Regulatory requirements together with increases in contract volumes and complexity of delivery have resulted in recognition of the importance and benefits of effective contract management, none more so than choosing the right partner.
Tom Waddell, Operations Director at Palladium Associates plc shares his thoughts.
When selecting a partner (or sub-contractor) price is often the overriding factor but there is one golden rule: selection should not be about lowest price, but best overall value. Continually selecting just on price is simply a race to the bottom, corners get cut, staff wages are reduced, quality suffers, in the end the delivery of the contract suffers and can often incur more cost to get it back on track.
The following saying has really stood the test of time – “the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
Here are my tips for getting it right:
Choose a specialist in your sector: if you work in a particular industry, it’s better to use a company that has specialist knowledge of that industry. it’s this knowledge and expertise that you will be paying for
Ask for testimonials from previous clients: satisfied clients are a great barometer of future success in delivery of your own requirements
Provide a clear brief: set out clearly what the requirements of the contract are, who is responsible for certain areas, who will provide equipment etc
Agree costs: make sure you agree terms and conditions at the beginning of the process, and iron out ‘grey areas’
Agree mutual Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): these are a set of benchmarks that both parties agree to measure effectiveness and progress towards stated goals. Examples can include how quickly the supplier should mobilise staff in an emergency
Provide feedback: give your supplier constructive feedback at every stage of the process. Use the KPI’s as a starting point and ensure regular meetings take place to discuss the contract - what is going well, what can be improved (from both sides). Don’t bottle up issues and then expect them all to be resolved at once, communicate regularly
In my experience, contract management tends to work successfully when:-
the arrangements for service delivery are satisfactory to both parties
both parties understand their obligations under the contract
the benefits and value for money are being realised
the supplier and the client are co-operative and responsive to change
Tom Waddell is Operations Director of Palladium Associates. A Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (FIRP), Tom has worked in recruitment and business operations for 30 years. He has significant experience in the supply of staff for sensitive and high-profile situations and has worked with many UK and overseas police forces, government departments and private organisations.
Palladium Associates supports both flexible and long-term needs for high quality security, revenue protection and customer facing staff to safely and effectively manage high profile, crowded public events and situations. The company works with major transport organisations such as ScotRail, Metrolink, Nottingham Trams and Blackpool Transport.
Do you want to have a chat about how we could help support your customer service and security requirements? Why not get in touch.