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Sutton Case Study

08 October 2021

The London Borough of Sutton

Sutton Council is a borough in the south of the capital, and forms part of Outer London. It covers an area of 43 km2 (17 sq. mi) and is the 80th largest local authority in England by population which in 2019 stood at 204,525. The Borough has an excellent record in education, who’s schools are regularly rated as some of the best in the country.

Visionary thinking

Sutton’s vision is to make Sutton a great place to live, work and raise a family. There are a range of priorities which cover keeping residents safe, healthy and resilient while investing in young people. A key part of this ambition is that children and young people in Sutton will have the right opportunities to be educated and to thrive in their local area.

Driving the local community

The Council arranges Assisted Transport for approximately 700 children and young people through approximately 221 different routes across the borough. The Council has a duty of care to all those children that receive a service. Safety of those transported is paramount. Sutton’s existing framework was due to expire in July 2019 and they were looking to explore other options including a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS).


Young woman in wheelchair reading in a library

Value for money

It was recommended that the adam HTT Transport DPS solution be contracted to run the DPS, which the council procured in March 2019 via a call off from the YPO.

In their use of the solution, Sutton were looking to attract new suppliers and drive competition in procurement. The new DPS provided Sutton with a wider market to deliver the services and service resilience, which meant they were able to drive quality to meet rising demand and ensure the council secured value for money for local taxpayers.

The DPS has also delivered an increase in competition for routes, 14.4 average bids per route compared to 4.5 previously.

32% of routes were awarded to suppliers revising bids downwards.

Another benefit they noticed was an increase in the number of providers able to supply vehicles and support across all categories, including taxis, minibuses, wheelchair accessible vehicles, with or without Passenger Assistant (PA) support.

Achieving Real Results

A report presented to the People Committee in December 2019 showed that Sutton had:

Reduced the average cost per child from £9.9K to £7.7K

Produced savings of over £683K.

An increase in their provider base.

A larger uptake in provider activity from 17 to now 30 providers actively bidding for routes

adam fully supported us with the research, communications, events and the day to day hand holding needed to create an effective supply base within short timescales.

Liam Roberts
Commissioning Manager, Transport

Keeping it local

Sutton were keen to support the local SME Market and they found that 79% of all routes tendered were placed with providers based within Sutton.

With service and quality being of paramount concern to the council. The comprehensive process for providers to be admitted to the DPS are checked against safety and quality standards. They had to ensure commissioned providers deliver a high quality and safe service.

It all adds up

Sutton have found that by using adam they were able to adopt a new approach to pricing. The open information on the supplier position in the route bidding process has increased price competition for routes and has identified the true cost of provision. The DPS was set up across ~3 London Boroughs covering a large area of South West London in a very short time.

The efficiencies that have been made as a result of the new system, also means that they are able to provide more services to more people.

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