Best Practice Group

Do You Want To Make Your Strategic Vendor Partnerships Work?

71% of projects involving strategic vendors in IT, outsourcing, or shared services are delivered at double the budget and timescale. The information in this blog can help to prevent such outcomes.

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  • Improve the performance of your strategic vendor/partner
  • Get into new strategic partnerships faster and at a lower cost, but with higher levels of service outcomes
  • Build trust with your partners to drive innovation and lower costs in service delivery

PFI Finance – 12 Tips to Control and Reduce Your PFI Costs

PFI Cost Control

The day to day pressures of managing a PFI contract tends to lead one to focus on operational issues, yet the importance of devoting considerable time and energy to keeping on top of PFI costs cannot be undervalued. Take a short term approach, and failure to keep sufficient PFI financial controls could result in a more immediate issue, such as there being insufficient cash to pay the unitary charge in

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Insource or Outsource? 3 key steps to decide the best route

insource or outsource

While large single supplier outsourcing relationships were all the rage a few years ago, we are definitely seeing a trend to either multi-sourcing or bringing services back in-house. The perception is that ‘in-house’ seems to be ticking the boxes On paper, the high-level business case often stacks up to recommend bringing services back in-house. After all, the perception is that all of the margin the vendor is making could be

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8 procurement tips to ensure that your project delivers the business case

project delivers the business case

Not every project can be handled in-house. There will be times when the resources, skill-sets and specific expertise of strategic suppliers will be needed and your business case will help you come to that conclusion. Once you have come to the conclusion that outside help is required to deliver your project, then how you go about successfully procuring and contracting for it becomes all-important. How you approach this will go

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5 tips to setting up and delivering successful shared services

shared services

As shared services continue to gain popularity within the public and private sectors, understanding how to effectively set up and deliver them is key to saving the time, money and resources that was intended at the outset. This article will guide you through the five crucial steps that you need to follow if you wish to reap the full benefits that service sharing can provide. From simplifying service delivery to

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Capita’s ‘shock profit warning’ – 4 continuity lessons should your supplier announce major challenges

When reports from The Guardian stating that the “grim state of Capita’s financial position emerged just two weeks after the collapse of the construction firm Carillion”, one had to wonder what classified this as key news. News, maybe, but with the Labour party leveraging it to make Capita’s situation a political platform for change – not surprising given the concerns they have raised on the subject of the outsourcing of public

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6 Ways you could be inadvertently sabotaging your outsourced relationships

Sabotage

When things go wrong in outsourced relationships, the parties will often scratch their heads, blame the other side and then look to escalate or resolve the situation that has brought them to this point. Escalation could mean anything from resorting to damages allowed for in the contract, through to legal action. Resolution may be proactively encouraged through your Intelligent Client Function (ICF) team or through instructing a third-party facilitator, such

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8 SAP implementation due diligence lessons inspired by Npower’s £26m in fines and customer losses

Npower SAP

Npower has faced many challenges over the last few years. At the centre of the most recent of these is the reportedly long-running billing issues the company and its customers have suffered from since IBM installed a new SAP billing system in 2011. It was reported that the resulting misalignment between the system and Npower’s customers led to years of problems, fines, and a flood of people looking for a

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NAO Report on £122m Failed Procurement by Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

procurement failure court

In October 2017 the NAO produced a report on The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) Magnox contract after losses and legal proceedings necessitated an investigation into what went wrong, and why this £6bn contract was being cancelled at a nine-figure cost just a few years into its 14-year life. This article aims to review the key principles that brought the NDA to this point, how your organisation can avoid procurement compliance

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UK Government’s Supplier Code of Conduct; 8 Ways A Supplier Can Evidence Its Compliance

8 elements intelligent supplier

Many public sector projects and service delivery relationships have the potential to be lucrative undertakings for both strategic suppliers and their clients if approached in the right way. However, the popularity of such contracts also has a tendency to attract the ‘yes-man’ from some suppliers. And, while it may be beneficial for the client in the short term to have all its requests agreed to with little critical friend challenge

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New Government Report for Improving PFI Value: 7 steps to get a better PFI deal

pfi nationalisation

Leading government efficiency-focused think tank IfG (Institute for Government) and US project management association PMI (Project Management Institute) recently released a new report titled ‘How to get better private finance deals for infrastructure’. The report took an interesting view of the way government makes its decisions between public and private sector funding on major national projects. And with the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the Carillion situation, funding these major project relationships

