Are You Adding Real Value?

Member News

A report just issued by KPMG, ‘A New Vision of Value’, has observed that there is a growing connection between the creation of corporate value (profit & shareholder dividends) and social value (community benefit). The connection is being driven by government strategy, legislation and consumer & voter pressure. Simply focussing on the pound notes on the bottom of the P&L account is no longer enough.

For the past couple of years, the public sector has been legally obliged, under the Social Value Act, to consider local social, environmental and economic value in contracts for services over the EU Threshold of €134,000. However, every single local authority in the West Midlands has elected to apply the act to all goods and services they purchase whatever their value. Every local authority in the region now has a ‘Social Value Champion’ in its commissioning & procurement teams. Some public sector bodies are going further by asking about social value within second tier and sub contract arrangements.

Whilst the Social Value Act doesn’t (yet) apply to private companies, some of the big players are beginning to see the Act as a tool to create added value and support their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) objectives. The UK government is, at this moment, conducting a review of the Act and its application. Possibly seeing it as a vote winner?

Global economic crisis, questionable tax avoidance schemes and the overall competitiveness of the market place are factors encouraging consumers to ask questions they never asked before. Social media is fuelling the fire of consumer pressure.

When lower unemployment figures were recently announced for the Midlands, who did the BBC Midlands News turn to for comment in its 3 main bulletins on the day? The School for Social Entrepreneurs.

Birmingham & Coventry are already shaping up to become the next ‘Social Enterprise’ cities. The Black Country already has a thriving social enterprise zone. Birmingham has a bigger vision – to become the CSR capital of the world! Social Enterprises make great PR because they add that vital human interest angle the media loves.

What’s A Social Enterprise?

Very simply, it is a business. It’s a business that exists to meet a social or environmental need. It’s a business that re-invests its profits back into the community rather than for personal gain or distribution to a smaller shareholder group.

Made In The Midlands has its own Social Enterprise manufacturing bronze member, Colebridge Enterprises. Their MD, Charles Rapson, spent most of his career in manufacturing and automotive industries before turning to social enterprise. He has a second interest, heading up the School for Social Entrepreneurs, hence the appeal to BBC Midlands News.

Colebridge Enterprises provides a light assembly and packing outsource to manufacturing companies. They process close to 2 million parts a year. Every part delivered on time and 99.98% right first time quality (100% in the past 6 months). In doing this, they provide employment and apprenticeships to young or disadvantaged people with 50% of their labour force being people with mild to moderate learning disabilities. Profits are used to guide other local charities and voluntary organisation to deliver better services. They hold ISO 9001 certification.  Colebridge Enterprises has a very simple ethos – “Do good work and be nice”. The rest follows.

Another award winning Made In The Midlands member, Automotive Insulations, who outsource assembly work to Colebridge Enterprises testifies that “The services provided are outstanding. Goods are always of excellent quality and delivered on time as required, the facilities are clean, tidy and organised.”

Colebridge Enterprises can help you:

·  Increase your capacity without you having to make capital investments

·  Free up resources taken up on low value items so you can concentrate on higher value lines

·  Help you meet peak and seasonal demand spikes

·  Claim added social value to help win new business

·  Increase employee and stakeholder value.

If you are interested to know more and get ahead of the game, call Charles Rapson on 07500 081 219 or email [email protected] or visit or