Capturing Our Impact: Tracking Social Procurement KPIs

The CCSP met for the 6th Peer Exchange of the year on October 19th, focussed on tracking and measuring social procurement KPIs.

Wherever an organization is on their sustainable procurement journey, it’s never too early to start tracking KPIs and measure the Program’s impacts. KPIs should be tracked across all four pillars of sustainable procurement, but this month’s Peer Exchange dove into discussion on the social pillar. CCSP members heard from two organizations at different stages of their measurement journey: the City of Calgary and the City of Winnipeg.

City of Calgary Questionnaire Digitizes Data Collection

The City of Calgary shared how they have developed and are now implementing the Social Procurement Questionnaire. The Questionnaire is a cornerstone tool of the City’s Social Procurement Program and aims to add value for Calgary citizens, suppliers, and the City by incentivizing conscious buying, reducing cost barriers, and providing better, faster service.

After the initial pilot stages, which involved manual review of Questionnaire responses, the City was able to embed it directly within its online contract management system, SAP Ariba. The Questionnaire is now organized into four categories: Economic, Social, Climate & Environment, and Governance. Through digitization and the use of binary questions, the process has simplified evaluation and freed up time for staff.

Using the data collected via the Questionnaire, The City is able to track KPIs such as:

  • % of contracts awarded to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • % industry participation rate (in the Questionnaire)
  • % of contracts awarded to suppliers with the top score
  • % of contracts awarded to suppliers providing work experience
  • % of contracts awarded to suppliers paying living wages

The Questionnaire can be completed by a supplier upon registration and is attached to all competitive procurements as a scored component. The City is proud to see that 96% of suppliers have completed the Questionnaire with 53% of contracts awarded to suppliers with the top scores.

 

The City of Winnipeg Begins their Measurement Journey

The City of Winnipeg delved into the initial steps that have been taken to identify which KPIs to track, what data collection processes are being used, and shared some preliminary barriers and success factors.

Through its Sustainable Procurement Action Plan and Social Procurement Framework, the City has identified a number of KPIs across multiple pillars. Social and Indigenous procurement KPIs included (but are not limited to):

  • % of total spend with Indigenous, Diverse and Social Enterprises
  • # and $ value of contracts awarded to Indigenous, Diverse and Social Enterprises
  • # and % of projects with Community Benefit Agreements
  • # of Equity Group members who received skills training or apprenticeships

To gather data from suppliers, the City of Winnipeg is using a few channels:

  1. MERX: through the e-bidding platform, suppliers can select if they are owned by an equity-seeking group.
  2. The City’s Social Procurement Supplier Registry: captures additional information from suppliers beyond MERX.
  3. Records clause in solicitation documents: record information and reference documents from suppliers as a result of responses to social-related RFP questions.

The City is also piloting new supplier questionnaires, the first of which is the Social & Indigenous Procurement Questionnaire, which is available for staff to include in RFP’s and will contribute to further data collection.

To date, procurement staff have submitted one progress report to the Executive Policy Committee and will continue to do so each year. While barriers – such as limited budget and resources, manual data tracking, and access to data – are present, the City is looking forward to the future digitization and evolution of its efforts.

 

Key Success Factors for Measuring Social Procurement KPIs

1. It’s a team effort. Get buy-in from senior leadership, client departments and industry stakeholders to create a more seamless and collaborative process.

2. Training and communication is crucial. Ensure staff understand the importance of collecting this data and are trained on how their role contributes to the process.

3. Collaborate with peer organizations. External collaboration is a great way to share success stories and overcome common barriers.

4. Digitization is the future. Lack of time and resources is a common barrier. Invest upfront in electronic systems to digitize the process and ultimately save time and money spent on manual data collection and tracking.

5. Start small instead of not at all. Not all KPI’s need to be reported on right away. Both cities have a list of desired KPIs and are working towards setting up the appropriate processes that will enable data collection on all of them iteratively.

 

 

WRITTEN BY: MEG TURNER, SPECIALIST AT REEVE CONSULTING & AMANDA CHOUINARD, PROGRAM MANAGER AT THE CANADIAN COLLABORATION FOR SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT (CCSP)

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