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Ambiguous contract terms being used against you? 4 little known facts to stop the unfairness and add clarity

Contract Management

This article aims to offer some useful advice on how to handle the rather delicate negotiations required to provide clarity in what can be regarded as otherwise unclear expectations, roles and responsibilities between you and your supplier. We all know that ambiguity in written contract terms and schedules is something that should be avoided as much as possible. The business impact of such ambiguity often leads to serious misunderstandings –

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8 Core Elements to Assess Whether You Have an ‘Intelligent Supplier’

8 elements intelligent supplier

There are 8 core elements that go to determine whether a supplier has what it takes to be an ‘intelligent supplier’. Our experience of working on over 500 complex service delivery relationships has provided us with a great degree of insight into both sides of the relationship. Much of this work centres around bringing parties closer together by aligning their objectives, establishing where priorities and aspirations meet, and of course,

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Is your ‘Intelligent Supplier’ a Service Area Domain Expert? (Series: 8 of 9)

expert

This is the penultimate paper in our series of articles on the ‘intelligent supplier’. We have aimed to provide you with insights into the traits of these supplier organisations so you can assess whether your strategic partners have what it takes to drive success in complex service delivery. The final article is a summary of all that we’ve discussed over the last few months; it will be a reference article

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Carillion Collapse; 8 Tips to Protect Your Company’s Interests

company-liquidation

The Carillion story is big news right now. The announcement that the UK’s second largest construction firm is going into liquidation is bound to cause a media fuss, but in today’s political climate it has been supersized because this collapse appears to be being leveraged by a Labour Party reasserting its dislike for all public-sector outsourcing. The collapse of this outsourcing organisation has significant ramifications for both public and private

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Labour’s Plans to Nationalise PFI? 5 Steps to drive better value now, while we are all waiting

pfi nationalisation

Since the revelations of the Labour Conference in September, analysts and pundits have been asking some important questions. They include, in this austerity lashed economic climate, where does Labour believe the potentially hundreds of billions will come from to pay for their plans for Britain, and would it benefit the country to go that way? We thought we should pull together some of the research on the subject and what

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Intelligent Supplier – Client Engagement Function (Series: 7 of 9)

Welcome to this, the seventh of nine articles in our in-depth series looking into the make-up, indicators and behaviours of an intelligent supplier – the practically innovative partner for your complex service delivery relationships. On reflection, I recognise that client engagement could have been included earlier in this series. The collaboration between an intelligent client and an intelligent supplier is such a fundamental feature of many of the core elements

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Developing and Re-Shaping the Contract – Intelligent Supplier (Series: 6 of 9)

Contract Management

Driving really strong and collaborative behaviours between you and your supplier for complex services is a great achievement. Your competence in managing external providers to help accelerate the achievement of your business objectives will be seen and measured as driving high value for your organisation. However, if your strategic relationships stutter, stumble or stagnate, then there is a possibility that one or both of you are not acting as ‘intelligent’

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Managing the Innovation Process – Do You Have An Intelligent Supplier? (Series: 5 of 9)

innovation

Welcome to article 5 in our series of 9 on the vitally important, but often overlooked, subject of the ‘intelligent supplier’ – what to look out for, what behaviours to support and what to avoid when it comes to choosing and managing the strategic partners you’ll work with. So far we have covered the way an intelligent supplier would contribute to a client’s Business and Operating Strategy, how they evidence

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Intelligent Supplier – Constructive Critical Friend (Series: 4 of 9)

critical friend

There are few things more important to the prospects for your projects than the need for you to find a strategic partner that reflects your own ‘commitment to the cause’ – an ‘Intelligent Supplier’ and an ‘Intelligent Client’ working in good synchronicity. So important is this collaborative behaviour, that we have dedicated a nine-part series to one half of this relationship, the ‘Intelligent Supplier’. This is the fourth article in

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Intelligent Supplier – Evidencing Commercial Trust (Series: 3 of 9)

trust

Welcome to the third article in our series on the collection of facets and intrinsic value of an Intelligent Supplier – what your supplier could be doing to ensure your relationship has a greater chance of success, and how you can identify whether they have this capability, capacity and foresight. Article #1 in the series focused on ‘Understanding, Supporting (and Challenging) the Client’s Business and Operating Strategy’, Article #2 was

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