The nature of the provider community and how it works will impact on your approach and overall procurement strategy.
The social services sector is made up of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), for-profit organisations and individuals.
Provider organisations vary in their size and capability - understanding the provider community will help you decide:
Sometimes the best approach to finding information on the provider community is to talk to providers. You can talk to the provider community at any point in the procurement process provided you:
If you're using an open process, complete your discussions before advertising the opportunity to bid as at that point all contact with providers must be controlled.
You can also:
Find out about:
One approach is to analyse the provider community by looking at each of its key components:
Things to consider when analysing the structure of the provider community:
Understand the ways in which providers compete and work together. This provides essential information about the dynamics of the provider community, including the availability and costs of services now and in the future.
Where providers compete it is typically in relation to: