As great as PPN06/20 is for procurement, there’s one big potential problem we can see: a lack of accountability. It’s something government procurement has had time to get to grips with, but that NHS teams might find a struggle.
Here’s how it can go: the bids roll in and they each make huge promises for your upcoming project. But there’s no real way to tell who’s committed and who isn’t. So the simplest option is to go for the most impressive figures; the ones who say they can have the biggest impact. Then it becomes a numbers game where the highest one wins, favouring larger businesses who can throw their weight around.
So how can you ensure each supplier delivers their best? And how can you guarantee tax payer money actually goes to building a better NHS? You want to track progress throughout the project. Ongoing contract management tracks social value across the entire project lifecycle. It allows you to quickly intervene if a project under performs. And, ultimately, it helps make sure all social value promised is delivered.
That brings us onto today’s blog! We’re sharing 3 simple ways to make ongoing contract management easier for everyone involved.
Keep track of your KPIs
A big part of the pre-tender process should be you figuring out what matters most. What commitments are you hoping to see from suppliers? And, from here, what sort of numbers do you want to keep track of? These KPIs are vital to tracking suppliers during the project.
Let’s use the theme of wellbeing from the new Social Value Model. As part of a contract, you might track a minimum number of volunteer hours at local healthcare charities. Providing this figure encourages suppliers to better align with your desired outcomes. Great!
But you’ll also want to identify how suppliers will prove and record this social value throughout the contract. For example, on a monthly or quarterly basis, the winning supplier might have to report on certain metrics. This could include the number of staff who’ve volunteered, how many total hours are being logged, and the sites that have been supported.
With this information, you can make sure they’re sticking to their commitments. It’s a simple step to add to the project, and holds suppliers accountable. You don’t want to get to the end of a project and find out nothing’s been done!
Communicate these KPIs ASAP
Saying that, suppliers can only do this if you let them know, so share these KPIS as early as possible. Ideally, before they write their bids.
Sharing these sends a clear message about what suppliers are actually committing to. You let them know exactly how they’ll be held accountable for the figures offered at tender.
By sharing these expectations early, you invite more realistic claims. And encourage a more streamlined project delivery where everyone is on the same page. Whether it’s tackling air pollution, waste management, or equal opportunities. If everyone knows from the get-go what’s expected of them, there’s far less chance of suppliers over-promising and under-delivering.
Streamline data collection
Accurate contract management relies on having all social value data for a specific contract. And no one wants to rifle through an ever-growing spreadsheet of data sets to visualise project progress.
So try to keep the process as simple as possible. Make it easy for suppliers to capture and analyse accurate data on time. To link individual activities to wider themes and outcomes. And store all this data in one database that’s easily accessible to all parties. Keeping it simple is especially important when making contracts more accessible to SMEs and VSCEs.
The easier it is for suppliers to log their activities and visualise their progress, the more likely you’ll get a full picture of how projects are going. And the sooner you can recognise and intervene if something’s wrong.
Evaluating bids and awarding contracts is only the first step of maximising social value. To make sure you’re squeezing the most out of every opportunity, you’ll want to have full oversight during the project. But it can be difficult to know where to begin. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to elevating your approach.
Impact makes the social value side of procurement simple for NHS teams. Working alongside your existing tools, we make comparing bids and ongoing contract management as straightforward as possible for your team and suppliers. To find out more, schedule a demo or get in touch with the team on 0161 532 4752.