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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8 Intelligent Client Function Team Skills to Maximise Value in Supplier Relationships

2013-08-19 Intelligent Capability - 160 x 216

This will not come as a surprise to many out there, but complex supplier relationships are, well, complex in nature and, therefore, will naturally be difficult to manage. If you have ever been involved in a sizeable client/strategic supplier relationship that starts to veer out of control, you’ll know how difficult it can be for all parties to recover lost commercial trust and confidence. This is why it is so

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Institute for Government: Outsourced IT is more likely to be successful – 5 steps to improving commercial skills

‘It’s not the theory, it’s the execution’ is the essence of an article on outsourced IT that I read the other day in Public Technology. It made a poignant point about the difference between political and actual reality when it comes to public sector outsourcing. Attitudes to Outsourcing By their election, the Conservatives are the current masters of outsourcing. They are oft berated by the opposition for their ‘obsession’ with

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Strategic Outsourcing: 5 Points to Drive Maximum Value when Building Service Requirements for a Long Term Partnership

Although, the current economic uncertainty has made organisations more cautious about entering into new outsourcing relationships, the total value of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and IT Outsourcing deals signed in the UK in the first half of 2019 reached £1.64 billion, according to the Arvato UK Outsourcing Index. From the report, energy and utility firms, followed by manufacturers, have been the most active buyers in the private sector. In the

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Strategic Supplier Responsibilities: Is Your Supplier Relationship Faltering?


You may have experienced the sinking feeling that a strategic supplier relationship is not going the way you had hoped (and indeed planned for). In fact, you may well be experiencing that feeling at present. That being the case, it is of vital importance that you equip yourself with a solid understanding of both your rights and your strategic supplier’s responsibilities (contractual, statutory and implied). Our first recommended step is

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Civil Service Business Case Review for Digital Projects: 6 procurement tips to ensure your project delivers the business case

According to the Government Technology Innovation Strategy policy paper, published in June, the UK is “a world leader in using innovative techniques enabled by technology to deliver outstanding public services”. The Government Digital Service (GDS) was created to support this work. But as technology rapidly evolves, new systems and processes need to be implemented for us to keep up with the rest of the world. One of the primary takeaways

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Ministry of Defence pays Serco £10m in damages; 6 steps to avoid supplier challenges

In June 2018, control over the UK military’s Defence Fire and Rescue Services (DFRS) was awarded to Capita by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), but almost immediately that decision was called into question. Financial health warnings were cited as reason enough to question the tendering process for this £500 million 12-year contract. Fabian Hamilton, Shadow Minister for Defence, is cited as saying in the Commons “We know that Capita has

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5 Tips to Accelerate Digital Transformation and Value via Effective Stakeholder Engagement

We have been engaged with many organisations to find fit for purpose solution partners to help them on their digital transformation journeys. However, we often come up against a key dilemma; some organisations focus almost entirely on the systems they are transforming and not enough on the affected processes and people whom the transformation will impact. Most organisations understand that shiny new tech is nothing without the support, engagement and

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Ministry of Defence Outsourcing Contract Challenges – 4 lessons to avoid your outsourced service coming under fire

Seven years ago, in 2012, the British Army turned to outsourcing giant Capita for help in recruiting more regulars and reserves into its ranks. The Recruiting Partnership Project (RPP) was launched – a ten-year collaboration costing £1.3bn in its term. However, it has not been without its rough patches for either side. Not Achieving (all) Expectations – Outsourcing Contract Challenges Reportedly, each year of the partnership so far, the programme

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5 Things to Look for When Choosing a Strategic Supplier

Your strategic supplier in whatever project you have decided to look for assistance on, is a linchpin to its success, to the value optimisation that is achieved throughout the process, and to the outcomes that are actually achieved. Choose your strategic supplier wisely and you minimise friction and maximise productivity – make a mistake and things could quickly unravel. Because of the importance of this decision we have put together

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NHS Health Screening System Unfit for Purpose: 6 steps to minimising project risk and maximising contract performance

When you watch any of the multitude of medical TV shows, they will always wax lyrical about the need for early detection to minimise the impact of an illness or even to save a patient’s life. But a recent Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report found some very worrying shortcomings in 4 out of the 11 screening programmes operating in England. None of the screenings for bowel, breast or cervical cancer

