The Challenge

Over a two year period in 2005/6, Procure4 was asked to work with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) to achieve cashable savings which would help with investment in a new shared services infrastructure. The Council knew it had to gain control of spending and reduce the high number of low value transactions.

The Approach

Procure4 analysed the spend data and current processes across a number of categories including temporary labour, telecoms, strategic highways, print, stationery/office supplies, property services, adaptation works, books and ICT.

Approach strategies were evolved for each category, including use of eProcurement tools and traditional tender.

A fully auditable savings process was implemented and enabled clear benefits tracking within the Council.

The Results

In year 1, >£1m collectable savings with significant other cashable and non-cashable efficiency gains were delivered. In the second year, a further £1m was delivered. Other broad qualitative improvements were also identified:

  •  Team training
  •  Process & procedure development
  • Departmental marketing
  • Management information improvements
  • Stakeholder management processes
  • Data analysis and cleansing
  • Stakeholder and supplier satisfaction surveys
  • Supplier day with over 100 suppliers

SMBC was awarded the Society of Procurement Officers (SOPO) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Procurement 2005. The profile of the procurement function within the Council has been raised significantly. The tangible savings have enabled budgets to be re-assessed and have freed up resources for use on back office systems which will support front-line services. Council staff have received training and gained new skills that will help to ensure long-term sustainability of procurement benefits.

Key Facts

£1,000,000 CBR Year 2
100 Number of Suppliers Addressed
£1,000,000+ CBR Year 1

Testimonial from Solihull MBC - Procurement Review

Through a one team approach with our private sector partner, Procure4, we have developed a three year plan for savings delivery. Procure4 has helped to create the appropriate framework for procurement to be raised to a strategic level. Savings have started to be delivered and the mechanisms are in place to ensure delivery against our three year plan.

Liz Welton, Corporate Procurement Manager

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