Categories: Case Studies
Effective procurement frees up the resources needed to invest in the things that really matter and make a difference, but it is a complicated discipline to master and get right.
For larger, educational organisations like Multi Academy Trusts (MATs), streamlining the time, resources, and efforts away from complicated processes to simple ones means additional time, resources and efforts that can be reinvested in those that have real life, long term positive impact on students and staff.
Working with procurement specialists like ourselves ensures this streamlining of processes while ensuring overall compliance in the necessary areas for any organisation. A large part of our work is based around collaboration – and this means that we can work in partnership with other organisations to develop the resources needed to suit the market.
This was the case in developing our Food Broker Services framework, which was born out of collaboration with the Red Kite Learning Trust, a multi academy trust with 13 schools across North Yorkshire and Leeds, which needed to appoint a food procurement partner. We spoke with chief financial officer Steve Howell about effective procurement for multi academy trusts and the process of collaborating to create the Food Broker Services framework.
He said: “As a finance lead, procurement fell within my remit as School Business Manager at Harrogate Grammar School, which was the secondary academy that went on to form the Red Kite Learning Trust. My procurement education in this role was very much on the job, supported by specialists.
“Procurement is rarely a perfect process and I recall getting things wrong on more than one occasion. One of the tendencies was to remain with the tried and tested service provider that really knew the school. However, as time went on, how could we be sure that we were still getting value? And what about procurements where only one supplier provided a quote – could we guarantee value from that relationship?
“This of course being an area that framework providers can assist with, evaluating suppliers and ensuring the best one is appointed to the job, as well as facilitating further competition where required.
“When it comes to locally run procurements, I learned from experience the importance of making sure suppliers are warmed up to upcoming opportunities to make sure they were interested in participating.
“However, with bigger and more technical procurements we bring in specialist support from our procurement partner Pagabo. The team has been fantastic in affording us access to frameworks and has even helped us create our own where no suitable equivalent was on the market. This is where the true power of the team’s expertise really came into play when we identified a market need for framework services and collaborated on its creation.
“The Food Broker Services framework was developed out of our need to appoint a food procurement partner. Pagabo was able to help set up a great framework that not only served our own need but was also made available to the wider sector and beyond to service any organisation facing the same challenges we did.
“The knowledge and expertise within the team, along with the way Pagabo manages its frameworks and procured projects, is exactly what we need to de-risk any processes and ensure compliance for all the areas necessary.”
Taking a bespoke approach to our activities is important to developing the best solutions. This is why collaborating with the likes of Red Kite Learning Trusts and wider markets on our new frameworks is a key part of our processes, to ensure we create the powerful tools needed to address real life needs for clients, suppliers and the wider market.
Click here for more information about our range of frameworks, or get in touch to discuss your requirements.