In the vast landscape of public sector procurement, it is essential to understand the importance of Social Value. It enables businesses and the public sector to collaborate to provide wider, measurable benefits to communities. Social Value is therefore a pivotal tool that can improve tender success and contribute to the growth of your business!

Questions about social value often arise in tenders and your social value offer can account for up to 10% of the quality criteria score; this can mean the difference between winning or losing a tender!

Are you ready to improve your tenders, to secure more wins and enable your business to be a game-changing influencer within your community? If so, we are embarking on a journey into what Social Value means for businesses that are keen to win public sector contracts.

Over our January and February blogs we are providing insight to help improve your social value strategy. This month we cover:

  • How to Make Sense of Social Value
  • The Importance of Social Value, and
  • The Power of Social Value.

In February, we will explain how buyers decide who offers the best Social Value, how to match your Social Value with buyers’ requirements and where else you can seek additional information on Social Value.

How to make sense of Social Value

The Cabinet Office explains, “Social Value refers to wider financial and non-financial impacts of projects and programmes including the wellbeing of individuals, communities, social capital and the environment.”

Social Enterprise UK explains that Social Value offers, “additional benefit to the community from a commissioning/procurement process over and above the direct purchasing of goods, services and outcomes.”

Taking the above definitions into account, we understand that Social Value requirements in tenders aims to secure a set of commitments from suppliers that benefit the community, the environment and the economy.

The importance of Social Value

Social Value is part of legislation and the associated requirements in commissioning and procurement are a call to action for your business!

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 is “an act to require public authorities to have regard to economic, social and environmental wellbeing in connection with public services contracts and for connected purposes.” In addition, the procurement regulations make it a requirement for buyers to consider value inclusive of a 10% weighting for Social Value! Businesses that maximise their Social Value offers therefore increase their chances of winning tenders.

The onus is on tenderers to demonstrate their dedicated commitment to social, economic and environmental wellbeing to align with buyers tendering for products/services in the public sector.

The power of Social Value

The more your offer aligns with your buyers’ Social Value objectives, the more your tender submission will appeal and the more likely you are to win contracts. 

More than half of UK businesses believe sustainability is as, if not more, important than financial success. It is easy to understand why:

  • Businesses with a purpose beyond money-making are more likely to outperform market rivals.
  • Employees are more likely to be motivated to work for a company with a strong purpose and many would accept a slightly lower wage to work for an environmentally responsible company.
  • Customers are more likely to trust purpose-led companies and are more likely to buy from such companies.

For your success, it is essential that your Social Value offer resonates with the evaluators and that you deliver in a measurable way on your tender offer. When creating your Social Value strategy, consider the Social Value themes:

  • Work – Opportunities for all (employment and training)
  • Economy – Inclusive growth through responsibly prioritising local business, engaging also with the voluntary and community sector
  • Community – Contributing to healthier, safer and more resilient communities
  • Planet – Mitigating climate change to safeguard our world and care for the environment
  • Innovation – Innovation of ideas for social value

Remember too that, whilst we encourage the creation of an overall Social Value Strategy, each Social Value offer must be specific to each tender. Each buyer will have their own requirements and priority themes in mind; these will be stated in each tender pack.

In February we will further explore the topic of Social Value and explain how buyers decide who offers the best Social Value, how to match your Social Value with buyers’ requirements and where else you can seek additional information on Social Value.

If you would like to chat through the social value elements of your current and future tender submissions, please get in touch via email or using our contact form!

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