In response to ever-shrinking budgets and calls for more efficiency in housing associations, the government has developed a new policy to help.
England’s new National Procurement Policy Statement (NPPS) is the latest piece of post-Brexit procurement law.
The document sets out the central government’s “strategic priorities for procurement” and how contracting authorities can help deliver them.
The policy statement applies to all public sector organizations, including housing associations, local authorities, and the NHS.
When choosing suppliers, housing associations need to comply with three areas of NPPS procurement practices.
The following factors may affect tenders, but they may also affect low-value contracts. As a supplier, knowing where you stand is helpful.
More Than Words Marketing is a marketing agency with experience working with clients targeting a comprehensive list of housing association prospects.
In this article, we’ll look at the NPPS priorities, in turn, to ensure your marketing materials address the new procurement standards.
NPPS Priorities: What Suppliers Can Expect
1. Social Value
Under the Social Value Act 2013, public sector commissioning bodies must consider the “economic, environmental, and social wellbeing of their populations in their procurement activities.”
Increasingly, suppliers must prove their social value in order to win contracts with the public sector.
When a local authority commissions a revitalization project for a built-up area, it might ask the companies to state what social benefits they would bring. They could include employing locals, offering apprenticeships, or supporting local businesses.
Every contracting authority will have its own economic and social needs, which they will be looking for you to address in your proposal.
You must research the local area before contacting prospects to identify the challenges that are most important to them and promote the social benefits that are relevant to your list of housing associations in your marketing materials.
Among your ‘economic’ responses might be:
- Job creation in the local community
- Offering training or apprenticeships
- Cooperation with local nonprofits and charities
‘Social’ guarantees might include:
- A better quality of life and health improvements for residents and locals,
- Involving locals in community building and development,
- Contributing to the protection of local traditions and heritage
Among your ‘environmental’ responses are the following:
- Consuming fewer resources during contract fulfillment
- The use of environmentally friendly equipment can help reduce energy consumption
- Adding sustainability to corporate supply chains
2. Commercial and procurement delivery
Those in the public sector are working hard to make public sector procurement more efficient. For this reason, playbooks have been published to outline best practice guidelines individual public sector organizations will follow during procurement.
The Sourcing Playbook’s 11 key policies are outlined below, along with information about their placement in the buying cycle and what content is most useful at each stage.
Stage One – Awareness
Government departments will publish their commercial pipelines, meaning that suppliers can get to know buyers, understand demand, and plan joint bids before a public contract is even published.
Market health and capability assessments
This involves showing that you have researched the market and know what benefits your product or service can offer to your prospects in the long-term.
Project Validation Review (PVR)
This means demonstrating what value your product or service has to the organization you are pitching and what space there is for it in the market.
Delivery Model Assessments (DMA)
Previously referred to as a ‘make or buy decision,’ these assessments offer suppliers pre-contract engagement opportunities.
Should Cost Models
The goal of Should-Cost modeling is to determine what a product or service should cost according to a variety of factors, such as:
- raw material costs,
- cost of manufacture,
- cost of wages,
- overheads, and
- a fair profit margin.
An analysis of what the project should cost can help estimate costs, but it can also be used in the negotiation process by suppliers as evidence of the project’s value.
The awareness stage is when people look for facts, sources, background information, perspectives, and insight.
This is the right time to use direct marketing to connect housing association prospects with a blog, whitepaper, toolkit, or webinar.
Stage Two – Consideration
When public sector organizations outsource service for the first time, they often require a pilot program before committing to a purchase. Suppliers should be aware of this possibility but not afraid of it. A good pilot can solidify your business’s suitability for long-term business relationships within the public sector.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
In introducing KPIs, public sector organizations hope to help suppliers create accurate proposals by increasing transparency and reducing miscommunication.
Early engagement with suppliers can address risks and develop solutions to mitigate them prior to committing to a purchase. Suppliers should be aware of any risks and their proposed solutions prior to this stage.
The consideration stage is when people research whether your product or service is a suitable choice for them.
This is the ideal time to send housing association prospects a comparison guide or case study.
Stage Three – Purchase
Pricing and payment mechanisms
This is about setting the best price based on deliverables, the cost of the work, and the supplier’s performance. It is important to price based on how certain you are that you can meet the project specifications and expectations.
Assessing the economic and financial standing of suppliers
Local authorities will incorporate these assessments into their decision-making, but they do not make up a significant part of decision-making.
Suppliers with little history are able to do well in these assessments by providing in-depth planning and research.
It’s the stage where people decide whether they want to become customers.
It is the perfect time to use direct marketing to offer housing association prospects a live demo, trial product, or free consultation.
Stage Four – Retention
This reduces the impact of project failure or insolvency.
This final stage links to the third part of the NPPS and is the right time to link housing association prospects to testimonials and other evidence of happy customers.
3. Skills and capability for procurement
In terms of skills and capability inclusion in procurement, there are a few key recommendations:
- Organizational goals should guide procurement policies and controls.
- External challenges must be identified, along with implications for the project and the company as a whole.
- Supplier policies, strategies, and controls must align with organizational goals.
- When contracting authorities identify gaps, they should consider how to fill them via private sector SMEs.
Small businesses and private sector start-ups benefit from this new approach because it applies the same tests to all potential suppliers – regardless of size and type.
Marketing to housing associations
There are 1,483 housing associations across 1,594 sites on More Than Words Marketing’s list of housing associations.
It can be challenging to sell to a housing association if you’ve never done it before, but with our database containing detailed information about each contact, businesses are better able to prepare their marketing campaigns and start generating leads.
If you would like more information about our marketing databases or managed marketing services, we can be reached 0330 010 8300 or visit www.morethanwordsuk.co.uk.