We were approached by a large multi-academy trust in the North West of England to identify opportunities for them to be more strategic about their procurement.
The benefits of strategic sourcing in education have helped realise huge cost savings. The necessity to acquire products and services more efficiently is a growing concern across the MAT. A major step in becoming more strategic is to conduct a spend analysis, which identifies key sourcing opportunities.
Education Buying completed a spend analysis for the Trust’s non-staff expenditure for 2019/20 and 2020/21, which was accessed via the Trust’s finance system. We used this data to identify suppliers with whom the Trust may have contracts in place. The identified suppliers were contacted to compile a Contracts Register on behalf of the Trust. The spend analysis shows that the Trust could achieve cash savings and operational efficiencies by putting in place Trust-wide contracts for common areas of spend.
Via a Letter of Authority from the Trust, Education Buying contacted all “in scope” suppliers of the 20 plus schools within the Trust to access copies of all current service-related contracts. The initial list included hundreds of different suppliers. To contact each supplier and follow-up when there was no response took time. Finally, we had an 84% response rate from the supplier base following at least two engagements with each supplier.
Target high risk areas of expenditure to develop approved suppliers lists and / or frameworks. Additionally, a deep dive into specific categories was conducted to generate savings through consolidating spend.
New contracts register developed for the Trust, covering high value or high risk contract areas. The exercise revealed pockets of expenditure which are not governed by contracts. All copies of contracts have been collated within a single folder.
Some expenditure is subject to the PCR2015 regulation thresholds and a process should put into place to ensure expenditure is competed or the Trust use compliant contracts / frameworks.
From the spend analysis we recommended: