The Children's Society

Who are they?

The Children’s Society was founded in 1881 and continues to be the largest Children’s charity in the UK – making children’s voices heard. They campaign for changes to laws and policies, tackle unfairness and protect vulnerable children from harm.  

When children face crisis we are with them step-by-step, for as long as it takes, making small changes that make a big difference.

The Challenge

Novo-K were approached by The Children’s Society for support and guidance on Travel Management as their organisation’s use of travel had become extensive and inconsistent, meaning opportunities to be more efficient and save money were being lost.  The breadth of the programme required investigation of all the methods of travel, from booking travel and accommodation, to how a travel management company would integrate and manage the services for them.  Significantly, a core requirement was to manage the duty of care for those who were travelling.  


The Children’s Society wanted to engage with a specialist procurement consultancy that understood the unique challenges of the sector and have the experience to tackle the organisation’s exacting requirements. 

The Strategy

The initial discovery phase undertaken by Novo-K was to understand the existing travel arrangements, gather the new requirements and identify the objectives of the stakeholders.

“Understanding our travel requirements was key because of the nature of our business. Novo-K made sure to understand our requirements from the outset – speaking to representatives across the organisation to find out their needs and regular communication ensure understanding and interpretation of those needs. Novo-K patiently worked with us to match our requirements with the potential business partners, and were willing to go back to them with any new requirements or requirements that required adjustments.”  Toyin Onasanya, Project Lead

Novo-K made a point of taking The Children’s Society on the journey by involving them in the process to understand the benefits of using a Travel Management Company and how it would be integrated into their existing procedures, whilst also exploring alternative in-house options.  Transparency is key to trust when designing a new procurement policy so it was crucial to have The Children’s Society able to see the steps taken toward their decision. 

Once an approach was agreed and a decision made to use a travel management company, The Children’s Society used our SMARTtender ‘Sourcing2Supervision’ methodology.  This involved  market analysis and provided The Children’s Society with a choice of companies that met the requirements, including:

  • Expertise and experience working with charities 
  • Matching values and culture to The Children’s Society 
  • User friendly booking systems 
  • Centralised management for processes and costs 
  • Ensure the ‘Duty of Care’  

Novo-K was responsible for the demonstrations of prospective online tools, comparing ease of use, management and comparable costs. Site visits gave the opportunity for The Children’s Society to see first-hand how the companies matched their culture and values, hearing about employment diversity, mental health awareness and team collaboration.  

"The approach was transparent, warm, engaging and tailored to the specific needs of The Children’s Society. Your specialist procurement suggestions from the beginning, through to RFQ, and then supporting with questions/queries at the suppliers’ presentation to enable a decision to be made was great. The regular smart report update, telephone catch ups to keep us in the loop and to check status of project or any developments made the journey a smooth one.  In addition, Novo-K managed the incumbent supplier in a healthy way – giving them the opportunity to be part of the bidding process and possibilities for improvement"  Toyin Onasanya, Project Lead

The Results

Novo-K's solution provided The Children’s Society with all the market research, information and options to make an informed decision on a Travel Management Company that would meet their needs.

Would you work with Novo-K again in the future? “Absolutely, it has been a real pleasure working with Novo-K. They brought their expertise and professionalism to the project. It was an un-bias, healthy and transparent approach throughout the project. With their approach, we won over sceptical stakeholders and now a successful business partnership has been agreed.” Toyin Onasanya


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