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Ready for Business: GO Awards Scotland finalist profile

Thursday October 18th, 2012

Gov Opps chats to Ready for Business, a finalist at this year’s GO Awards Scotland, which takes place on Tuesday 23rd October at Marriott Hotel, Glasgow…

1)      Why did you decide to put yourselves forward for the GO Awards Scotland this year?

Ready for Business believe that the programme were are delivering “Developing Markets for Third Sector Providers”  is ambitious and innovative in that it seeks to embed social value in the public sector commissioning and procurement cycle and raise awareness of the role that the third sector can play in delivering that value.  As the Go Awards recognise innovation and excellence, we see this as an ideal opportunity to increase awareness of our approach, the benefits that our programme can bring and to promote some of our successes.

We applied last year when Ready for Business was a pilot project (and only reached finalist status) so we wanted to apply again to show evidence of success, progress in our delivery and scope and to recognise that Ready for Business (now an LLP) has developed into a credible, sustainable organisation, with greater visibility – providing a valued service portfolio which meets the needs of both the public sector commissioners/procurement community on the one hand as well as third sector suppliers.

2)      What do you think sets you apart from the other nominees in your category/categories?

The scope, scale and bespoke nature of the support we offer sets us apart from other nominees. We offer a national, comprehensive, flexible, fully funded service which can offer support to commissioners and procurement teams from a range of subject matter experts and organisations who have a significant understanding and reach across the demand and supplier communities. This can be in the form of a series of facilitated workshops, one off technical workshops, tailored one to one consultancy and access to online resources. We design the support to meet the customers need. In addition, our work through RfB facilitates engagement between public sector commissioners and procurement professionals and enterprising third sector suppliers and this helps to break down barriers and creates a greater understanding of cultural and sectoral interests and perspectives.

3)      What would be the biggest benefit to your organisation from winning a GO Award?

We believe that the Go Awards is a high profile forum for demonstrating innovation and recognising achievement in all aspects of public procurement activity. The winning of an award would provide recognition of our achievements to date and help further raise the profile of the programme and most importantly the services we provide and the benefits it can bring to the Scottish procurement community.

4)      What would you say has been your biggest challenge in the past year and how have you overcome it?

Our programme seeks to engage with commissioners and the procurement community across Scotland ( as well as the procurement –ready third sector supplier community – itself a very diverse sector). This is a large and diverse group of individuals, often spread out within large organisations, who face a variety of often conflicting challenges and priorities. Communicating effectively with these individuals and raising awareness of our programme has been a challenge which we have addressed by developing a comprehensive stakeholder map and communicating through a number of different channels and mediums. Partners in the RfB consortium also have a good influence at policy level (Procurement Advisory Group representing third sector supplier interests; sitting on the Procurement Reform Bill sounding Board etc) so this has undoubtedly assisted our understating of the wider policy context of our services and given Ready for Business a greater reach and contact with key influencers on the procurement reform agenda.

5)      What’s next for your organisation?

We believe that the initial phase of the Developing Markets programme has raised awareness of ideas such as social value in procurement, the role of the third sector in delivering that value and some of the tools that procurement teams can use such as the Public Social Partnership model and Community Benefit Clauses. The next challenge for Ready for Business is supporting organisations further and profiling exemplars and case studies so that this approach becomes the routine rather than the exception.

Ready for Business is a finalist at this year’s GO Awards Scotland, which takes place on Tuesday 23rd October at Marriott Hotel, Glasgow.

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