Proxima Group with National Highways

Social Value

National Highways is responsible for maintaining and improving Britain’s roads and, by connecting the country and remobilising supply chains, is playing a vital role in the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic. Their procurement process is complex, with requirements extending beyond price, quality, and available contractors.

All National Highways’ funding is public money, from the Department for Transport, 14% of which is spent with the supply chain. Therefore, not only must they demonstrate value for money (in the widest possible sense), but also the delivery of additional social value; above and beyond the associated outcome of a specific project.

Most social value impact is made through the supply chain – a large supplier landscape, with a wide reach means they are the ones on the ground in the communities where projects are being delivered and where influence is most effective. Add to this the Public Procurement Notice (PPN) issued at the start of 2021, stating the requirement for social value to feed into the bidding process and for it to account for at least 10% of the evaluation, procurement becomes a key player in the process.

With it being a new government policy, NH turned to Proxima to develop a consistent approach to social value that could adapt to changing government recommendations and help maximise delivery in existing and future supplier contracts.

Proxima had to ensure that everyone in the supply chain understood what social value meant to NH, how to deliver it, and how to measure it using a new approach. Proxima helped secure approval of the ‘social value’ definition and its proposed framework, which focussed on four key areas of supplier diversity, supporting community projects, net-zero, and employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups.

Furthermore, we supported development of their first social value plan and developed a compliant and consistent approach to procurement. Proxima also designed and rolled-out supply chain metrics and helped buy and configure a bespoke social value Software-as-a-Service tool to empower suppliers to input social value data and create reports.

Ultimately, Proxima have, and continue to deliver, an excellent social value project for NH. Not only does the local community benefit from social value outcomes delivered, but bidders – and NH – remain compliant, so everyone wins.

View the Proxima profile in the MCA Members Directory.