London councils get to grips with supplier management – it’s a Capital Ambition…

Three new documents have just been released that represent the learning from the  "Capital Ambition" Supplier Relationship Development project, the pathfinder project that was set up in 2009 by local councils in London.

They’re well worth reading – not just for local authorities, but for anyone in the public and private sector interested in post-contract management of suppliers (and frankly, that should be pretty much everyone in our profession).

In local government, as with most organizations, 80% of spend is accounted for by 5% of organizations. Getting value and performance out of these suppliers throughout the life of the contract is critical – just doing a good deal when we tender is not enough, particularly as money gets tighter in the public sector. Everyone will nod at that, but how many organisations really take contract or supplier management seriously?

The SRD project encourages public sector organisations to join together, not only to increase negotiation leverage, but work with contractors to take out costs / overheads and drive up quality post contract award. London has been piloting this with Veolia (waste management) and Care UK (social care) – it is now extending it to contractors such as Northgate, Volker and F M Conway.

There are three documents available.

  • The White Paper which is sponsored by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) sets out the intellectual case and is aimed at Chief Executives, Finance Directors and Senior Managers.
  • The SRD Toolkit is a practical process guide complete with templates and shows how to implement SRD.  It includes legal guidance and is aimed at practitioners in the field, primarily senior managers, service area managers and procurement professionals.
  • Finally, the “You and Your Contractor” guide was written a while back to cover all aspects of contract and supplier management (not just SRD) by Andy Davies, now Director of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium, and has been updated and republished. At the risk of embarrassing him, I thought when I read it on first issue that it was one of the very best procurement guidance documents I’d ever seen, and the updated version is even better. It’s intelligent, yet practical, covering the basics and more advanced concepts and makes good use of templates, practical examples and tools.

I’m impressed by this initiative, and by the work done by Ken Cole, Christine Morton, the project manager, Mark Atkinson (LFEPA), the project sponsor, and everyone else involved. We’ll pick out some of the key points from the documents over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime do take a look for yourself. .

Voices (2)

  1. Christine Morton:

    Glad you like it, Peter!

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