You have no doubt heard of public-private partnerships but what exactly are they? A public–private partnership is a venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies (commonly referred to as PPP, P3 or P3). These partnership agreements have been largely attributed to public budget and revenue constraints caused by economic downturns. When these events occurs government often looks to the private sector for efficient delivery of services in an effort to ease the aforesaid fiscal challenges.
Private sector companies such as yours, who are capable of delivering efficient, cost effective and superior services to those offered by the public sector typically secure lucrative contacts. The key however is access. Ptolemy Group assists in the delivery of services complementary to the Public Sector initiative. Finding the right public-private partnership consultant is critical to your success. It is critical for any private sector company attempting to do business with a government entity to be mindful of a few basic ground rules. Ignoring these rules when selecting a public-private partnership consultant often proves costly and ineffective.
Rule #1: Access is the ultimate strength of every great PPP consultant
We often hear the quote, “it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.” This phrase is essentially the very best predictor of success when evaluating a new PPP consultant. While many government officials may have heard of your consultant’s firm, how many know your consultant by name. Better yet, when presented with the name - how is the announcement met? Is it with effervescent praise, silence or worst?
Rule #2: Is your consultant local… truly local?
As our article states, “all politics are local.” Truth be told, in the PPP world so are all business ventures. Choosing a consultancy with “national practice” often results in choosing a consultancy with no local power. As we have explored in Rule #1 access is what you are paying for when hiring a consultancy. If your consultant does not have a strong local foundation of experience, respect and access… you are essentially paying him/her to learn the market at your expense. Once you are frustrated by the lack of “traction” on your projects and move on to the a local consultant - their next client reaps the dividends of your investment.
Rule #3: A Pro-Active consultancy is better than a reactive consultancy.
Take a moment and think about the management inside of your firm. Who do you most appreciate, reward or admire. The manager who simply jumps from crisis to crisis putting out fires? Conversely do you appreciate the manager who has foresight, avoids crisis and is quick to offer solutions pro-actively time and time again? Use this measuring stick re-evaluating your relationship with your PPP consultancy. While they may provide you with excellent service when dealing with opportunities that you/your staff have discovered, how much further would your dollars stretch if the consultant was actively identifying opportunities for you? After all they are the PPP experts and should be expected to navigate the halls of power on your behalf ever watchful for an opportunity to strengthen your bottom-line.
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