Procurement Newsletter Autumn 2010Content• Introduction• Case studies• Announcements• Training• Top tips and quick wins• Contacts
IntroductionWelcome to the Autumn edition of the AoC Procurement Newsletter whichprovides you with an insight into the excellent procurement work that’s takingplace in our Colleges across England and Wales.Following the Spending Review announcements in October it’s now evenclearer that we have to make our money go further and get more for less acrossthe further education sector. We believe that one way to combat these issues isto procure more effectively across your Colleges and get best value wheneverpossible.This newsletter is designed to direct you to good practice case studies andexamples of how you can save money to use on frontline service delivery. Wehope you’re able to use some of the information we have provided to makea real difference in your College. If you would like to discuss procurement inmore detail please don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org orcontact our new helpdesk number on 0808 178 1669.
We can help your Collegesave money The AoC Procurement Development Team offers Buying Solutions the team can suggest suppli-many services to Colleges, including helping ers who can offer savings to your College.you to achieve savings and efficiencies through Savings realised by Colleges from adoptingbetter procurement and process improvement. recommendations following benchmarkingHere are some of the ways our team can help amount to over £900,000. The average savingsyou save: identified from the benchmarking programme are over 19%.• Support to maximise the effectiveness of the College procurement function • Assistance with tenders Assisting with audit and review of current We will advise your College when carrying out activity and preparation of procurement policy, complex tenders to help reduce the strategy and action plans, plus spend analysis likelihood of legal challenges and obtain value reports. Thirty Colleges who have implement- for money. ed report recommendations have saved £2.5 million between them. • Collaboration The team encourage and support regional pro-• Free training programme curement collaborations in order to realise the Training designed to equip College staff with benefits of economies of scale and process cost the skills and knowledge to deliver efficient reduction. and compliant procurement. A wide range of topics are on offer including contract law and • Where to find information EU regulations. Visit www.felp.ac.uk; for detailed guidance and advice on procurement or go to www.aoc.• Signposting value for money deals co.uk. By working with, and benchmarking consortia such as Crescent Purchasing Consortium and Here’s what people are saying about us:“The AoC Procurement Development Team has laid down the foundations for effective procurement across thesector. They provide support and guidance which has helped those directly involved in procurement to shareknowledge and resources. This has allowed the sector to develop and establish a robust and skilled procurementcapacity, which has delivered real savings and efficiencies, and by doing so is now a valued and recognised functionof the College”. Angie Pilgrim, West Nottinghamshire College, Procurement Manager.“Blackpool and The Fylde College has worked extensively with the AoC Procurement Development Team on variousinitiatives which include leading collaborative procurements, developing best practice and increasing efficiencies.They are a valuable sector resource that help maximise best value from our procurement activities”.Pat Condon, Procurement and Legal Services Manager, Blackpool and The Fylde College.
Case studiesManchester College turns up the heat on exam boards Over the last few months the Aoc ProcurementDevelopment Team has teamed up with DrTim Strickland from FE Sussex in delivering anumber of workshops aimed at helping Collegesmake savings with exam boards. It’s clear tosee that Colleges up and down the country arestarting to take this issue seriously and developtheir own strategy for approaching exam boardsabout potential savings. We recently caught up with Andrew Harrison,Vice Principal at Manchester College, who’sCollege has been busy preparing itself forsuch an approach, he explains, “We analysedour exam expenditure from the start of thecalendar year and realised that we had spentapproximately £3m with our five largestexamining bodies...for full article visit ourwebsiteReduce your printer costs and help the environment A good energy management policy in your College can really help reduce costs and your impact on the environment. Thinking about your College’s approach to energy can easily be bypassed but some Colleges are starting to develop strategic approaches to energy and understanding the benefits this can bring. West Nottinghamshire College has been looking at energy use across its campuses to try and reduce wastage, including turning off monitors left on over night. A simple start but it’s got the ball rolling. They have now launched sustainability and environmental pages on the College intranet which help to inform colleagues and students of the latest initiatives, plus an online energy survey has given people the chance to give their views and opinions...for full article visit our website.
