At Pennington Choices, we are the ‘critical friend’ that provide reasoned advice and recommend achievable and practical solutions to aid the success of contract relationship. We are often instructed by the client/buyer and contractor/supplier to analyse the following:
- Do both parties understand the extent and limitations of the contract?
- Do both parties understand their own responsibilities and accountabilities?
- Is there clarity in respect of the contract arrangements?
- Is there an alignment of how the contractor will deliver and the client’s expected outputs?
- Do the people that administer and deliver the contract exhibit the right behaviours and values?
The answers to these fundamental questions can reveal how successful a contract relationship is or will be. A contract that is simple, has clarity and is supported by agreed and documented procedures/requirements will provide the best foundation for an effective contract relationship.
Effectiveness of Contract Relationship Management
Effective contract management is achieved when there are absolute clarity and alignment of objectives throughout the contract term. It includes:
- Adopting values of collaboration and transparency.
- Separating strategic matters from operational matters.
- The frequency and effectiveness of contract meetings.
- Implementation of processes and procedures.
- Clarity around operational delivery and the extent of delegated authority given to the contractor.
We look carefully at these factors to understand the characteristics of the relationship and respond with the appropriate recommendations.
Improvements in Contract Relationship/Management
Our recommendations for clients to improve their contract relationship/management include:
- Team building and profiling to improve personal and team dynamics.
- Reconsidering organisational structure to improve operational delivery.
- Agree with contract amendments or renegotiate specifications to clarify responsibilities and accountabilities.
- Redefining key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Implementing effective policies, process maps and procedures.
- Data validation to improve data integrity.
Value for Money Derived From The Procurement/Contract
At Pennington Choices, we have undertaken value for money contract reviews to provide our clients with a third party view on whether their contracts are cost-effective. We draw upon our significant experience of working across the social housing sector to provide; benchmarking analysis, advice on the advantages and disadvantages of various contract types or individual contract elements; evaluation of procurement documents to understand if original specifications impede current delivery; and analysis of recovered costs against original price submissions. We consider the outcome of these themes and critically assess the full range of options available and indicative costs associated with each, to enable our clients to make informed decisions about whether the contract affords true value for money.
But perhaps most importantly, we aim to understand the client’s strategic vision, objectives and priorities to ensure compatibility with our recommendations.
Conflict Management / Resolution and Mediation (Independent)
Where conflict has arisen between client/buyer and contractor/supplier, our expert consultants at Pennington Choices act as the independent advisors to achieve a resolution. Our experience in conflict relationship management and meditation enables us to systematically address problems and provide appropriate and practical solutions.
This process includes; facilitated contract meetings, setting clearly-defined objectives, a review of procedures to ‘design out’ potential causes of conflict, contract amendments, monetary compensation or making judgements on payment disputes.
Suzanne Wolfe - CEO, Industrial Dwellings Society
Head of Consultancy
Head of Consultancy
- International Certification of Enterprise Risk Management
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Joint Honours Degree – English, Literature and History
- Managing Successful Programmes (MSP)
- Management of Portfolios (MoP)
- PRINCE2 and DSDM Agile PM Practitioner
Sarah Davies is our Head of Consultancy and has spent nearly two decades working with organisations across the public and not-for-profit sectors. Starting her career with the Audit Commission before moving into strategic leadership roles in Police, Fire and Social Housing; Sarah has substantial experience in Strategic Procurement, Value for Money and leading complex and large-scale business and digital transformational change programmes and operational services.
As Assistant Director of Business Improvement at a housing provider, Sarah introduced and embedded a new Enterprise Risk Management Approach and advised in the EU procurement of a new repairs service, including an emergency procurement. During her time as Head of Strategic Change for Cheshire Constabulary and Cheshire Fire & Rescue, Sarah was the Lead Officer for Digital and Organisation Transformation and Efficiency Programmes; delivering three major collaborations/ mergers with other organisations, including the development and implementation of a back-office shared service for UK Policing (using Oracle ERP technology).