18 Jul How do you make Added and Social Value Shine in a bid?
Over the past few years, the emphasis on Social Value and Added Value in bid writing has massively increased. In particular those within the public sector are looking to see they can demonstrate value for money for public money and how services go above and beyond to benefit the lives of those who will be affected by your service.
The Social Value Act (England and Wales) was passed into legislation in Jan 2013. In Scotland the Procurement Reform Act was passed in 2014, which included Community Benefit Clauses. Both Acts allow for the consideration of contractual clauses which can be used to build a range of economic, social or environmental conditions into the delivery of public contracts. The weighting on the Social Value Questions in bids often have a significant weighting of 5-10%.
There is a huge opportunity for all businesses to work collaboratively, suppliers and buyers working together to innovate and deliver meaningful initiatives for our communities. With the increased importance and also the potential to elevate a company’s profile we are finding that companies are being more innovative during the procurement stage to showcase their business and what they can offer to the buyer and most importantly the community in which they will be working.
A number of Councils have schemes which enable them to monitor Social Value directly against the cost of the contract. Central Bedfordshire Council have a scheme called ‘Pound Plus’ in which you have to demonstrate pound by pound the social value you are offering against the value of the contract. For example, if you provide 5 days’ work experience to a local resident, the value of this could be calculated at £5,000 (taking into consideration time of those involved in delivering the work experience) but has cost the Council or resident nothing, it is purely a cost in time given by the contractor.
Examples of Social Value
- Supporting NEET individuals – Not in Employment, Education or Training – providing those support with workshops, work experience and trade taster days.
- Local Training for Employees, Residents and Trainees
- Volunteer days – Donating time and skills-based resource to help out with local events, charities or organisations to complete tasks, such as garden makeovers, community clear up days or business advice and support to local start-ups and youth enterprises
- Work experience facilitated through local secondary schools and colleges
- Apprenticeships and Traineeships is a very tangible social value contribution
As a business it is great to be taking part in social value projects but they are also often integral to the main contract you are delivering. Whether it is helping refresh a local community garden to providing apprenticeships, you need to be able to explain how this initiative provided value to the client and the community. Gathering feedback is a great way of providing evidence and monitoring the impact these commitments have.
In comparison to Social Value, Added Value is more about the commercial or delivery side of a contract and its about how you as a supplier can add value to a contract without costing the buyer more. This could be by offering more for the same amount, it could be offering an enhanced specification at the same cost. In the long term the likelihood is Added Value also links back to benefiting the community and can overlap with social value.
Examples of Added Value
- Through bulk-buying powers a competitive price for goods can be achieved with savings invested elsewhere in the contract to upgrade the offering
- Higher quality materials than specified can be sourced for the same cost
- Investment in IT- Innovative systems that increase efficiencies, save time, drive productivity that benefit both the buyer and you as a business are a great way of adding value without increasing costs.
- Training – Investing in your company’s training means you provide the buyer with competent and highly skilled workers to complete the jobs without costing them more money and ensuring the job is done right first time.
- Identifying savings – If your company proactively encourages its work force to identify areas of improvement whilst completing their work, you will be proactively managing elements which if left may end up costing the client a lot more to make right at a later date. On recently working with a Heating Company, they were asked by a Client to replace boilers on a street by street basis. It was suggested to the client this may result in boilers only a few years old being replaced when they are not ready to be. An Asset Management approach was taken to identify boilers that were due to be replaced only and the programme of works was adjusted accordingly. This saved the client money by not replacing boilers that still had a few years life left and also reduced the environmental impact as boilers are difficult to recycle and dispose of.
- Shared or Pooled Resources – By efficiently planning works, resources can be shared across sites and work elements to avoid doubling up. We have worked on Construction Projects where the programme has been altered to ensure they make use of resources as efficiently as possible. For example, utilising scaffolding if it is up for something else or sharing a site compound and welfare facilities, rather than doubling up on resource and cost for the client.