Case studiesOver voltage creates cost and carbon challenge Most Colleges in the UK are paying too much for their energy bills because of over voltage on the electricity grid. There’s a solution available to combat this problem called Voltage Power Optimisation (VPO) technology, which simultaneously helps to reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint. So far, over 30 different further education institutions have installed VPO technology, saving an average of just under ten per cent on their annual electricity bills. Following installation of this technology you usually see a return on investment from between one to five years... for full article visit our websiteGloucestershire Colleges ‘waste’ no time in collaborating The Federation of Gloucestershire Colleges hasbeen busy working on a highly successful wastecollaboration project which has produced animpressive annual saving of over £75,000. Wecaught up with Karen Hulatt, Finance OfficeManager at Gloucestershire College, whoheaded up the collaboration.“Our group has been looking at doing a tenderfor waste disposal services due to variousreasons, including imminent contract renewaldates and dissatisfaction with current suppliers.It made sense to approach this from a regionalperspective as there currently isn’t a frameworkavailable on any consortia.” During the initialstages of the collaboration it became clear thatthe different requirements for each Collegewould make it more complex than first thought,so it was important to be clear about what wasneeded from the outset, Karen explains...for fullarticle visit our website.
AnnouncementsShared Services The AoC Procurement Development Team has • provide solutions to the problems andbeen raising awareness of shared services across barriers that collaborating groups oftenthe further education sector, and highlighting encounter the benefits that these can bring. The projects are set to begin now and will beThe Government is keen to see the benefits of developed over the coming months. There areshared services realised within Colleges and Colleges from across England involved and the has allocated funding to support this objective. Twenty one groups involving 102 Colleges are projects focus on a wide variety of activities. Theto receive a share of a £2 million Efficiency and common theme from the bids is the recognitionInnovation Fund. This fund was established to that collaboration and sharing can make asupport Colleges to test shared service models significant impact on College efficiency in theseand collaborative working, with the main aims uncertain economic conditions.being to: The AoC will assist the project groups and• identify ways of improving service delivery those who wish to follow their example, by of both back office and frontline services capturing lessons learned and assisting with the dissemination of the good practice that is• determine where efficiency savings can be developed. made The Pocket Guide to Shared ServicesWe have recently published ‘The Pocket Guide to building, rationalising your internal processes, Shared Services’ which includes ten tips on how understanding what to share, training your staffto successfully initiate innovative shared service and being innovative.solutions in your College, with the ultimate goalof saving money for your College to reinvest on If you’d like a copy of the guide emailfrontline services. email@example.com, or for more information visit our shared services webpage.The ten tips provide information about thedifferent stages involved including, partnershipLittle Book of Big Savings We recently published ‘The Little Book of Big If you’ve not received a copy please emailSavings’ which provides ten top tips (plus two firstname.lastname@example.org and we will sendbonus tips) to help your College make savings. one out.The top tips cover a range of subjects includingreducing telephony charges, MFD and printercosts, food deals, energy savings and muchmore.
AnnouncementsAoC Annual Conference and Exhibition – 16 - 18 November 2010 Our team will have a stand over all three days, practitioner know-how. Delegates will be able toso please take the opportunity to come and fast-track their knowledge on how best toask us questions relating to exam fees, shared successfully initiate shared service solutionsservices, spend analysis, collaboration, tenders between Colleges and other partneror any other procurement related questions that organisations. The session will include a selfyou may need answering. diagnostic tool specifically designed to help build your College’s in-house capacity to shareWe’re also running a workshop called Delivering services.efficiency savings and service improvementsthrough innovative shared service solutions For specific event information please visit www.which draws from extensive research and aocannualconference.co.uk.Buy together and save money If you’re looking to make greater savings, why is able to offer expertise, experience andnot pool your purchasing power by using practical help to deliver greater savings for yourBuying Solutions’ Aggregation Portal? organisation.Aggregation is a key enabler of greater savings, and the new aggregation portal provides public If you’re looking to procure a product or service,sector organisations with the opportunity to join why not consider pooling demand with otherup with others looking