Applying ‘Constructing the Gold Standard’ together – a provider and supplier perspective
With the onus on the whole construction sector to find ways to create and implement frameworks that meet the Gold Standard, knowing where to focus attention first can be daunting.
Five months on from Professor David Mosey’s ‘Constructing the Gold Standard’ report, I meet Claire Bailey-Jones, head of business development from Novus Property Solutions – a supplier with which LHC has a longstanding working relationship – to discuss the key lessons the sector can learn to make tangible, practical differences.
We identified two key principles around which both our organisations align, which can also help the construction sector as a whole move closer to achieving the Gold Standard:
- Establishing and strengthening multi-party relationships to improve value and reduce risk.
- Going beyond pure price-based, paper-based responses, and instead really understanding each other’s business ethos and desired outcomes.
The film we made together also takes an overview of the report – released at the end of 2021 and featuring 24 recommendations to support meeting standards and policies set out within the Construction Playbook. In it, we distil our advice for framework providers, public sector organisations and suppliers into five key areas:
- Keep outcomes and value as central focus
- Ensure buy-in from leadership
- Get visibility of client pipelines and strategic programmes
- Reach out to all key stakeholders
- Harbour a framework alliance
Broadly, we also emphasise the value of collaboration and developing longer relationships as a way of building the right frameworks from the ground up. This can create cost efficiencies as well as:
- Producing better community benefits, such as close working with schools and colleges to provide job opportunities through apprenticeships
- Fostering honesty and openness up and down the supply chain, leading to better service
- Supporting suppliers to get on the right frameworks and lots to offer a faster route to market without compromising on quality
- Making frameworks more suitable to contractor and client needs, while offering better access to SMEs.
In January, LHC head of technical procurement Dean Fazackerley also gave his reflections on the report, explaining why, in many areas, LHC is already meeting requirements set out within ‘Constructing the Gold Standard’.
Specifically, he underlined the following as stand-out areas in our practise: early engagement with the market; using standardised assessment approaches and evaluation processes; identifying local SMEs; focusing on quality over price; and the use of standard forms.
This, taken with our long-established use of the Framework Alliance Contract (FAC-1), on which refresher training is currently underway at LHC, illustrates our commitment to providing a contractual system that supports integration, information sharing and mutual commitment.
While Claire and I home in on important points within Prof. Mosey’s report in our chat, it is with the understanding that fostering collaboration is not a quick fix but a long journey, with many of us at differing stages. And closer to home, at LHC, we also recognise there is more we can do to make sure own strategic objectives align even more closely to this benchmark standard.