Choosing a Procurement Strategy
The choice of procurement strategy influences the whole cycle of the construction process and its the relationships - internal and external. The key point of procurement is to ensure that the client secures defined services and outputs from suppliers that will meet fully defined business needs and objectives.
For social housing clients, the two fundamental objectives of a housing procurement strategy are to:
- Deliver the organisation's long term investment strategy
- achieve both value for money and the highest quality services to residents.
The strategy also covers issues such as: customer involvement, risk and value management, performance management, and problem resolution. All these objectives have to be met within the framework of wider local corporate values and national policies.
The Housing Forum research into social housing RMI demonstrations found that:
- 100% of respondents had defined their procurement objectives and priorities
- 95% had done so by setting values and by identifying briefing requirements
- 90% had worked within Best Value policies
Implementing a procurement strategy is the most important business management task of the social housing client and involves addressing and managing the following issues:
- corporate business objectives
- contract strategy
- contract documentation
- contractor and supplier selection
- customer needs and aspirations
Barriers to change can be overcome by:
- developing a test or model approach to partnering on a single project
- transferring the learning from this to subsequent projects, and then to whole development programmes
- appointing a partnering champion to focus on opportunities for learning and change within the organisation.
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council's innovative procurement strategy included an extensive and rigorous tendering process to obtain a suitable housing stock maintenance strategic partner.
London Borough of Hackney
The London Borough of Hackney chose a partnering and best value procurement strategy and abandoned compulsory competitive tendering.
St Helen's Metropolitan Borough Council
St Helen's Metropolitan Borough Council faced constraints on finance and had to work in occupied properties. This led them to pursue a rigorous partnering approach to utilise the skills of a contractor together with in-house expertise before embarking on works in occupied properties.