Background about Spectrum
The Spectrum Housing Group, including Spectrum Property Care, Spectrum Premier Homes and Signpost Homes Limited, has an external expenditure in excess of £47m per annum on goods, works and services. It has an estate of 18,000 homes and maintains 45,000 homes.
Before switching to Delta, Spectrum used to procure via paper or email. The process of paper-driven procurement was very arduous, time-consuming and had a very high carbon footprint. Spectrum wanted to use a method that was more confined from an audit point of view, and also promote buyer engagement. The Delta eSourcing portal was procured in May 2014 after winning a rigorous tendering exercise.
What Delta has done for Spectrum
In terms of keeping things centralised, Delta meets Spectrum’s audit requirements and excels at promoting engagement, both internally and externally.
Driving work through Delta as opposed to using paper and post has brought great benefit to Spectrum. Significantly, Delta has eliminated time-consuming opening and closing protocols, because tenders cannot be accessed until submissions are closed. It also allows project groups to essentially look only at documents that are pertinent to them, making processes easier and more efficient, particularly when working with external stakeholders. Without Delta the process could be really challenging – to the point where Spectrum would potentially need to invite stakeholders to attend a special meeting to then examine all the tenders. When working on projects where Spectrum has external stakeholders, Delta helps massively in terms of engagement as the stakeholders are now able to operate remotely. Also, from a Border-OJEU point of view, as a public sector organisation working under procurement regulations Spectrum benefits from the Delta platform as it enables the organisation to meet its requirements in terms of implementing electronic tendering processes.
By using Delta, Spectrum has also eliminated the submission of excess, needless documents in the tendering process. In the past, suppliers had a tendency to submit company literature and catalogues, whereas with Delta the opportunity to upload those documents can be removed. Spectrum says Delta keeps clarifications and audit requirements clean, and from a user perspective it’s far easier than having to print.
Previously, with Spectrum receiving up to 70 expressions of interest in a tender exercise, issuing PQQs to those suppliers could be a tiresome process. Delta offers a single ‘click to all’, and allows each supplier access to the appropriate documents. Spectrum says the resource savings which then can be invested into the business and other projects is significant.
Spectrum puts significant time and resource into supplier engagement, and for the switch to Delta the organisation drafted a special supplier engagement document. The document explained the move to Delta and provided a list of category codes that suppliers can use when they sign up to Delta. The organisation has found this ‘supplier document’ to be very useful for the generic interest emails it receives from bidders, as it can essentially issue the supplier document to direct interested parties to the Delta portal, so they can register their interest, enter the appropriate category codes and be made aware of future tenders.
Spectrum also used the supplier document to inform all its current suppliers to make sure they were aware of the move from email or paper to the Delta system, and to get registered. It informed 5000 suppliers, proactively promoting engagement. Spectrum found that for general enquiries the supplier document has cut down on a lot of administration, and offers a more professional stance to suppliers.
Is Delta easy to use?
For Spectrum, Delta is very easy to use. The organisation is really comfortable with the system, and if there are ever any questions staff at Spectrum have found the Delta helpdesk extremely helpful.
The team at Spectrum consists of a spread of people who have used e-sourcing in other organisations and they are all comfortable using Delta; they say they find it very intuitive. The organisation has also found Delta very easy to use from an evaluation point of view. Spectrum says Delta has played an important part in its constant drive to reduce the burden of administration.