Sep 15th 2016

Does Social Value Really Matter?

Managing shrinking budgets and delivering more social value seems an impossible challenge for social housing providers but looking for creative ways to combine the two can provide the solution says a leading social enterprise.

Buckingham Interiors, is part of the charity and social enterprise FRC Group, and is also the top ranked furniture supplier on the Procurement for Housing’s furniture framework, so have been OJEU assessed as offering the best price, value and service in the market.

Buckingham Interiors' Neina Cave explained: “We know that social value does matter to our customers but they understandably struggle to give it the priority it deserves as their budgets continue to shrink.

“By looking at their supply chain, they can find that there are ways to get the value for money they need, and contribute to social value as well.”

Buckingham Interiors has over 20 years of experience in providing quality, stylish furniture and furnishings, at the best price – as ourPfH ranking demonstrates - and we also deliver a huge amount of social value through activities like our End Furniture Poverty campaign and our award-winning paid training course for long-term unemployed people.

We are also committed to providing the very best customer service and are now launching the Buckingham Guarantee, something which is unique in our marketplace.

Neina said: “We carried out a recent survey with our customers, asking them what really mattered to them about customer service and we have used this to shape our Buckingham Guarantee.

“They said their top priority in choosing a supplier was the social value they delivered - we can offer this as a given while concentrating on a range of other customer service priorities from a price match to free delivery.”

 The Buckingham Guarantee includes:

• Free Delivery and Installation Guaranteed – we’ll never charge, even for last minute delivery date changes

• Wow Factor Guaranteed – if you are not delighted with the end result, we will change it for free

• Product Quality Guaranteed – 5 Year Guarantee on all Furniture

• Expert Advice Guaranteed – we’re here to help you every step of the way

• Value for Money Guaranteed – we will match any competitor’s offer

Even though the survey respondents, all social housing professionals, chose social value as the most important priority when choosing a supplier, the reality does not always bear this out.

Many tenders limit the consideration they give to social value between 5-10% of the overall score with price accounting for sometimes 70% - and the challenges faced by the sector mean they have no choice but to concentrate on the basics.

Shaun Doran, CEO of Buckingham Interiors, believes the Buckingham Guarantee can help to make a real difference to the housing sector’s supply chain. He said: “Buckingham Interiors has developed the Buckingham Guarantee to offer real tangible benefits to the housing sector.

“We know and understand the needs of the social housing sector and we also have complete faith in our ability to deliver the very best customer service, high quality furniture and furnishings, and interior design. The added benefit of the social value we also deliver means this is a complete package, ticking many vital boxes for the sector.”

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