Social Entrepreneurs… Whatever you do, avoid this!

Whatever you do avoid thisA Social Procurement Framework is PARAMOUNT to your socent’s success (and that includes you if you’re a housing association or profit for purpose organisation) – a good one will help you deliver on your purpose and then some, however, a bad one OR not even having one, (which, I’ve got to say is a fairly common hiccup in a lot of the SEs I work with) can be as bad for business as having Donald Trump as your spokesperson.

So, here are the 6 pitfalls you want to avoid if you want your social procurement framework to really work to represent your business best…

Pitfall 1 – You’re not looking at me!

Honestly, you might think I’m crazy for what I’m about to say, but trust me, it happens A LOT.

Creating a policy that was created to comply with the Social Value Act…and it’s never ruddy looked at, never mind used!

Yes, there are more compliance pressures on social entrepreneurs than traditional businesses, and for that reason some take it upon themselves to pay money for a policy, but have actually no intention of using it. It baffles me, and all it takes is a talk with an expert to know how to start implementing it within the business…(did I mention I know my stuff here?)

Pitfall 2 – Why didn’t you check?

The second pitfall to avoid with your social procurement framework is to not monitor it, or check to see if suppliers are actually delivering the social value they agreed (or worse, if they are simply reporting the same social value to different people, so there’s not additionality being delivered).

Seriously guys?

A simple monitoring process whereby you task someone with the responsibility to quality check suppliers on a regular basis is all that needs to change to keep this pitfall at bay.

Pitfall 3 – Who’s actually running this show?

Similar to pitfall #2, another major mistake is not having a co-ordinator or contract manager  to manage the social value during procurement and contract delivery!

Pitfall 4 – What do you even want?

If you’re not entirely sure what you want, it’s easy to take lead from your supplier and run the risk of accepting the easiest thing, even if it doesn’t fit with your social strategy, or the needs of the community you work in.

Before you socially procure, ensure you and your team have agreed on a set of supplier must-haves, so everyone’s aware and can work to the same guidelines.

Yes, it might make the procurement process trickier, but you and your cause will be much better off in the long run.

Pitfall 5 – It’s not a scored part of the tender

Social procurement is all about getting the most good out of your goods, therefore another common pitfall to avoid is giving small or irrelevant parts (as in 15% or less) to suppliers who could write anything to win it.

Just watch out for that one.

Pitfall 6 – Size does matter

Finally, the sixth pitfall is about having the same requirements irrespective of the size of the contract. Bigger contracts should mean more social value, but often the smaller suppliers are the ones that deliver more than suppliers with £multi-million contracts.

So, there we have it, the 6 pitfalls to avoid with your social procurement framework! If you’d like a friendly chat about how to make the most of your SPF, then email heidi@heidilfisher.com and we’ll talk.