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Mid-term Contract Renegotiation: 6 steps to drive better value in your strategic partnership

The vast majority of outsourced relationships and complex projects are lengthy entities, often lasting five, ten, twenty years or more. It is likely that what may have suited your strategic partnership in the beginning will have moved on with what’s best for its desired outcomes today. In some cases, it’s the desired outcomes themselves that are likely to have changed and are no longer aligned to the strategic objectives of

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Retailers struggling to get digital IT projects right – how recent case law can better assure success

The Retail Times recently ran a story on the state of IT projects in their sector titled ‘UK retailers spend almost £827,000 on failed digital transformation projects’. This was an average for each project the retailers invested in. Retailers Putting off Digital IT Projects The research came from an interesting report by Fujitsu. According to the research, challenges with IT transformation projects in the retail sector are getting quite bad.

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Scottish Public Pensions Agency Abandons IT Project – 6.3 million reasons for suppliers to undertake pre-contractual due diligence

A number of recent failed IT projects have left a bad taste in the mouths of many in the Scottish political world. None more so than the report Audit Scotland published about the work Capita undertook for the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) between 2015 and 2018. The report seems to come at a time when there appears to be little room for leniency left. The report points out the

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Serco fined £19m by SFO – 5 steps to prevent reputational failures impacting you

According to the Financial Times (FT), on Wednesday 3 July Serco announced “it had reached a deal with the Serious Fraud Office in which it was hit with a £19.2m fine plus costs for three offences of fraud and two of false accounting”. Allegedly, the offences these fines related to were committed between 2010 and 2013. Reputational Failures… No matter how historic a transgression might be, it’s important to consider

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4 New Ways of Working that Improve Strategic Partnership Performance

In our recent blog ‘Roadmap to More Successful Strategic Outsourcing Relationships’, we discussed a top-level view of the steps any organisation should take to improve their chances of project success when working with outsourced partners, then pointed to our white paper on the subject for a great deal more detail. With this overview in mind, to improve partnership performance, it is now important to focus on one very important aspect

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Business Sues Oracle Over Alleged Poor Software Delivery: 6 Steps to Get Your Solution Fit for Purpose

Multibillion-dollar software company Oracle seems to have recently been under the media spotlight for both good and not-so-good reasons. On the one hand, it has just reported better than expected revenues and its highest growth rate since 2011. On the other hand, according to a number of reports, it looks to have spent quite some time dealing with legal matters that have the potential to impact on the company’s brand

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Roadmap to More Successful Strategic Outsourcing Relationships

Benjamin Franklin is famously quoted as saying “… nothing is certain except death and taxes”. I would go so far as to add one more to that list: ‘change’. While resisted by many, feared by others, and exploited by some, change is inevitable. Technological advances, customer preferences, budgetary constraints, and, of course, the on-going ‘Brexit’, force organisations to adapt to the new reality of Britain in 2019. And though traditionally

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How effectively using ‘Social Enterprise’ companies can cut your costs

We have noticed (and continue to encourage) a steady increase in the use of social enterprise companies in the day-to-day service delivery activities of the modern-day organisation/business. Where profits and positioning were once the unchallenged, primary goals, it seems that both ‘good’ businesses and public sector organisations are increasing their interest to encourage social enterprises into their procurement and service delivery process. The money these ‘client’ organisations invest each year

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The 4-Step Procurement Strategy to Minimising Risk and Maximising Value

The Four Step Procurement Strategy to Minimising Risk and Maximising Value

In the wake of many costly failed major projects, reported regularly in the media, it is more important than ever to have a tried and tested, effective, procurement strategy that you can rely on. How does yours stack up? Do you have a simple strategy that leads to procurement success? Do you follow it religiously? A great strategic outsourcing relationship starts with a great procurement strategy The process you use

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Interserve Collapse: 7 lessons learned from Carillion that are relevant for clients of Interserve

Since Interserve’s collapse, many people have likened what happened to this multibillion-pound organisation to the set of events that led up to the demise of Carillion, which itself collapsed just 13 months earlier. We have already written a number of articles on the subject that have looked to show the difference between the two, primarily around how service delivery can be less disrupted. However, this article focuses on what lessons

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