Croydon Council has a guide to help maximise the social value of its procurement activities ©Croydon Council
Croydon Council has a guide to help maximise the social value of its procurement activities ©Croydon Council

How to align your values with your suppliers' values

Ensuring your values match those of your suppliers will help improve outcomes, delegates at the Public Sector Solutions Expo 2019 were told. Here are speakers’ top tips:

1. A guide to magic
“Magic happens for me when our values and principles align with a contractor’s corporate social responsibility,” says Rakhee Dave-Shah, head of commissioning and procurement at Croydon Council. The authority produced a guide to help suppliers understand its social values, covering areas including environmental outcomes.

2. Open frameworks
Avoid restrictive frameworks by giving suppliers a choice on where to deliver social value to enable more opportunities for SMEs. “We encourage suppliers to look at models that are more open and less descriptive in terms of KPIs,” says Aaron Reid, head of sustainable procurement at Balfour Beatty.

3. It’s all one journey
“Sustainable procurement shouldn’t be viewed as additional work, it’s just good procurement,” says Melissa Bell, sustainable procurement manager at product and services supplier YPO. “Ensure procurement teams are part of the journey.” 

4. Maintain dialogue
A supportive dialogue with suppliers will help them contribute more effectively to the company’s social values, says Reid. “Problems arise when companies don’t communicate what social value means to them.”

5. Create excitement
Embedding increased social value in contracts brings opportunities for procurement professionals. It can create a culture of excitement and offers a chance to influence decision-making for a positive impact, says Ben Carpenter, chief executive at Social Value UK. 

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