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Home > Services > Partner selection & collaboration
When you need to bring suppliers in on a large scale complex change programme, choosing the wrong ones can be very costly – not only in terms of money and effort wasted but also in terms of undermining the ultimate success of the programme. The time to get this right is upfront, so that you root supplier selection in your objectives and make the right choice for your business. To this end, you need to select your suppliers in an informed, rigorous way. We can provide the independent expertise to help you do this.
We add value in a number of ways. First and foremost, because we’re independent, with no alignment to any supplier, we can play a purely impartial expert role in helping you make the right selection.
Our skills in supplier selection and mobilisation are strengthened by our firsthand experience of actually delivering programmes. We know what it takes to ensure the success of a project and therefore what to look for in suppliers. We’ve also worked side by side with a number of key suppliers, leading system integrators and software vendors for example, so our understanding of skills and capabilities in the marketplace often runs deeper than simply meeting them through the selection process.
We take each client situation as a unique set of circumstances. There is no fixed process. We help you look at the whole situation in the round and think carefully about what’s critical so we can understand the special set of circumstances and the key success factors. Working with stakeholders, including internal procurement teams, we’re then able to tailor a selection process.
We start by gaining a broad understanding of what you are trying to achieve – the overall objectives, the benefits, the scope, so that we can build a clear sense of the kind of supplier you need. Organisations often try to bring suppliers in too early before they have clarified this foundation. They risk making the wrong choices and wasting a lot of effort and money further down the line. If we think it would be better for you to delay your supplier selection while some more preparatory work is done, we’ll say so – we’d rather put your long-term interests first.
We can help you create your sourcing strategy – specifying the types of third parties you need, particular skills and experience they must have and how best to go about procuring them. This creates the all-important strategic foundation for supplier selection.
The selection process will often involve a complex group of stakeholders, from the procurement team to end users, from business leaders to technology experts - all with their own views and areas of expertise. We are able to work effectively in these complex stakeholder situations, making sure the right people are involved and that they all work together around shared understanding and objectives.
Once you’ve set your strategy, we can help with the actual supplier selection process – typically taking you from a long list of candidate organisations through to the final selection. We also help with commercial frameworks, negotiating approaches and long-term management frameworks, to ensure the supplier can be incentivised appropriately throughout the programme
To ensure your chosen suppliers get on board and start working as quickly and effectively as possible, we also provide expert help and guidance around supplier mobilisation. This involves ensuring suppliers are clear about the roles they’re stepping into as well as broader ways of working and reporting structures.
Our client engaged us to run a rigorous supplier selection and mobilisation process.
Find out more about best practice approaches to Agile Procurement.
Why does selecting a supplier have to take so long? You want to be sure you are making the right selection in choosing a great supplier. But does that mean you need to take a great deal of time? Not necessarily.
Three critical factors to bear in mind when embarking on a supplier selection exercise
When selecting partners, focus on enabling them to bring to life what they will actually do – whether through their people or their products - rather than on them answering lots of questions on paper. Also make sure the relationship is set up well, particularly to enable collaborative working across parties.
Juliet ArmstrongPartnerContact Juliet Armstrong