BLOG: Spotlight on P4P’s Consultancy Services

In October’s P4P Blog, Neil Young, P4P Coordinator discusses the range of consultancy services which P4P offers alongside its core funded support. These aim to increase social enterprises’ long-term sustainability, identifying new sources of income and/or opportunities to collaborate.

Introduction

Partnership for Procurement (P4P) was established in 2017 to support social enterprises and the wider third sector to collaborate to tender for contracts, or with collaboration more generally.

Core services offered by P4P, funded by the Scottish Government, include a number of different interventions, including:

  • A bespoke collaboration project plan
  • A ‘healthcheck’ assessment and evaluation report of your collaboration
  • Facilitating partnership strategy development session(s) to define your vision, mission, aims and objectives
  • Support to compile or review a Memorandum of Understanding or Partnership Agreement
  • Advice on consortia/partnership models
  • Support to plan and draft joint bids for tenders.

We offer an initial consultation at no charge where we will take the time to listen to, fully assess your organisation’s needs, communication/engagement preferences as well as your growth ambitions.

Based on this initial conversation we will then make a recommendation of which consultancy service(s) we can offer you, an estimation of how much this would cost (if applicable) as well as signpost you to any other relevant support service which may be of assistance to help you achieve your goals.

For a summary of the consultancy services we offer, see below. If you’d like to know more you can get in touch with a member of the P4P team here, or by emailing info@p4p.org.uk.

A selection of some of P4P’s consultancy services

Consultancy Services for the Third Sector

P4P Tender Writing Service

Do you lack experience or capacity to write a winning tender response? The P4P staff team is made up of highly experienced tender writing and business development professionals who will plan and draft an effective, well-written tender response on your behalf.

Over 85% of our clients have won their contracts.

P4P Procurement Healthcheck

To meet your specific needs, P4P can provide a bespoke Procurement Healthcheck service, identifying your strengths, areas for improvement and providing you with all the resources you require to become ‘tender ready’ and improve on your procurement practice.

Our initial assessment will then inform a Tailored Procurement Action Plan.

Your action plan will contain ranked actions highlighting quick wins, organisational strengths and practical steps that can be taken to help your organisation progress on your procurement journey, becoming more experienced and ultimately more successful.

Social Enterprise Market Scanner

If you’re hoping to grow your organisation and identify new business opportunities, P4P will do the hard work for you.

We will provide you with a tailored report setting out potential procurement opportunities based on your industry sector, size, and stated ambitions either as a prime contractor, subcontractor, or part of a consortium.

Workshops and Training

We deliver a range of workshops and training sessions on collaboration and procurement.

All workshops and training sessions can be delivered digitally by Zoom or other means including Microsoft Teams.

Feedback from our recent training session has included:

“Really enjoyed learning about the procurement process”.

Attendee

‘‘Excellent workshop, easy to follow and understand.’’

Attendee

“P4P were approached to deliver two training workshops on Collaborative and Effective Partnerships as part of our Development Support Programme.  Impact Funding Partners worked closely with colleagues at P4P and found the process of engagement from design to delivery highly professional.  Regular liaison during the whole process, high quality of presentation materials delivered by experienced and friendly staff.   Workshops received excellent feedback from participants.   We are considering again for this year…’

Monica Sharma, Impact Funding Partners

See below for a summary of the bespoke training sessions we offer.

Quick Quotes Quick Wins

This is a fully interactive session which involves an introduction to procurement as well as supporting attendees to register on Public Contracts Scotland, complete their Supplier Finder Profiles and set up alerts during the session.

This session is aimed at organisations who are considering tendering or those organisations that are actively looking at lower value contract opportunities worth up to £50,000.

Collaboration Skills

This workshop is aimed at helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of organisations through exploring opportunities for future partnership and consortia working.

During the workshop attendees will have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of partnership working – including: the drivers; benefits and barriers to working together, what makes a successful collaboration and further support available.

Cascade Workshop

Are you a membership or support organisation which needs to raise awareness and upskill your staff on procurement and/or collaboration? P4P can deliver a tried and tested procurement and collaboration workshop focusing on cascade learning.

The session involves a mixture of presentations and group exercises which will support your staff to better understand public sector contracts and developing partnerships or consortia, as well as finding out about the range of existing third sector supports currently available.

Tender Ready Accelerator Programme

P4P has developed a Tender Ready Accelerator Programme aimed at increasing the knowledge, understanding and capabilities of participating social enterprises or third sector organisations in procurement and tendering over a shorter time frame.

The Accelerator Programme typically takes place over a 4-week period and works with a small cohort of organisations with little or no knowledge of procurement.

Consultancy Services for the Private Sector

Supported Business/Social Enterprise Matching Service

Are you a private sector organisation looking to engage or contract with social enterprises or supported business and not sure where to start?

There are many reasons you may choose to buy from social enterprises or supported businesses, including helping to achieve social impact, reducing your environmental footprint, access innovation and local knowledge, or improving your public tender scores. You may also have Community Benefit Clauses to deliver which include engaging with or contracting with social enterprises.

The P4P Social Enterprise Matching Service will help you actively engage with social enterprise suppliers through our unrivalled access to social enterprise networks across Scotland.

P4P has successfully worked with large construction companies, including Morrison Construction, to identify and onboard social enterprise suppliers into their supply chain. P4P has an unrivalled reach into Social Enterprise Networks across Scotland.

Our robust procedure to simplify this process is as follows:

  1. Taking time to fully understand your purchasing requirements and processes
  2. Project plan and agreements sign off
  3. Social enterprises invited to express an interest
  4. Expressions of inrerest evaluated
  5. Selected social enterprises supproted through supplier onboarding process
  6. Promotion of the good news story through agreed media channels
  7. Report on social impact completed.

About P4P

It is recognised by the Scottish Government, in its current 10-year Social Enterprise Strategy, that social enterprise can ‘ultimately achieve much more by working together than alone’. As a result, the Scottish Government backed the introduction, in its 2017-2020 Social Enterprise Strategy Action Plan, of P4P to ‘enable more social enterprises to tender together and collectively take on contracts of a greater scale’.

Since 2017, P4P has achieved significant impact, helping to establish 24 new consortia, delivering or participating in 73 events with over 1500 attendees, and generating over £8 million in additional income for the sector.