The new Social Supplier Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) allows buyers to source goods and services from suppliers who can deliver a quality service and a positive impact, such as social enterprises, charities, and sheltered workshops.
Compliant with UK legislation, the platform launched on 4 May and allows buyers from both public and private sectors to source supply partners for smaller and lower value goods and services.
Buyers interested in procuring via this DPS must fill in an invitation to tender, which will be sent electronically to all suppliers on the DPS within the specific category they have a requirement for, allowing them to submit their costs, availability, timescale, and any other conditions set out in the invitation.
A suitable supplier can then be chosen to provide the goods.
£2m spend per annum
Sam Scharf, director of Communities and Sustainability at Orbit, commented: “As an organisation, we have a strong social purpose and are committed to working with social enterprises to empower local economies, support society, and create employment opportunities.
“We are now spending close to £2m per annum and are actively looking to increase the percentage of spend with social enterprises.
“This new platform will allow us to do just this, but we also wanted to open up the opportunity for others to do the same.
“Buyers who use the platform will be able to easily access social suppliers and charities, who can support them in meeting their Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance commitments while increasing the social value in their supply chain.”
Beth Pilgrim, CEO and co-founder at social procurement provider Supply Change, added: “Supply Change is delighted to be partnering with Orbit to launch this DPS.
“Supply Change’s mission is to increase the number of social enterprises in public and private sector supply chains by connecting buyers to suppliers who can deliver excellent work and social or environmental value.
“This DPS removes many of the barriers faced by social enterprises when accessing public sector procurement, by giving them the opportunity to bid for suitable contracts with buyers who want to deliver impact to local communities.
“We’ve already had great early engagement in the DPS, which is an encouraging indicator of the potential impact the platform will have.
“Greater spending with social enterprises means more money reinvested back into local economies, job creation, and many more benefits for communities.
“In the long term, we hope that the DPS will contribute to making social procurement the norm across the public and private sectors.”
Social housing provider Orbit aims to create thriving communities within a growing portfolio of over 45,000 affordable and social rent homes largely throughout the Midlands and the east and south of England.
Orbit manages a portfolio of sustainable homes to over 100,000 customers in differing stages of life, from first-timers to enhanced supported living.
Part of the Orbit Group, Orbit Homes is one of the largest builders of affordable homes, delivering c.1,700 new-build homes per annum, 65% of which are much needed affordable homes, with plans to build 6,500 new homes by 2025.
Founded in 2018, Supply Change is a female-led social enterprise that connects pre-vetted B2B social enterprises to organisations looking for goods and services.
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