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J. Procure Performance/ Client Managment System

It is important that a local area justify any new system development, as this can be a substantial undertaking over a number of years. Justification could include a full cost - benefit analysis and perhaps an indication of the additionality that a system will provide over existing processes. At this stage a system specification and system budget should be created along with a tender document (see adjacent link) encompassing the main system components.

Budget Setting

Estimates of the wider costs to procure, develop and implement a Common Client Record System can vary dramatically. Some exploration of systems currently in use (including their respective merits and issues) and the related commercial models should be explored.  Consider that the following areas have a level of useful experience in procuring these types of MIS systems and they are happy to share their experience with other areas:

  • Dundee City Council (CTS, internal development)
  • Capital City Partnership (Caseline, Commercial Provider)
  • Glasgow Works (GTrac, Commercial Provider)
  • Inverclyde Council (INMIS, Commercial Provider)
  • North and South Lanarkshire (Hanlon Client & Enterprise, Commercial Provider)
  • Renfrewshire Workforce Plus (REMIS, Commercial Provider)

There are potential options for local authority areas to take advantage of 'best value' and benefit from clauses on supplier-local authority contracts offering preferential rates for other local areas that get onboard.

Any project budget should consider a level of fund allocation across the following:

  • Specification Development and Tender Process
  • Project Management and Technical Guidance
  • System Development, Testing and Licensing
  • Support, Maintenance and Hosting
  • Ongoing Management, Marketing and User Training

Supplier Selection

There are a variety of providers of Management Information solutions. From an initial tender exercise a series of tender responses should be sought. The number of responses required is dependent upon procurement guidelines and the available time to manage a more expansive selection process. It helps if areas have explored some potential solutions before going to tender.

Supplier Proposals should be reviewed and assessed based on a pre-determined scoring matrix (indicating a mix of key criteria loosely grouped under cost and quality headings). Those suppliers of most interest should be invited for interview and may be asked to provide more detail on their response and a system demonstration if appropriate. A further scoring exercise at interview stage will result in a successful supplier being appointed and a system selected.

A key consideration for a local area is which of the following options to adopt:

  • A commercial product - commercial products will generally be thoroughly tested and more quickly implemented but may not meet 100% of local needs, providers are generally unable to make large scale changes to the system design.
  • A bespoke system - in the truest sense providers will build what the local partners need from the ground up but there is a cost and risk in getting this level of customisation.
  • A modular system - this is a system solution that utilises other development blocks e.g. client forms, reporting tools etc. to reduce risk and implementation time but still delivers a more customised solution than a commercial product.

We were involved in a neighbouring area's procurement process as an observer. Getting involved with at that stage allowed us to assess how their system might meet our needs and the potential savings and scales of economy we could achieve from adopting something similar.
Respondent, Area B