by Guest Blogger – Kim Tran

BRS recently worked with a local government client here in South Australia on their recently tendered waste contract.  We worked with them to develop the EOI, RFT documents, processes and commercial evaluation criteria, provide strategic commercial and procurement advice, undertake commercial evaluation and analysis of all tender submissions, facilitate commercial alignment sessions with shortlisted tenderers and undertake internal benchmarking with in-house services for the Council. Our involvement has assisted the Council obtain cost savings in the millions over the term of the contract, changed the way the Council has structured and executed its waste contract and has positively impacted the nature of the waste industry in South Australia.

Some organisations will think that this achievement was relatively easily done simply through the design of commercial evaluation criteria and RFT documents and to some extent these elements play a part in obtaining such great tangible outcomes.   However the reality is that a lot more is required to get these results. The crucial element to our success was not the tangible elements of the work we did but rather, the intangibles – the culture of the project, the client and the relationships within. I firmly believe that this is absolutely crucial to any project’s success – after all culture is responsible for up to 80% of high performance business outcomes (Australian High Performance Workplace Index). We were lucky to be able to work with a fantastic team at the Council and equally excellent service providers involved on the contract.

To explain further, we could not have achieved such great outcomes if we did not do the following:

  • We challenged each other constantly but constructively, motivated by adding value and achieving the right outcomes rather than by personal gain.
  • There was a real trust in each other and in the tender process. The team at the Council and other specialist advisers to the process were open-minded to new and innovative commercial concepts and pricing models in contracts that the South Australian waste industry had not seen before.
  • Everyone working on the project treated each other as equal partners throughout the tender process, as if we were working in the same business together. We did not treat each other as merely client and service provider trying to extract as much out of the other as possible, but rather as partners with a common goal.
  • We collaborated and shared knowledge constantly throughout the process, learning from each other and leveraging each other’s strengths. BRS learnt more about the waste industry and the Councils and other service providers on the contract learned more about commercial concepts that drive value for money outcomes.
  • Everyone on the project was outcome-focussed – whilst planning and enjoying the journey to reach that desired outcome.

I have no doubt that the intangible elements of the project were critical to success. We are very proud of this achievement working with a great team at the Council and other service providers on the contract.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you save money on your contracts and allow you to receive greater value for money from your service providers please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.  We have also provided a paper and a presentation on obtaining greater value for money that you may find useful.