Supply chain management software isn’t just about having all your data in one place, managing buying events and implementing structured relationship management – it’s also the key to unlocking business growth.
To compete on larger projects, increasingly clients are looking to work only with accredited contractors. An example of this is HS2, which specifically only accepts Common Assessment Standard accredited contractors.
Jumping through the hoops of tenders and bid processes can be an arduous process if you don’t have solid processes and platforms in place to support your people and the same rules apply to gaining accreditation in the first place to even be in the running for these tenders.
So how does supply chain management software help you achieve accreditation so you can start to supercharge your business growth and compete on a bigger project stage?
Here, we make the case for implementing a platform like SourceDogg to help, using the Common Assessment Standard framework as a basis.
What is the Common Assessment Standard?
This accreditation covers 12 key areas of risk management, to prove to your client you’re a trustworthy and professional business.
- Identity — General information about your company is used to verify that you’re legally able to operate within the UK. This information includes your company’s name, contact details, registration, company size and address.
- Financial — The Assessment will check that you’ve taken the necessary steps to reduce financial risks, so you will need to answer a few questions about your company’s financial information and provide any required supporting documentation.
- Corporate and Professional Standing — The Common Assessment Standard will look into your corporate and professional standing with questions relating to criminal activity, corruption, terrorism and human trafficking.
- Anti-Bribery and Corruption — The Common Assessment Standard will check that you have implemented procedures to prevent persons within or associated with your organisation from receiving bribes or bribing others.
- Modern Slavery — You will need to confirm that your organisation has taken steps to assess and manage modern slavery and human trafficking risks.
- Information Management — Questions about Information Management explore how your company develops, manages and controls design information, if applicable.
- Health and Safety — A huge amount of importance rests on health and safety during the Common Assessment Standard. You will need to demonstrate that your company has taken steps to protect workers, site visitors and the public from harm.
- Environmental — The Common Assessment Standard will include a set of environmental questions that will ask about whether your company has taken the necessary steps to reduce the environmental impact of projects and meet environmental management standards.
- Quality — Quality assurance can prevent problems from arising and reduce the risks involved in projects, so the Common Assessment Standard will require confirmation that your company meets quality management standards.
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) — The Assessment will ask you to confirm that your company promotes equality and diversity in the workplace and that all people are treated fairly.
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) — The Common Assessment Standard considers how your company impacts society, so you will need to answer a few questions about your CSR policy.
- Information Security — You will need to demonstrate that your company is protecting personal data in line with the GDPR.
How can technology help?
Of the 12 factors mentioned above, 1-6 are not directly influenced by the implementation of a software platform like SourceDogg. No single systems change will be a magic bullet and you may need to look at design management and BIM systems to enhance your chances of accreditation!
However, from our extensive experience in the construction market, our clients have addressed their challenges around items 7-12 by developing new data and processes to help them get accredited and then using the same data to help win business. Here’s how they’ve done it:
Health and Safety
As we’ve said above, Health & Safety is an incredibly important part of the accreditation and you need to demonstrate how you’ve protected workers visitors and the public. The expectation is much more than a few paragraphs of intent and best practice.
By using a supply chain platform to manage your supplier health and safety performance, accreditations and certifications you can demonstrate clear due diligence and dedication to the accreditation assessors. Furthermore, by showing you’re using a clear, data-driven supplier relationship management system with objectives and KPIs, you’re committed to continuous improvement over the long term.
As we’ve seen from recent surges in the importance of Social Value Policy and weighting of tender responses ever more geared toward non-commercial and price-based calculations – environmental factors are also part of this accreditation cost-of-entry. By collecting key environmental metrics across your supply chain in a singular software platform, you can be one step ahead of the competition. You can assess your suppliers and make decisions to award current suppliers who meet your (or your client’s targets) or your data may direct you to search for a more environmentally friendly supply chain.
No one enjoys a client audit, but having your quality management data in a supply chain platform greatly reduces the time and anxiety around these investigations. By having quality and performance data from your supply chain in one place, you’re then able to analyse and evaluate it, plan based upon it and then see how your plan achieved quality goals.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)
The Assessment itself asks you to confirm that your company promotes equality and diversity in the workplace and that all people are treated fairly, but you’re more likely to sail through accreditation and then subsequently win more work if you can prove it. Are you practising what you preach? How can you position yourself as the EDI champions and win the hearts and minds of your clients?
Again this all comes down to data collection and analysis to prove, beyond words and empty promises that not only are you a workplace of equality and diversity but you also assess your supply chain EDI credentials too.
Whether it’s collecting data on employees or statements and certifications from your suppliers – supply chain software platforms hold the data you need to achieve this.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
As another string to the Social Value Policy bow, CSR is all about how your company impacts society. The assessors (and your new potential big clients) are looking for something assuredly solid, not fluffy pledges. This approach is therefore always best supplemented with data and made possible by planning processes based on that data.
Whether it’s ethical, economic or philanthropic responsibility, if you use a tech platform to manage the huge diversity of CSR metrics for you and your supply chain, you’ll be able to say how you’re changing society for the better and meeting your responsibilities beyond profitability.
These CSR measures will create a stronger brand image and reputation and increase customer sales and loyalty. There are other benefits to demonstrable CSR practice too, like retaining key talent as your people feel aligned to your values and it may unlock access to funding and therefore help achieve cost savings.
As a basic pre-requisite, you will need to demonstrate that your company is protecting personal data in line with the GDPR. However, those companies that excel through accreditation and then are positioned for success with their client base can demonstrate forward-thinking, robust information management and security processes across all their supply chain data. This is where an enterprise-grade, cloud-platform like SourceDogg comes in!
Growing your business by targeting larger clients and more lucrative tenders is a great sales strategy, but often it relies on elevating your game via certifications and accreditations to even play in that field.
Supply chain management software, when blended with a more data-driven performance culture will help your supply chain teams work more closely with sales to drive this growth. The first step is to collect the right data and bake in these processes and practices to get accredited so that you have access to larger clients and projects in the first instance.
If you’re in business development, we’d love to speak to you to see how SourceDogg can help you win more tenders and bids and make it easier to grow your bottom line.