Social Procurement Success with a Telco Enterprise!
Procurement for social enterprises can be a long and windy road.
It was a journey that Australian Spatial Analytics recently undertook with one of the largest essential service providers in Australia and New Zealand – Ventia Utility Services. With the help of many, we have commenced a partnership recently with Ventia and look forward to a long-term relationship. Here were some of key learnings we will take with us and hopefully can be of benefit to others:
1. Find Champions within the Organisation
Build relationships with individuals within the organisation. It may not be with the procurement team necessarily. We were actually connected with Ventia through an Advisory Board member of ours (Thank you Evan Shellshear!) We established a great alignment with one of their business units that suited our the neurodiverse strengths of our team and an area we wanted to develop their skills in.
2. Understand how you can Build Trust
While you may have found a champion, support is often needed from multiple stakeholders and decision makers. For our engagement with Ventia, we would also needed help from the technical team to upskill. To build trust and move forward, our team, with the support of Ventia’s technical team members spent several weeks learning the basic foundations of design. To the team’s credit and amidst lockdowns which prevented in-person training, the team were committed to the task. While this period of time was unpaid, it was an investment in the relationship and increased the client’s trust to move forward with procurement and signing contracts.
3. Be available to the procurement team and seek support when needed
Offer help and keep in touch with the procurement team. This may be their first time in procuring a social enterprise which can lead to the need for extra clarifications on their end to their leadership and from you. During the procurement cycle with Ventia, we invited our CFO to the call to help explain some of exemptions we have as a DGR Registered Charity and Social Enterprise.
With time, we commenced work with the Queensland Telecommunications business to undertake design work on the NBN project which will later roll out to other states. Specifically, the team is currently working on ‘As Built Designs’ which are the revised set of drawings that a subcontractor submits upon completion of a project factoring in all modifications and changes required during the build. “With this, there is great alignment with our business in data analysis that suits the ASA team’s areas of focus, and we are delighted to have commenced working with them on this project”, said Matthew Swan who is the Senior Project Manager ODM in Queensland for Ventia.
Finding champions within the organisations, building relationships with them and demonstrating the team’s ongoing commitment to improvement has been key to getting this relationship started. We are grateful to Ventia, as a larger corporate enterprise in Australia to be a pioneer for social procurement.
For Australian Spatial Analytics, will look to leverage Ventia’s support and the teams’ skill development to help us open the door to more corporate entities in future.
To read the full article announcing the partnership from Ventia: https://www.ventia.com/news-and-insights/social-enterprise-targeting-young-spatial-analysts