Digital Buying Community – what we’ve learnt so far and what’s to come

A couple of weeks ago, we held our 5th meet up of the Digital Buying Community for public and third sector buyers of all things digital. This time we changed the location and took the community up north to Manchester.

We had around 60 people in the room, with 80% new to these meetups. It was great to see so many new faces, and to provide a platform for buyers to share their digital journey, including current struggles or concerns, with us at CCS and with each other.

Now, we’re back to work on our next one and I wanted to reflect on a few things we’ve learnt so far to give you some insights into this growing community and share the details of the 6th meet up with you.

The power of a community

The Digital Buying Community meet ups provide an honest place where buyers can be heard and network with each other – feedback shows having direct access to others sharing the same journey is invaluable. We have met so many buyers who want to make a positive change, they want to provide the best possible services for citizens and save money for the nation which is inspiring to see.

We, at CCS, are keen to continuously improve our support to digital buyers, so a community can provide a safe environment where we can interact with you, listen to your needs and provide the best advice when using our agreements. It is also nice to put a face to a name and understand the landscape of your technology/IT strategy!

Empathy is different from sympathy

Empathy enables me to put myself in your particular situation, understand your feelings and be able to provide a solution from my perspective. I do not buy under my framework, but I need to feel like our buyers to be able to empathise and share their journey.

Through the Digital Buying Community, I am given the opportunity to listen and not provide a ‘sugar-coated’ response, but support buyers’ journeys and help achieve the best outcomes possible.

A common problem – a common solution

A community is born where there is a common problem or challenge. When buyers understand that there is a group of others going through the same challenges (governance, approvals, etc.), it is from there that a community can be successful. This community has shown me the importance of finding that common denominator between our buyers and providing solutions for it.

The community is not ours

The community belongs to the buyers. This was set up for you and so it’s important we listen to your feedback: what topics you want to know more about, which speakers you’d like to hear from, the format and the location. So please always take the opportunity to get involved involved with your suggestions for future meet ups.

The next Digital Buying Community meet up

Our 6th Digital Buying Community meet up will take place on 6th August at CCS’ London office at 151 Buckingham Palace Road.

As always, we have taken on board your feedback from previous events about the topics you’d like to discuss and have shaped the agenda around your requests. Our CEO, Simon Tse, will be introducing the event along with a host of speakers throughout the day. We will be discussing a variety of topics including:

  • Agile requirements – a supplier and buyer view
  • Assessment methods – best practices and templates
  • Detailed guidance for a successful pre-tender market engagement
  • Feedback on supplier bids – what should we be doing? Best practices and templates
  • Choosing a route to market – the questions you need to ask yourself
  • Wellbeing and managing internal customers

If you’d like to attend and join the Digital Buying Community, please sign up today.

I look forward to seeing you there.