloud opportunity?

We would always suggest working with an organisation like Advice Cloud, to help you get listed onbecause they work with SMEs to help get listed effectively. As a smaller SME, we decided to have a go off our own bats, and costs to do it are quite high. But Advice Cloud is excellent and gave us the starting help and advice and it also runs events on how to make the most of G-Cloud, even help position opportunities for a more effective procurement process.

Thanks! Finally, any other thoughts about what you see as the future for cloud as a delivery mechanism for UK public services?

We would like to see G-Cloud evolve further so more and more small SMEs have a chance to help public sector organisations with their services - and for the process to be made a little easier, as it still has lots of limitations that will put off some SMEs, I worry.

If the Marketplace ends up as the main procurement space, that would be great, too. There are loads of little e-procurement cloud procurement portals... as a business, you just can't keep up with them all.

Cloud has to be about cost saving but also quality and giving everyone a chance to bid for public sector work, not just the bigger companies but also the smaller SMEs means customers get value for money and you hopefull, a more personal service, too.

Thanks, Shaun, and good luck on G-Cloud 7!

To find out more about this G-Cloud-7 Digital Contender, go here

We are looking for other companies entering the Digital Marketplace, and would love to feature your experiences in this new on-going editorial series. Please get in touch with us here to kick start that process.

(c) 2016

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