to procure similar goods organisations? Visit the Buying Solutions portaland services, facilitating greater savings for all where you can state your requirement, and athrough economies of scale. member of the aggregation team will be in touch.The whole public sector is being asked to do For more information, please contact themore with less, and as part of the Government’s customer service desk on 0345 410 2222 or info@ buyingsolutions.gsi.gov.ukEfficiency and Reform Group, Buying SolutionsSave with Buying Solutions’ eAuctions calendar Following on from recent aggregated eAuction organisations Buying Solutions can help yousuccesses which have delivered up to 42% realise further benefits of economies of scale.savings, Buying Solutions has published a calendar of eAuctions up to March 2011. Buying Solutions’ experienced category teamsThe recent eAuctions have delivered average will work closely with you and the supplierssavings of 25% against pre-auction prices. throughout the process to ensure that yourSuccesses include an impressive 42% saving for a requirements deliver best value for money andgroup of Merseyside Councils on office supplies make full use of existing framework agreements.- equivalent to over £3.5 million, and a 36% Please view the full calendar up to March 2011saving for six central Government departments to find out what eAuctions are coming up. Ifwho aggregated their requirements for you’re interested in joining an eAuction pleaseGovernment Carbon Offsetting Facility (GCOF). complete the Expression of Interest form. For more information, please contact theThe eAuction programme can help to deliver customer service desk on 0345 410 2222 or info@savings for your College by getting suppliers to buyingsolutions.gsi.gov.uk.bid online for your business, driving costs downin a matter of hours. What’s more, by bringingyour spend together with other public sector
AnnouncementsUser friendly guidance for procurement If you’re responsible for procurement in your of information, and has a number of ‘how toCollege then you need to know about the key guides’ which give in-depth information onprocesses, why they are important and how to specific topics including European procurementcarry them out. Procurement is not just about law, contract management, procurementbuying - it’s a complete cycle that starts with strategy, as well as providing an exampleidentifying a need, through to the disposal of contract template and many other topics.goods, the completion of a service or the end of acontract. You can access the toolkit at http://www.felp. ac.uk/ch333/introductiontoprocurement2010.We have developed a toolkit called ‘An html. If you have any questions regarding theIntroduction to Procurement in FE Colleges 2010’ toolkit please email the team at procurement_to help you with the different stages involved in email@example.com. procurement. The toolkit includes a wealth New look procurement guidance website – we need your input I’m sure many of you will have visited our We’re excited to announce that the new lookwebsite called FELP (www.felp.ac.uk) which website will be ready in the new year, but beforehosts a vast library of procurement guidance, the official launch we’d like to know what youcase studies, ‘how to guides’, Government think of it. In February we’ll be running testerguidance, discussion forums, and much more. sessions where you’ll get the chance to navigateWell, over the last few months we’ve been the site and feedback about what you like andworking hard to improve the site and make it what you don’t. If you’d like to take part pleasemore user friendly with the most up-to-date email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training and procurement efficiency forums The procurement team is offering a range of training on various topics, this includes:How to Promote Procurement in your College (Remote Training) These session are aimed at staff that are new to procurement in their college or are already in aprocurement role and want to understand the importance of procurement to your college and promotethe benefits of good procurement practice. This is a remote training session and the next date for thissession is :• 15th November• 19th November• 26th NovemberExam Fees workshop, 10 December at Walsall College Due to growing interest and after the success of the previous sessions in Manchester & London, theAoC FE Procurement Team are holding an additional workshop which will cover the procurement ofawarding body services to ensure best value for your College. The session, led by Dr. Tim Strickland, will offer practical guidance based on his experience with FESussex where he has implemented a number of strategies resulting in significant benefits for memberColleges. The event will be held at 9.30am on the 10th December at Walsall College, Wisemore Campus. It willfinish at 1pm with lunch to follow.Contract Management This training provides practical support in extracting value for money from the supply chain. Itemsunder discussion include achieving successful contract handover, management that delivers supplierperformance, delivering added value through the life of a contract and managing risk and contractchanges. The dates for this training are: • 23 Nov 2010 at Wiltshire College Lackham• 29 Nov 2010 at Centre Point London• 01 Dec 2010 at Stratford upon Avon CollegeContract Law Introduction This training is designed to create a better understanding of contract law including a review of some of the important contract terms. It is aimed atthose with no prior knowledge of contract law. The dates for this training are:• 25 Nov 2010 at New College Nottingham• 03 Dec 2010 at Centre Point London
