Procurement and tender opportunities

Suppliers and contractors – our expectations

  1. Overview

We have 2,500 staff serving 265,000 residents and 104,900 households.

Our vision and priorities drives the work of the entire council. It describes our overall objectives as a council and the type of place we want Central Bedfordshire to be - a great place to live and work.

We have clear and explicit ambitions for Central Bedfordshire, informed by our residents’ views:

  • enhancing the local community – creating jobs, managing growth, protecting our countryside and enabling businesses to grow.
  • improved educational attainment
  • promote health and well being and protect the vulnerable
  • better infrastructure – improved roads, broadband reach and transport
  • great universal services – bins, leisure and libraries
  • value for money – freezing council tax

It describes our overall objectives as a council and the type of place we want Central Bedfordshire to be - a great place to live and work.

Delivery of our priorities is increasingly reliant on a supply chain of some 3,500 principle suppliers and their supply chain of subcontractors and suppliers.

We spend £180M per year on third party goods and services. The percentage of services provided to the community through our suppliers and contractors was circa 40% of its gross expenditure in 2013/14.

The supply chain, from the local one person SMEs to the national company with their own integrated supply chains, is a critical delivery arm of the council, an important partner.

We look for closer collaboration with suppliers and contractors to the extent that they consider themselves part of the Central Bedfordshire during the life span of their contracts.

We need the supply chain to represent our values to our community, as if it is us delivering services.

This is because it is often our suppliers and contractors who interact with the public in the provision of services on a daily basis e.g. waste collection and roads maintenance.

We want to ensure our suppliers and contractors understand our values. It seeks to ensure that the supply chain delivers services according to our values in the way they work for the community on behalf of and with us. At its heart, it is about improving the customer experience.

Values

We are committed to understanding our whole customer base (needs, aspirations, perceptions, preferences) and creating a customer service ethos, to unlock the potential within Central Bedfordshire, engaging and growing the market for example and creating opportunities.

In making it happen, we are clear that developing and delivering services that offer choice, independence and dignity along with other ongoing priorities are enhanced by maintaining best professional practice in our workforce for example.

Our supply chain, delivering services that reflect our values, will form an integral part of our 5-year journey, driven by the next phase of our ambition for Central Bedfordshire.

In sharing our values, we are clear that we will always seek out for selection and award, those suppliers and contractors whose values are aligned to those ours. This will be a key enabler for delivery of our priorities and objectives.

  1. Measuring success

Our values are:

  • respect and empowerment
  • stewardship and efficiency
  • results focused
  • collaboration

Selection processes will seek a demonstration of understanding of values that align to ours.

To ensure that our suppliers are meeting and maintaining the values, we will carry out periodic survey results, which will be carefully analysed and considered for feedback for improvement actions at progress reviews.

We may also use random checks, using a ‘mystery shopper’ process.

Suppliers may also use surveys to check and ensure their delivery meets customer satisfaction.

Respect and empowerment

Each supplier individual is a representative of Central Bedfordshire Council and as such, an interaction with a member of our community should clearly demonstrate the values. This includes ensuring service delivery is culturally sensitive to both the needs of the workforce and the customers receiving the service.

Stewardship and efficiency

We expect suppliers to be innovative in the way they work to improve efficiencies and offer them to the community.

The premise of not being wasteful is important to us, and as suppliers are often managing our resources, they should be thought of as if they are their own.

Results focused

Providing value for money will always be important. We select suppliers based on their ability to deliver value for money and this principle applies throughout delivery to contract close out.

We expect clear and appropriate contract management methodologies, applied by us in our contracts with prime suppliers has relevance and is expected to be applied throughout the entire supply chain.

Suppliers and contractors therefore have a responsibility to effectively manage their suppliers and we will take an interest in how they will do this.

We expect an attitude of improvement will pervade in support of our 5-year journey. Suppliers will be able to demonstrate innovative service and value for money improvements year on year.

Collaboration

We work collaboratively with colleagues, the community and suppliers. We expect contractors to adopt ways of working which support this ethos.

Effort will be placed on the alignment of our priorities and objectives such that there is a cohesive single team of council officers with suppliers acting as one with shared objectives – an integrated team.

Collaboration extends from a focus on ways of working with shared objectives and appropriate communication being maintained such that there are “no surprises”, to payment on time throughout the supply chain, an example of a principle, now enshrined in legislation, which is important to us and will be monitored.

  1. Standards by which we work / do business

We encourage local and regional businesses to tender for public sector contracts in Central Bedfordshire.

Our business standards are clear, straightforward and consistently applied.

Central Bedfordshire is a good place to do business and we expect to ‘walk the talk’ applying our values in the way we interact with suppliers, treating suppliers fairly and ensuring prompt payment for example.

If we fall short of expectations, we expect suppliers to tell us so we have an opportunity for improvement.

In summary we are:

  • fair
  • non-discriminatory
  • professional
  • a long established organisation
  • prompt to pay

If any company is interested in pursuing business opportunities with us, they should respond as requested to an advertisement or contact the officer responsible for that area of business.

We have a dedicated website which enables suppliers to register the details of their business.

For guidance please see In-Tend Supplier Guide - Central Beds (PDF 827.2KB) which gives an overall guide to the system and covers registration, tenders, correspondence and clarification.

If you wish to take part in a current tender exercise, you will need to follow the instructions set out in the tender advertisement.

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