It’s only been about a year since social value became a mandatory part of procurement. So there’s no shame in saying your approach is still evolving. As you get to grips with what buyers expect from you, you’ll likely shift and finesse your bids to hit that sweet spot. But there are a few relatively simple switches you can make that will have a surprising impact on your efforts.
These aren’t shortcuts to winning bids, rather improvements to strengthen your approach. When you combine these with a genuine intent to tackle common social issues, you might be surprised at just how effective they are. So let’s look at our top three switches to level-up your social value commitment.
Outputs → Outcomes
First, let’s make sure you’re focusing on what’s important. We often see organisations promising great figures. X number of apprenticeships, Y number of people off the street. They’re great accomplishments, but they’re just outputs. These are essential, but their downside is they only tell you so much.
Shift your focus to the outcomes. The stories of real-world impact that show how your efforts have created meaningful change.
Outcomes are about showing buyers what’s behind the impressive figures. It’s one thing to talk about the 12 support groups you’ve hosted in the community, but a whole other matter when you can show how that improved someone’s quality of life. Talk with the people whose lives you’ve changed and help build a rich understanding of what you’re doing. And, with tools such as surveys, capturing this qualitative data doesn’t even need to eat into your time and resources.
End-of-project results → Real-time visualisation
Ask yourself how you keep track of your commitments. Say you’ve pledged to save 10,000 tonnes of carbon over a 5-year hospital contract. How and when do you measure that? The reason we ask is because many leave it until the end of the project.
Then you’re left collating old data, chasing it across departments, trying to build an image of what you’ve done. And no matter how much you pull together, it’s likely never going to be accurate.
Don’t leave it until it’s too late. Move from tracking at the end of a project to doing it throughout. Put tools in place to visualise the value you’re generating on an ongoing, real-time basis. It shows you’re prepared to take your contractual obligations seriously and present less of a risk of underdelivery. And it’ll help your team, too – they can make adjustments to their approach based on actual evidence, not guesswork.
Spreadsheets → Software
When we say you need the right tools, we definitely don’t mean spreadsheets. Think about your finances. There are plenty of reasons you don’t use spreadsheets for them. You’ll have dedicated software to help you accurately track and report on your incoming and outgoing finances.
Why should it be any different with your social value? A specific software solution will allow you to sidestep the problems with spreadsheets. No more data spread across countless versions of them. People from across the project can contribute their figures. And reports can be whipped up in a flash. It also gives buyers confidence that they won’t have to chase you for progress updates. All the necessary data will be automatically captured and ready for them to view whenever they want to check in.
To win competitive contracts, you need to take your social value one step further. But it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think. As you can see, just a few small switches to your approach can make all the difference. And when you do that, you’re in a much better position to stand out from the rest of your competitors.
Impact is an intelligent tool for all things social value. Streamlining data collection, analysis, and reporting, you can build the full picture of your impact with ease. Turn your focus to outcomes and track progress in real-time. To find out more, schedule a demo or get in touch with the team on 0161 532 4752.