ProcurementProcurement Newsletter Summer 2010Content• Introduction• Case studies• Announcements• Training• Top tips and quick wins• Contacts
IntroductionWelcome to the Summer 2010 edition of the AoCProcurement Newsletter which offers you the opportunity tolearn about the excellent procurement work that is going onin Colleges across England.Austerity, recession, reducing budgets, doing more with less,are all expressions that have become very familiar acrossthe public sector in recent weeks. Effective procurementwill not solve all economic ills but ensuring we maximiseopportunities for increasing value for money by goodprocurement has never been more important.This newsletter is designed to signpost good practice whichmay be adopted across the FE sector - please take the time toread and contact us if you would like to discuss procurementissues in greater detail.
Case studiesIntranet helps promote procurement Warwickshire College has been busy usingtheir intranet to promote the benefits of smarterprocurement. A desktop guide to procurement hasbeen made available, plus the introduction of apage dedicated to procurement on the staff intranet.The College is spread across two counties, six sites,and has over 2000 staff – so it’s important thisinformation is widely available.Nigel Gould, Finance and Administration Manager,explains; “Purchasing in our College is devolved tobudget holders, apart from in some specialist areas,so the development of this resource has proved reallyhelpful for people.”“The intranet page provides information about theCollege’s procurement policy, lead buyers’ contactdetails, and links to useful websites like BuyingSolutions...for full article visit our website FE Sussex leads the way in cutting cost of exam fees For two years, FE Sussex – the consortium company of the 12 post-16 colleges in Sussex – has pursued a highly proactive strategy of reducing the costs of examinations and assessments. As a consortium, their annual spend on assessment services is in excess of £5 million – a considerable sum. Their cost reduction strategy has already cut this by more than £250,000 and they’re ahead of their target for a 10 per cent reduction by the end of 2011. Cost reduction manifests itself in two forms – cash discounts/rebates and increases in service levels. At first sight, the former appear to be most attractive, but in practice the latter are equally important; these have reduced College administration time, removed frustrations and provided opportunities for continuing professional development and sponsorship....for full article visit our website
Case studies Grimsby Institute has a tender touch for local business The Grimsby Institute is currently in the process of tendering for approved electrical contractors through the AoC in-tend portal. Whilst their main priority is to get best value for the College, they have also been mindful of the need to support local businesses. Jason Kay, Purchasing Manager at the College explains; “We have split the tender into three geographical lots to assist response times and to support local businesses. We’ll appoint a main contractor for each lot, along with maybe one or two sole traders, or small and medium enterprises of up to five employees.” The College believes that they can help small firms to survive the downturn and help them grow in the future. In this particular tender the smaller firms will be given specialist jobs of up to the value of £200 and the rest of the work will be split between the three... for full article visit our websiteA water survey could save you bucketloads On average every person in the UK uses 147 litresper day. This is wasteful and unsustainable. Youcan now combat this problem by commissioning awater course survey to be carried out at your Collegeto verify your bills are correct, look at reducingconsumption to increase efficiency and considerdeveloping a long-term strategy for using watermore responsibly.Karen Stanwell at Bourneville College recently hada surface water drainage survey carried out aftershe was contacted by a water consultancy firm.She recalls; “The company offered a ‘no win no fee’service, and the process was pretty pain free – allI had to do was provide 12 months invoices.” TheCollege are awaiting their final report from thecompany, but initial feedback is that the results lookpromising...for full article visit our website
AnnouncementsEnergy purchasing in the FE sector The OGC Energy Team help the public sector • Risk Managed: With specialist knowledgeimprove its energy procurement by accessing and experience, plus a robust statistical analysisthe most effective procurement solutions for its of the market, a risk management strategy canenergy requirements and by promoting energy be developed to know when the best time toefficiency across government. The OGC Energy buy energy is.Team recommends that best practice for energyprocurement is: • Aggregated: : By joining public sector organisations together to purchase their energy, • Flexibility: Flexible purchasing allows supplier margins can be reduced by between the purchaser to spread the risk of going out three to five per cent, compared to those that to market over a number of smaller purchases, can be achieved by a single organisation. mitigating against when the market is high, and benefits can be gained from accessing at For further information, please see the Energy lower times. This can help provide budget Buying guidance documents on FELP website or certainty. contact AoC Procurement Development Team or Cassie Clifford-Wareham at the OGC.The multi-million pound business of procurementA recent report has revealed that the average The research also revealed that over £2.5 millionCollege spends more than £8.75 million each worth of savings have been realised one year on.year on non-pay products and services. FE Sussex has saved their 12 Colleges £250,000 on exam fees, while Wigan and Leigh CollegeThe report looked at 59 Colleges and showed have saved £95,000 through purchasing theirthat collectively they spent almost £516 million energy via Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation,annually, with £109 million of that going on and saved £40,000 by purchasing insurancecapital build projects with exam fees, staff through Crescent Purchasing Consortium.training and recruitment also being high-spendareas. It goes to show that a lot of savings can be made when you implement the right tactics.As well as analysing how much Colleges spendeach year the research also identified ways in If you’re interested in using the spend analysiswhich they could make savings. Examination tool and receiving your own efficiencyfees, energy, IT hardware and insurance are all report please contact the AoC Procurementcostly categories where it’s possible for colleges Development Team.to make savings if they implement a fewsimple ideas like collaborating, buying throughconsortia and maximising their use of GPCs.
