My much younger (than me) neighbour has been trying to persuade me to invest in cryptocurrency, saying that in a decade or 2 it will become the world’s largest traded currency. He’s tried to explain it to me and I still don’t get it. But one thing I’ve learned in life is that once an innovation gets momentum and takes off, it typically only goes one way.
In 2012, there was no such thing as a Neutral Vendor Model for Professional Services. Prior to that it was a model used primarily to manage a supply chain of recruitment agencies. So, when I created the NEPRO solution at that time to apply the same supply chain logic and model to a that of consultancy providers, the resistance was huge.
“This isn’t compliant” “It’s too good to be true so it can’t be” “My stakeholders won’t buy in” ….. just some of the objections I came across
It took another 3 years to get the momentum, but by 2018 over 300 organisations across central and local government, education, blue-light, NHS and Housing were using the model to buy the services they needed in a quicker, compliant manner which provided immediate access to the largest dynamic supply chain available in the UK.
There are now 3 nationally available Neutral Vendor frameworks AEC, SEWTAPS Lot 11 and NEPRO. And the “neutral vendor option” is typically considered for most procurement activity alongside traditional (and I believe now outdated) frameworks and DPS.
By 2022, it is estimated that £500m of public sector professional services spend will be channelled through a neutral vendor.
For many the model will be corporately mandated to give absolute, real-time control and visibility of all spend.
At Constellia we are now rolling out a version of the Neutral Vendor model to the private sector as our Consultancy MSP, and it’s been like going back in time. Just last week one prospect said “We didn’t know there was a such a thing” – for me there is nothing better than showing a stakeholder a previously unknown solution which solves so many of their headaches.
The Neutral Vendor Model is extending its category reach – there’s now established models for Healthcare and Print. Constellia have partnered with eXceeding to develop a goods and works marketplace via the AEC framework. And the government have written a paper and piloted via BAINES council a model to enable dynamic sustainable local food supply chains.
Service provision has also evolved, recognising that once size does not fit all. That each category requires relevant service experience and expertise behind it. Understanding the need to be an extension of a procurement function. And that enabling technology must be really, really user friendly so that stakeholders have a “far better than before” experience.
Exciting times for all those involved, and it looks like I’ll be investing in Crypto…..
Want to continue the conversation?