So you’ve decided your team’s approach to social value needs an upgrade. A lot of the hard work has already been done. After taking time to consider your priorities, you’ve now got a deep understanding of the themes and outcomes that matter most to your local area. You’ve also embedded the themes outlined in PPN06/20 and are rolling out initiatives that contribute positive change in those critical areas.
Now it’s time to strengthen what’s happening behind the scenes. To secure the greatest SROI for public money, you need a robust and reliable social value solution. And you’re in the market for an innovative piece of software that can help you get to that next level.
Maybe you’re currently settling for spreadsheets – deciding to just deal with how inefficient they are. Or you’re growing tired of juggling multiple tools and calculators just to get the full picture of your impact. Either way, we’ve got 4 important questions you should ask when deciding on the perfect replacement.
Can it be tailored to your unique specifications?
What’s brilliant about social value is that the opportunities are endless. There are so many incredible ways you can give back and leave society and the world a better place than you found it. But, to bring all these opportunities to life, you need a social value solution that’s flexible.
There are a lot of platforms out there. But many of them tie you into a specific framework. And this runs the risk of restricting your impact – dictating what inputs, outputs, and outcomes you’re able to measure.
Instead, opt for a solution that works around you. One that allows you to add your own themes, outcomes, measurements, and proxy values. Needs and opportunities vary place by place, council by council, and you want a social value solution that understands and embraces that.
Is there space for you to grow within the platform?
No one wants to be switching up their process or software every year. It’s stressful, time-consuming, and can be a drain on your staff. But none of us knows what the future holds for social value. Or for your organisation, for that matter. So how can you be sure you’re making the right long-term choice for your operations?
The trick, like above, is to look for a solution that gives you freedom. The more you can tailor it to suit you, the better. It means it can continue to serve you for years to come as your own approach and priorities change – as well as the wider social value landscape.
Is it a start-to-finish solution?
Like we mentioned above, juggling multiple tools can be a pain. It’s inefficient and eats into your staff’s time and focus far more than any of us would like. So, where possible, you want to find one solution that can cover all aspects of your social value. Taking you from start to finish.
Equally as important as comparing bids quickly and choosing the best possible supplier is tracking the progress of your chosen supplier towards their commitments. Ongoing contract management is essential if you’re going to squeeze out as much social value as possible. The right solution will do it all, with no compromises.
What will the user experience be like?
When making decisions about a staple piece of software, there’s one group’s input you can’t overlook: your staff. These are the people who are going to be using it on a daily basis. They’re the ones who are going to see the benefits – or suffer the consequences of the wrong choice.
Consider what the solution’s onboarding process will look like. And how quickly your staff will be able to get to grips with the system. Is it accessible and user-friendly? Or will it take months to figure out?
You also want to think about the main inefficiencies your staff experience on a daily basis. Are they bogged down by data entry, converting bids, or analysing supplier progress? Whatever these core issues are, make sure any solution you choose covers the most pressing ones at the very least.
Choosing a new social value tool marks a step in the right direction for your organisation and has the potential to elevate your social impact. But it’s also a decision you don’t want to rush. By answering these four questions, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about the solution that’s right for you.
Impact is an intuitive, framework-independent platform that streamlines the entire social value side of procurement. Receive, convert, and compare bids with ease. And always keep your suppliers accountable with robust contract management that kicks in the second a contract is awarded. To find out more, schedule a demo, or get in touch with the team on 0161 532 4752.