AnnouncementsCrescent Purchasing Consortium: FE ownership and beyond Crescent Purchasing Consortium: FE ownership • Jason Kay – Grimsby Institute (Yorkshire andand beyond Humberside) The Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) was • Richard Hudson – Hull College (Yorkshirepurchased from the University of Salford by and Humberside) the FE sector on 1 November 2009 and has nowcreated a new Board. The Board has started to • Carolyn Wilkinson – Gateshead Collegereview every aspect of the CPC operation. (North East) The first major task of the CPC Board has been to • Pat Condon – Blackpool and The Flydeoffer shared ownership of Crescent Purchasing (North West) Ltd (the company owning CPC) to the FEColleges. The response has been magnificent • Shaun Anders – St Helens (North West) with 116 Colleges accepting the offer. • Cheryl Brown – Welsh Further EducationThe Board were also mindful of the need to Purchasing Consortiumobtain advice on the purchasing operation ofthe CPC from the FE purchasing community. The elected Chair of the Group, Pat CondonA Purchasing Advisory Group (PAG) has been from Blackpool and the Fylde College, also sitsformed comprising two professionally qualified on the CPC Board. This Group is beginning topurchasing staff from each of the nine regions show all the signs of being a major force forof England, plus one officer from Wales. The purchasing in the FE sector.representatives are: Peter Brewer, the Managing Director of the CPC• Noel Cassidy – Cambridge (East of England has been delighted with the first six months of FE ownership. “The change in attitude by• Barbara Grange – Peterborough (East of College staff towards the CPC since the buy out England) has been very noticeable, with so many more willing to help and support the work we’re• Carla Honeybun – Wiltshire (South West) doing. It’s certainly helped to ease the worry of transition of ownership for the CPC staff, and• Mike Pearce – Exeter (South west) given great hope that in working together we can realise the true potential of purchasing in the• Lorraine Lindsay – College of North West FE sector.” London If you’d like to apply to have part ownership• Peter Danckwardt – Croydon College of CPC, please use the forms already circulated or contact Peter Brewer at the CPC for further• John Frowd – Burton College (West information by email or telephone 0161 295 5784. Midlands) • Pat Eagle – Stafford College (West Midlands) • Angie Pilgrim – West Nottinghamshire College (East Midlands)• Karen Barber – Derby College (East Midlands)
CPC Empower 2010 conference success The CPC Empower conference recently regulations and promoting procurement withintook place in Birmingham with 115 member colleges. There were also lots of opportunitiesinstitutions in attendance. This was the third for valuable networking between Colleges,conference facilitated by CPC for purchasing suppliers and representatives from across thein the FE sector, with the aim of encouraging sector.engagement and empowerment for colleaguesacross the sector to help purchasing performance Once again the conference has been a bigand practice. success. You can download the presentation slides and photos from both days via the CPCThe two day event covered a number of topics website.including e-procurement, spend analysis, EUNew Managed Procurement Services Framework A new Managed Procurement Services These services can be called off by holding mini-Framework is available to assist Colleges who competitions using the template and buyers’need additional support for procurement guidance which are on FELP website. For moreactivities, the lots include: information please email the AoC Procurement Development Team. • Discrete ad-hoc procurement services • Complete managed procurement service • Review and audit • Change agent for collaborationEuropean Union Procurement Statistics Data Collection The Department for Business, Innovation and For many Colleges particularly those that useSkills have, via SFA, requested AoC help in Consortia frameworks extensively there will begathering Procurement statistics on behalf of the few procurements to record. It is not necessaryOGC and EU. to list purchases made against framework agreements. Only record those where theWe have agreed to assist, in spite of the College is the main contracting authority. late request leading to a short timescale forcompletion as provision of such statistics is Nil returns are required. Returns are requesteda legal obligation under the procurement by 16th July. regulations. If you haven’t seen the e-mail or require furtherFor the calendar year 2009 Colleges are required information send an e-mail to AoC Procurementto advise details of above EU threshold contracts Development Team.awarded. A spreadsheet for completion has beensent to Finance Directors.
