Social Value has been gaining focus since the Social Value Act 2012 came out in January 2013, requiring public sector contracts to consider including Social Value, asking bidders to offer added value within the community, assisting with the gaps that reduced funding has created.
Making the decision regarding which Social Value offering is more valuable is a subjective matter. How is it possible to understand if a career talk in a school will have more impact than that of an employability workshop? The decision would likely come down to someone believing in one more than the other, but this doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for the community.
With funding cuts and bottom lines to protect, companies want to be as effective and efficient with their investments as possible. Asking people to fill in feedback surveys will assist improvements to an extent, but company directors want to understand what it means in a language they understand – money.
At Seratio we use the Social Earnings Ratio (SER), we often use a combination of big data, social media and sentiment analysis, although only positive sentiment is measured, with company financial value to calculate the total value. The metric uses a citizenship framework and the same algorithm, no matter what size the organisation is, the Social Earnings Ratio metric provides a financial value making results easy to articulate and understand.
SER results show $ for $ how effective a social investment has been, encouraging positive change where required. At Seratio we work with public and private companies through the tender process, analysing offerings made by bidders and providing a financial figure, to enable procurement teams to make an objective decision regarding the Social Value offerings.
Below is a table which displays an example of the Value of Social contributions from a tender process. This table content demonstrates the previous level of understanding of what is required. Public contracts only ask for 20% Social Value, 52% is unusually high and leaves a question as to whether the bidders here understood that they would be monitored throughout the contract should they be successful and win.
At Seratio, we support the procurement teams throughout the tender process, from the Selection Questionnaire (SQ, also known as the PQQ) right through to the assessment of the applications, providing a detailed report which include results like the table above, enabling procurement teams to make an objective decision. If insufficient data is provided we seek further information.
Social Value has been a challenge for bidders to understand, because they have had no way of knowing the true value of their offering, and some not providing required data, even with support.
To resolve this issue, we have built an online portal which enables bidders to enter data to calculate and understand the true Social Value of their offerings. Bidders can enter the details required, for each of their offerings and the portal calculates the financial value for them.
Details required for the calculation include the cost of the project and an approximation of people who will benefit and asks for an estimation of positive feedback. The bidder can experiment with the data they enter so they gain an understanding of the value they will create from the offering and provides them with a benchmark of the desired impact.
Having a target stimulates focus and drive to achieve it, Social Value is often full of promises, but not always fulfilled. This process encourages people to take ownership of their offerings and targets to assist with the successful achievement of them.
The vision for the Bidders Portal is to offer a free service to organisations which encourages them to include Social Value within their contracts, this will enable bidders to understand the true value of their promises and commit to achieving them. The results enable suppliers to offer their teams a KPI to achieve and communities benefit from more Social Value projects.
We have tools that can manage and monitor the process throughout the contract, although this is not a free service.
Another potential KPI is Modern Slavery. We have developed a metric which calculates the risk levels within an organisation www.modernslavery.uk
It is a very quick and easy process, asking for a few details, which must all come from the latest published financial accounts; financial year, total salary, total staff and the results of the staff survey for that financial year.
We provide a RAG result which enables organisations to review their results and proceed with the necessary changes to resolve the issues. It identifies where the Modern Slavery risk is in the supply chain. Protecting the brand and investing in the people and reputation of the organisation. The results are not shared with anyone. Below is an example of a RAG result.
In time there is hope that organisations will make Social Value and Modern Slavery a priority, a KPI, to be able to prove they understand what impact they are making on people’s lives and make improvements where required, to provide the best possible service, treating all their employees fairly, making the greatest positive impact that they can.
We also recognise that people may not feel comfortable whistle blowing, in fear that their anonymity is at risk. We have set up a sight for anyone who feels there are issues within their organisation, an anonymous whistle blowing site www.modernslavery.uk which enables us to pass on the information received to the named organisation, but with peace of mind to the person providing the information, feeling safe using an external independent organisation.
It is important for people to feel they can be honest without judgement or fear of consequences for doing what they feel is right, and for companies to understand if there are issues within their work place, so that they can be resolved.
For more information about Seratio Limited and our services, please visit www.seratio.com