Part 3: The Future of G-Cloud 8 & beyond…
Part 3 of 6: Giving Buyers & Suppliers the ability to feedback with “Tripadvisor/AirBnB” style ratings? We outline some of the challenges & opportunities of this.
In Parts 1 & 2 we discussed the potential for G-Cloud to change for the better based on User (Buyer & Supplier) needs as detailed below:
- Make it even easier to apply & get on / off the framework;
- Allow prices to fluctuate & live services to be updated & resubmitted as the market changes / improves;
- Give Buyers & suppliers the ability to feedback with “Tripadvisor/AirBnB” style ratings;
- Improve the call off process – allow buyers to compare services & “buy it now;”
- Shut down the onerous MISO process and replace it with something less 90’s (spreadsheet) based;
- Expand the frameworks reach to include more Non Central Government bodies esp Local Government.
In the following we discuss item 3 in more detail outlining some of the challenges and opportunities this will bring:
Give Buyers & suppliers the ability to feedback with “Tripadvisor/AirBnB” style ratings.
Now this one is a real challenge apparently! Both sides have said that they would love to have this. The ability to rate and feedback in an open and transparent way. However it has been firmly parked in the “Too Difficult, Too Dangerous” corner by the CCS & GDS teams under guidance from the Government Legal Department (GLD).
Many people who have heard me speak know that my own passion for SME’s in UK Gov IT started in my contractor days. Without exception every “Troubled” project I was called in to support involved exasperated Public (both central & local) Servants saying to me “Please don’t make me use the incumbent… <insert name of Big Systems Integrator>…” The challenges are well documented elsewhere and it was this excruciatingly poor service that in part lead to G-Clouds formation.
Image Courtesy of GDS on .gov.uk
Still a classic – listen to it here…
The main reticence seems to centre around the feeling that UK PS will end up in court being sued for £billions if they start to feedback on the atrocious service being received or by seeming to favour good performing suppliers. However with the power the internet being ubiquitous & enormously influential in buying decisions’ these days (how many medium/high value goods/services do you buy without checking online first?) this seems to be just fear/FUD based now.
Sites like www.g2crowd.com in the US are growing in influence globally and seem to have overcome the “trolling” or “keyboard warrior” issue by using the power of users’ LinkedIn profiles. Certainly overcoming the “paid for position” that other much larger established research firms seem to have. You wouldn’t wish to lose your professional reputation with a snarky 3am drunken rant (ahem) when you know that it’s aligned to your verified professional public profile.
Can you imagine a Digital marketplace like this? Check out G2Crowd. We use it a lot.
Images courtesy of © G2Crowd
Open data, performance stats and API’s are fast becoming standard fare amongst most suppliers. We know of a number of interested parties developing Performance Management systems that will allow for public two way feedback. In a very recent blog post Mark Halpin of Redcentric proposed that the lack of uptake of Lots 1-3 across the PS was due to fear of taking a risk.
A view supported by one of the most capable procurement peeps we’ve encountered (Robert Macleod):
If this sort of feedback loop was allowable capable and quality of service driven suppliers would certainly triumph. Also you would seriously have to question the capability of a CIO/Head of Service who continued to renew suppliers that were publicly bottom of the pile. Again you only have to look at the G-Cloud sales data to understand who’s winning here. You don’t get that far that quickly by offering poor service.
So, who else thinks that a simple integration & feedback ability should be trialled as part of a Dynamic Purchasing System for G-Cloud 8? What would suit you? What are the actual legal implications?
Be Bold etc as someone once said…
In Part 4 we will go into how to improve the call off process and possibly remove much of the need for MISO at the same time…