Social Value: The Bidders’ Perspective

a new report from the APMP UK Social Value Group

It’s just over a year since we formed the APMP UK Social Value Group. We set out to help members understand social value, improve how we approach social value in bids and have meaningful social value conversations with employers and clients.

From the get-go, a key group aim was to improve social value on the ground, which relies on effective tendering from buyers and suppliers. As we shared our experiences and sought feedback from our clients and colleagues, we began to form opinions and make assumptions about the maturity of social value in both communities. For example:

  • Social value mainly affects those supplying to the public sector.
  • A lack of buyer education and poor engagement leads to social value being poorly represented in tender documents.
  • Proportionate and relevant tender questions are rare.
  • Suppliers are finding social value questions challenging and spending a disproportionate amount of effort developing responses – for some, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, it is becoming a burden.
  • Buyer feedback is patchy and social value commitments are often not reflected in contracts.
  • Tracking individual and collective social value deliverables is time-consuming.
  • Good news stories are hard to find.

A definite negative trend was appearing, and we wanted to help address this by engaging with procurers and social value influencers to improve buyer-supplier interaction. To avoid working purely on hearsay and informal feedback, we decided to take a step back and test the water with a survey.

We designed 35 questions to take a snapshot of opinions covering the lifecycle of the tender process (pre-tender, tender questions, tender responses and post-award), topped and tailed by base data about respondents and general business impact. The survey was open to APMP UK members and non-members.

The results of the survey are now available in the report below - “Social Value: The Bidders’ Perspective.”

APMPUK: Company Registration Number. 11800662
VAT REG. No. 315 5463 13
DUNS number. 224682499

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