2015/16 has been another extremely busy year for Consortium Procurement with a record financial performance. As our members have sought ways to drive further efficiencies to enable them to manage the 1% rent cut, so demand for the low cost, high value services we offer through the Consortium Procurement brand has increased. Our frameworks offer Members a straightforward route to reduce not only the risk but the considerable time and resource commitment involved in conducting EU compliant procurement exercises, and this has proven hugely popular at a time when all resource is being stretched to the limit. As always, the key focus for us at Consortium Procurement is ensuring that we deliver an easy-to-use, hassle-free service that is transparent, robust and delivers great results.
In November 2015, we launched our Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS) framework. This was the replacement to our Assisted Living framework. Telecare is an area of considerable expertise for Consortium Procurement, and one where we have been supporting members through our independent living solutions for over 15 years. The refreshed framework specification was the result of a 12 month member and supplier engagement exercise and represents the most robust, comprehensive and accessible framework for telecare/telehealth in the marketplace. Complementing the TECS framework, we have also been busy in 2015/16 working on a product catalogue framework for Aids & Adaptations, and this will be launched by December 2016.
We refreshed two of our existing compliance-based frameworks, Asbestos Management Services and Heating Systems, and, in response to member demand, introduced Legionella & Water Treatment. We also completed the renewal of our Electronic Payment Services framework.
We have also been working on the refresh of our timely, popular Tenants Contents Insurance framework, with last November’s floods in Cumbria and York serving as a reminder of how critical the protection offered by this service for tenants is.
In addition to introducing new and refreshed frameworks, we also started to offer our ‘bespoke’ procurement service in 2015/16, which we have now used to support a number of members who didn’t wish to go through a framework but didn’t have the in-house capacity to run an OJEU tender exercise at the point in time that they needed to. We have delivered this in a number of ways – from simply taking the member’s specification and running the OJEU process on their behalf using NHC’s documentation; to a full end-to-end exercise. The bespoke offering is growing in popularity and is something we expect to do more of in the coming year.
We have also seen further expansion of our geographical reach, with the first of our Scottish members joining us in 2015/16, and greater penetration of Wales. We now even include NHC Trusts within our membership – in fact, we have found that anywhere there is requirement for compliance, transparency and value for money, our services are proving popular. As a result, our procurement team continues to expand.
We continue to work to support members to develop – and share – their own procurement expertise and knowledge. We collaborated with HACT on the development of a social value toolkit to help members understand how they can compliantly include social value in their contracts. Our Procurement Reference Panel provides a forum for procurement professionals from within our membership to get together and discuss issues including social value and modern slavery, and to share best practice, as well as exploring opportunities for collaboration. Such is their popularity that it is our intention to host additional panels in the Midlands and the South East in 2016/17.
As we look forward to the year ahead, our focus is clear: we must deliver excellence in customer service and continue to provide members with solutions that save them time, money, effort, and that protect their organisations from risk. We look forward to working with you.