It's true, organisational policies and procedures can be hard to work through and digest. A Knowledge Map can turn these into a set of easy to us, graphical questions and answers. The Maps save time for your organisation and ensure good consistent advice for staff (and customers if used externally). It is also a useful tool for organisations considering home working.
First Adapt Director, Ann Martin, talks with Cumbria CVS staff
In partnership with First Adapt, Cumbria CVS currently offer two Knowledge Maps directly. For further information, click HERE
Challenge, compare, consult and compete – the Value for Money (VfM) mantra by which providers must abide in order to stay ahead of the game. But what steps are required to ensure that this is truly embedded in how an organisation operates?
The first step has to be taken at the top and the Board needs to agree the main objectives of a VfM strategy and how these tie in with its overall business plan. This in itself requires a real understanding of how well the organisation is doing and how it compares with others in the sector. Time needs to be spent internally on performance evalution and externally via benchmarking with other providers. This will also give a steer of where improvements need to be made and where new services can be offered.
Developing clear operational plans from the top level strategy is crucial not only to ensure excellent communication at all levels within the organisation but also as a vehicle for staff involvement and performance management. By cascading objectives and actions, the strategy itself will remain dynamic and relevant to what is happening on a day to day basis.
But it is not just about buying goods and services at the price/quality mix. It is also about customer involvement since they are best placed to help shape these services so that they are tailored at the local level. This approach also favours the longer-term interests of the organisation, its customers and stakeholders. Collective procurement, partnering and Shared Services are also increasingly being adopted as routes to more professional procurement strategies.
Another important step is making sure that there is a comprehensive and up to date library of policies, processes and operational documents.
Our Procurement Map has been specially designed with this in mind and allows you to make this information available to all staff across via an organisational intranet.
So, is your organisation operating an efficient and easy- to-use tendering process in an environment which frees up staff to operate effectively?
A central database of standardised processes and template documents guarantees improved operational efficiency. The majority of our customers have chosen to implement the Procurement Map for these very reasons and with the experience we have gained from numerous projects, we can offer a standard template design which substantially reduces the amount of in-house resource required to implement the maps.
Download more information about our Procurement Map.
Terry Gittens, Procurement Policy and Process Manager for Central Bedfordshire Council, recently addressed an Eastern Region Procurement Group to talk about his experiences of developing an interactive Procurement Toolkit.
The main focus of the presentation was to make members aware of the benefits of a Toolkit approach. For Central Bedfordshire, the avantage of working with other councils was that the resulting toolkit used plain English, provided a clear guide to the procurement process, used standard templates and offered links to procurement guidelines and documentation.
Central Bedfordshire say that the Tookit simplifies the overall process, providing:
• Latest guidance, maps the process
• Easy access to the latest Documents
• Easy access tools (Time calculators, Evaluation docs)
• Easy access to frameworks
• Includes contract/supplier management (SRM)
• Makes savings by value add - rather than lengthy process
First Adapt, worked closely with Central Bedfordshire on the development of the Toolkit and have seen interest in the Procurement Knowledge Map increase significantly as a result.
When Midland Heart conducted a thorough review of their procedures and policies for Procurement, they were delighted to find that we had a tried and tested package that would do exactly what they needed. They found it slick and visually very attractive but recognised that beneath the veneer were multiple layers that made the solution particularly rich. They liked the idea that you could drill down to more detail if you needed to, but equally, if you just wanted to click through the process, you could do that as well.
Midland Heart's view of the Procurement Map is that it's a very interactive way of working and because the data is presented in an attractive way, users quickly find a level that suits their ability and knowledge. When Midland Heart was going through merger, it was of huge benefit to be able to adapt the map and pull together all the procurement policies and documents from legacy systems and organisations into one easily accessible place.
They now have a centralised system which is easy to use and gives greater access to documents needed by staff. Consistency of information has also greatly improved communications across the organisation and with staff able to find what they need first time round, efficiency savings have been achieved.
Read the full Midland Heart procurement knowledge map case study
Faced every day, as we are, with the plethora of technologies which deliver us with information ranging from breaking global news events to the trivia of which celebrities are doing what and with whom, it's not difficult to feel swamped before you've even started your working day. Part of the issue is our own growing addiction to technology itself. TV and radio have long been the main accompaniments to a rushed breakfast and the chances are that most will already have logged on to see if there are any more urgent emails to respond to, even tho' they didn't log off until well past midnight. And this all before mobile messages or voice mails have been checked out. With Facebook and YouTube having rapidly become an integral part of daily life, Twitter has now joined the huge phenomenon that is social media. It's a fact: we live in an age of information overload where we are more proficient at generating information than managing it.