Monday, 18 February 2013

Local government needs a marketing campaign to dispel 'lowest price wins' myth

In an instant tell me what Malcolm Walker, Chief Executive of Iceland and the National Pensioners Convention General Secretary agree on? Well, if you are a regular reader of this blog you are likely to recognise the connection is that both believe a culture of  'lowest price wins' dominates local government procurement.

Malcolm Walker has seized the horse meat initiative and successfully differentiated the Iceland brand from a perception of 'cheap' to one of a good value for money, good quality procurer - a remarkable achievement. Meanwhile local government is lambasted and respond by narrowly discussing the horse meat issues.

Let's face it, it is hardly surprising that local government is being perceived as 'we buy lowest', as that is completely in keeping with the message that the coalition government have presented - incompetent buying, massive spending cuts, etc.. Now that has come back to bite the hand of politicians who will radically need to reposition 'their stewardship of the public purse'.

But there is also a fundamental flaw in the perception, namely, that a culture of 'lowest price wins', in my experience, does not prevail in local government. Local government needs to get on the soapbox very quickly, just as Iceland have, and provide clear case study evidence of professional procurement as  not doing so will further reduce morale, confidence in political stewardship and credibility.

You know I just suspect I can see what will follow. We've had the nonsense talked by Sir Philip Green about public procurement commissioned by the government - what are the odds that within the next few weeks we have an inquiry into public sector food procurement led by Malcolm Walker?

1 comment:

  1. I assume that Walker is keen to set hares running to create plenty of diversions. Having recently completed a school meals tender I know that at least in our own case the value on the plate was an important part of our evaluation. I'm also pleased to tell you that the winning supplier had a tender which promised to put the highest value on the plate.