The major challenge for many social enterprises and charities in the current climate is survival when public contracts are being slashed and new programmes are being outsourced to huge PLC providers to control.
Our clients want to avoid job redundancies and cuts to their services and helping them find ingenious ways to achieve this is our top priority.
The sector is fragmented into many small organisations often with similar social missions, values and marketplaces and there is a clear need to facilitate ways to help organisations pull together. Developing consortia is another way to achieve this.
The most common consortia is around a tender or bid: different parties being able to offer different parts of the jigsaw and create a more competitive whole than on their own.
In 2009 we created the first national third sector bidding consortia, 3SC. This was set up to help the third sector be more competitive in the public bidding arena. We wanted to create a contractor that was more transparent and able to hand down more the contract directly for delivery thus better supporting the scale and growth of civiil society. 3SC was immediately successful at winning a Future Jobs Fund contract and now has a membership of over 1000 organisations.
Back Office & Procurement
Other consortia models improve back-office efficiencies. Whereby, a number of similar organisations consolidate administrative functions like IT, HR and finance in a bid to streamline non-frontline overheads. Another way of doing this is via developing procurement consortia to increase procurement strength with key suppliers. Eastside helps clients save costs and time through developing these models.