Central Government has always been renowned for its lack of capability and comprehensive contract and relationship management processes. What we have typically witnessed for many years has been a great deal of effort being put into the procurement tendering process, only for us then to see the procurement team standing down, once the contract was let, with no effective skills transfer in place to manage the contract thereafter. This only to often resulted in the contract being put in the drawer to gather dust until a legal issue arose and then buyers calling in their legal dept to try and sort out the mess. In the mean time supplier’s would milk the Change Control Process for all its worth.
The Cabinet Office reforms have thought to address this issue through improved training, better collaboration, and the tightening up of centralisation, so that government is seen as one buyer for the goods and services that it procures. Over the last few years Apta Consultancy has witnessed significant change, which in turn has resulted in improved capability and collaboration amongst buyers, who now tend to be more transparent on demand information and whom include, key terms for continuous improvement measures and innovation. We have also witnessed a more balanced approach being taken to performance management that appropriately aligns risk, effort, and reward as the key enabler to sustaining the Customer Value Proposition.
So what does this all add up?
Basically, we are starting to see government buyers spend more time on value added activity by improving contract and supplier management capability in order deliver better outcomes for the taxpayer.
So are suppliers taking note and rising to this challenge to deliver more for less?
One would like to think so, but Apta Consultancy still considers that there is still a touch of arrogance out there amongst suppliers who still think that they have Government over a barrel! Yes, we are referring to you SI’s out there, so think again, the pressures are on you and these pressures will not ease up, regardless of the general election outcome. The fact is Central Government is and will still continue to be faced with tightening budget constraints and thus for buyers, savings will not be achieved by new procurements alone. Incumbent Suppliers with existing contracts therefore need to be prepared to come forward with innovate ideas on how government can make efficiencies from their existing contracts and internal processes.
Helping you to exceed expectations throughout the contract term
At Apta we can help you as a supplier to government to create such ideas for your customers and to ensure that that you have the right people in place for managing the key elements of contract management which are becoming increasingly important to the Customers Value Proposition for the buyer.
Apta defines these three key elements as:
Service Delivery: this ensures that the goods and services are being delivered to the required specification and that they are supporting the business and operational objectives required of the contract.
Relationship Management: this keeps the relationship between the two parties open, and constructive and aims to resolve or ease tensions and identify problems at an early stage.
Contract Administration: this is a process that handles formal governance of the contract and changes to the contract documents – often referred to as the Change Control Notice with the Schedules to the main terms and conditions.
If you choose not to manage these areas effectively, you run the risk of your retention rate diminishing as an incumbent supplier for government services and thus any new business opportunities that arise across government will be harder to win.
Protect your reputation and ensure the most successful outcome from every contract you have with government by using Apta Contract Management Services. Speak to our specialists today on 07505 672419 or use our contact form.
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