Training and procurement efficiency forumsContract Law Advanced This training is intended to go beyond the basic essentials of a contract and look more closely at someof the pitfalls in terms of contract formation and contract terms. It will also cover legal updates in areassuch as sale of goods, supply of services, negligence and competition law. The dates for this training are: • 07 Dec 2010 at Centre Point London • 09 Dec 2010 at New College NottinghamFurther training sessions From January 2011 through to March 2010 we will be offering further training on a range of topics.The dates will be confirmed in the next couple of months, so please look out for these. The topics to becovered include: • Awarding Tenders: A Practical Guide • Negotiation Skills • Post Tender Problems - Managing Contract Disputes North Western Purchasing Consortium (NWUPC) Ltd Training funded by the AoC Procurement Team The AoC Procurement team have also provided NWUPC Ltd funding to undertake training. Trainingis offered on a variety of topics as outlined below, if you would like further information please email@example.com • Introducing Project Management – 24 Nov 2010 at the Innovation Centre, Salford • Advanced Procurement Skills – 14 Dec 2010 at Liverpool UniversityHow to reserve a placeIf you would like to attend any of the training in this briefing please e-mail your: name, job title, collegename and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.orgPlaces on these workshops are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.For presentation slides from previous training sessions please follow this link: http://www.aoc.co.uk/en/aoc-procurement-team/procurement-resources-and-training.cfmVisit our procurement resources and training page for information and prsentation from previoussessions
Top tips and quick winsBeware ‘free’ offers may not be all that they Campus cash machine is the height ofseem convenienceOne of our Colleges recently received a flyer St Brendan’s Sixth Form College Bristol hasfrom a company advertising ‘free’ software, installed a bank machine on their campus whichsubsequently a staff member innocently signed has proven to be a big hit with both studentsthe slip and sent this back but never used the and staff. Finance staff from the College are ablesoftware. The College’s Procurement Manager to manage loading the cash in and out of theis now looking at an invoice charge of £500 due machine, so it doesn’t require any day to dayto not cancelling the subscription. The College involvement from a bank or building society.has since warned staff to be aware of such ‘free’ The College doesn’t make a profit from theoffers. A friendly warning worth thinking about. machine, but sees it as a great way to improve their students’ experience.Sharing financial info makes for asmoother procurement ride Lodging cards with suppliersCambridge Regional College allows full access A number of Colleges are lodging credit cardsto their finance system for all their procurement with suppliers to help make the purchasingteam, which helps to provide an overall picture process easier. South Worcestershire College hasof expenditure across the College leading to recently done this with Lyreco and found it verymore strategic procurement. Management easy to set up, and the card runs alongside theirinformation reports help the team to identify online ordering system. Similarly, Worcestershirespecific areas of spend and allocate savings to College of Technology, has also lodged theirspecific budgets. Supplier payment history also credit card with Lyreco via one simple phoneallows the team with benchmarking exercises call. For more information about companiesand any supplier disputes. that allow you to lodge credit cards, email email@example.com.Water course surveys bring in the £££sWe recently told you about the trend of Collegestaking up the option of water course surveys ontheir campuses but until now we’ve not had anycash savings to report. This has now changedand we’re happy to say that an excellent savinghas been made by Bourneville College. TheCollege has recently completed a survey for oneof their campuses and has reported immediatesavings of £40,000 which could potentially rise toa staggering £80,000. It just goes to show watercourse surveys are definitely worth looking at ifyou want to make a big saving.
ContactAssociation of Colleges Procurement Team Helpdesk Number, 0808 178Procurement 16692-5 Stedham Place Ray PoxonLondon Senior FE Procurement ManagerWC1A 1HU 07917 266 082 Carl Johnson FE Procurement Manager 07767 323 191 Martin Toomey FE Procurement Manager 07818 533 393 Beverly Aboagye FE Procurement Manager 07584 528507 Roger Coles FE Procurement Manager 07920 720651 James Durcan FE Procurement Analyst & Customer Advisor 07917 426 077 Lesley Templeman Programme Support Officer 07827 277 096 Simran Sobhraj London Region and Procurement Administrator 020 703 49966 General enquires: firstname.lastname@example.org EMM queries: email@example.com AoC procurement pages: www.aoc.co.uk FELP website: www.felp.ac.uk