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Adding value to government contracts: A look at the bigger picture

Government contracts
3 October 2022

When establishing integrated facility management (IFM) contracts, government procurement departments are very focused on ensuring there’s overall benefit to all stakeholders generally, broadly referred to as ‘Value for Money’. This means adding value to the Australian and State economies, the government department and also the end user of that service – at a hospital, that’s the patient, while at a defence base, it’s the people within that operational force.

So it’s not always about price, although that’s a significant part of it. The focus is also on the effectiveness that will be driven by the procurement of services. In addition to value for money, they want to see a return on investment which can be financial, cultural or societal.

Michelle Dixon, Managing Director, Client Services and Defence Industries, says a technically led facilities management provider such as BGIS has a lot to contribute to add value in large government IFM contracts.

“The government sector wants service providers to be really accountable and sign up to drive initiatives that power outcomes aligned with government objectives as set out in the government tender.”

Driving corporate social responsibilities

This includes sustainability initiatives, such as using sustainable products or implementing sustainability innovations, or driving indigenous engagement by using an indigenous oriented supply chain. It might focus on disability services as part of the delivery of services, recidivism programs, or using local suppliers in regional and remote areas to support those local communities. As well as diversity and inclusion, apprenticeship and trainee programs, and small medium enterprises engagement.

Focus on core deliveries

One of the benefits that a technically led IFM provider offers a government organisation or entity, is the opportunity to focus on their core business.

“By outsourcing IFM to experts such as BGIS, government organisations are freed up to focus on their core deliverables, whether that’s a hospital providing services to their patients, law court delivering justice, correctional centres providing services to inmates or public housing provision to tenants. Rather than worrying about properties or facilities, government organisations can focus on these key deliverables for their communities,” says Michelle.

Delivering best practice

Government procurement looks for industry leaders to manage their facilities with a whole lifecycle view, and that requires technical best practices and innovations to address specific goals.

At BGIS, innovation is one of our values. We run a strong innovation program across all of our accounts. “Most of our clients are working towards Net Zero/Carbon Neutrality, so they are looking to us to co-pilot with them, or in some cases, drive sustainability mapping, planning and outcomes,” says Michelle.

Strong client partnerships

We like to think of ourselves as partnering with our clients to drive these outcomes. We look for two-way engagement, and the backbone of our approach is something we call Strategic Account Management (SAM) planning.

Michelle says this involves a full plan that we work on with every client. “At the beginning of each year, we meet with the client to understand their strategic direction for the next 1-3 years. We then know what they’re looking for. One year it might be sustainability, and we’ll set about providing an action plan.

“Then we track that during the year with monthly and quarterly meetings, and as we go through the year, we report on the ROI that we’re providing through the different initiatives and action plans.”

The SAM plan provides the framework. And then we’ll bring in our teams across BGIS, such as our energy and sustainability arm HFM, or indigenous partners in our network such as Bennelong Energy Services, to drive outcomes tied to the relevant objectives in the SAM plan.

Government procurement will always look at that really big picture, and seek partners to help deliver value for money. What differentiates large government IFM contracts from other sectors is the strong focus on transparency and delivery to a community of customers. Service providers that understand the importance of the client’s customer – the end user – having a good customer experience, are best placed to succeed in partnering with government departments and working together to drive the outcomes they are looking for.

Michelle DixonManaging Director, Client Services and Defence Industries