2014/15 was an extremely busy year for Consortium Procurement, with our Members under increasing pressure to drive efficiencies in all areas of their organisations. We successfully assisted Members ranging from the smallest HAs, with limited internal procurement resource but a requirement for savings; to the very largest housing groups, where we have effectively acted as an extension of their own in-house procurement teams, adding to their capacity and delivering a hassle-free, low-risk route to compliantly purchase some of their key products and services.
In February 2015, we launched our Passenger Lifts framework. We also started Member and supplier engagement for another totally new framework, Legionella Consultancy & Maintenance, which will launch in Autumn 2015. As with all of our work, these frameworks were driven by Member demand, and their scope and design has been shaped and influenced by Members throughout the procurement process.
In addition to developing completely new frameworks to better support our Members, we also commenced work on the re-procurement of some of our most popular frameworks which are coming to the end of their four year lives: Assisted Living, Electronic Payment Services, Heating Services (Gas) and Asbestos Surveys & Removals.
Our Assisted Living framework is used by over 150 Members across the UK. Before developing the specification for its replacement, we engaged with Members (existing users and non-users) and supply partners in a series of ‘surgeries’. They told us what they liked about the current framework, how they felt older peoples’ services were changing, and what they wanted from the new framework. Assisted Living’s replacement, ‘Technology Enabled Care Services,’ will be launched in November 2015 and is structured to reflect the rapidly evolving nature of this marketplace.
We were delighted to re-appoint allpay to our Electronic Payment Services framework, and more delighted still to have achieved even greater savings than offered by the previous framework!
Heating Services and Asbestos Surveys & Removals both expire in Spring 2016, and, as always, we have allowed around a year to work on their replacements. We have started working with Members and suppliers so that we can be sure that the new frameworks absolutely reflect business needs and any market developments.
As well as procuring new frameworks, we have worked with our legal team to carry out a rigorous review of all our processes and template documentation, not only to reflect the requirements of the Public Contract Regulations 2015, but to ensure that we are open, transparent and fair in everything we do. We see this as absolutely paramount in giving assurance to our Members that when they use Consortium Procurement’s services, they can be confident that they are robust, low-risk, and will support their business needs by making life easier.
Looking forward to 2015/16, we will continue to host our quarterly meetings of the Procurement Reference Panel, with representatives from procurement teams across our Member organisations. In addition to providing a valuable sounding-board for Consortium Procurement, the panel offers a networking and best–practice sharing forum.
We will continue to host the workshop events that we started to run in 2014/15 aimed at procurement professionals or those with responsibility for procurement within their organisations.
Above all, we will keep talking to our Members so that we can understand their requirements, strive for continuous improvement in our delivery, and focus our efforts on ensuring that Consortium Procurement remains a relevant and valued element of the Northern Housing Consortium Member offer.