Training and Procurement Efficiency Forums The AoC FE Procurement Team offers a number Further information can be found on the AoC of training opportunities including: website or by referring to FELP. • funding for NVQ training and MCIPS The AoC FE Procurement Team holds regional Exam Route procurement efficiency forums every quarter • procurement workshops for the FE sector - dates of these can also be found on the AoC • Efficiency Measurement Model training. website or by referring to FELP.Shared Services Awareness Events AoC have commissioned Shared Service It will draw upon the latest research into shared Architecture Limited to run 3 half day (morning) services, combined with the powerful lessons awareness seminars in the North, Midlands learnt from the recent growth in shared service and the South in July 2010. We feel this would activity across local government. be beneficial to Principals, Board Members and their SMTs. The seminar is designed to fast- To book a place on one of these seminars, please track strategic awareness around the emerging visit AoC Management Services Events website. opportunities for shared services in the FE sector.Exam fees - improving value for money Due to growing interest, the AoC FE 1pm with lunch to follow. Procurement Team are holding a workshop which will cover the procurement of awarding To see the agenda please view: Exam fees body services to ensure best value for your workshop agenda College. If you would like to attend please confirm by The session, led by Dr. Tim Strickland, will offer emailing the AoC Procurement Devepolment practical guidance based on his experience with Team to register your interest. FE Sussex where he has implemented a number of strategies resulting in significant benefits for The workshop will be of interest to all College member Colleges. staff involved in the selection and management of Awarding Bodies and is funded by AoC The event will be held at 9.30am on the 15 July as part of the FE Procurement Efficiency 2010 at Manchester University. It will finish at Programme. Webinars – insight into the latest procurement policy and legislation Webinars – You can now get an insight into the Contract Management latest procurement policy and legislation, live Part 1 – Getting out of a Contract from the comfort of your PC. Jack Salter from the 12th July – 12.30 – 13.30pm Commercial Strategy Team at the Department 16th July – 12.30 – 13.30pm for Education now holds regular hourly Part 2 – Re-negotiating a Contract ‘Webinars’, which allow you to see a topical 19th July – 12.30-13.30pm presentation and engage with the presenter. The 20th July – 12.30-13.30pm next dates for this are: Please email the AoC Procurement Development Team to register your interest.
Top Tips and Quick WinsTelephony savings Low cost IT disposal by RemployHull College has restricted the number of Remploy e-cycle helps organisations to recyclehandsets that can make international calls and computers and electronic waste, meeting allcalls to 0845 numbers. They’re also barring their IT and communications (ICT) equipmentaccess to directory enquiries, instead directing recycling needs. There are a variety of low coststaff to use Yell.com. Estimated savings are £12k. services that can recycle your equipment both ethically and sustainably. For more informationThe College has also completed a review of visit the Remploy website.redundant lines which has saved almost £10k. Cheap deals available for foodHard back to CD Grimsby Institute is in the process of evaluatingKidderminster College has made a very their food suppliers against SNUPI deals.impressive saving by scrapping the traditional The initial comparison on coffee beans andstudent handbook in favour of CDs. The overall equipment is showing to be 50 per cent cheaper,cost for the production of the CDs is just one and groceries and frozen food at least 20 per centquarter of the cost for the old hard back copies – cheaper. Visit www.snupi.org.uk.a bargain some might say. Benchmarking paysGPC framework – rebates available on Benchmarking templates are available at www.Barclaycard framework felp.co.uk and are a good tool in helping toThe Buying Solutions Government Procurement understand exactly what the market can offerCard (GPC) framework can be accessed at the you. For more help benchmarking contact CarlBuying Solutions website. The Barclaycard deal Johnson.offers a number of advantages including a rebatefor spend above £300k, and now that some examboards are looking towards GPC payments it’svery attainable. For more information contactCarl Johnson.Contacts Association of Colleges Pippa DooleyProcurement FE Procurement Manager2 - 5 Stedham Place firstname.lastname@example.orgLondonWC1A 1HU Lesley Templeman Programme Support OfficerRay Poxon email@example.comSenior FE Procurement Managerray_poxon@aoc.co.uk General queries: firstname.lastname@example.org EMM queries email: email@example.comCarl Johnson AoC Website: www.aoc.co.ukFE Procurement Manager FELP website: firstname.lastname@example.org