Many public sector organisations are facing difficult challenges. With the result of the Brexit vote the Government has abandoned the target of achieving a budget surplus by 2020 and Sterling has fallen to levels that puts pressure on supply-chains. It would seem that a continued tightening of belts may be required over the coming months and years.
In this environment public sector organisations are having to find ways to reduce cost. Procurement can be key to meeting this challenge. Public sector supply-chains are often fragmented, with duplication and non-effective controls. Procurement resource is often marginalised or distracted with additional responsibilities outside of core procurement activities. In light of external pressures, procurement should be provided higher profile and given top-down support to take the action necessary to improve efficiency.
Organisations should consider investing in a review of their current procurement function to identify opportunities to improve and rise to the challenges faced. As a minimum, spend-analysis should be completed to categorise suppliers and identify areas of fragmentation. End-users should be supported and provided with easy access to existing deals and procurement tools. Procurement controls should be clear and documented, but importantly they have to be adhered to and not ignored or circumvented.
Systems and processes have to aid in limiting fragmentation of expenditure without limiting the flexibility organisations require. At the same time, procurement has to be mindful of the external environment. The impact of the Brexit vote, potential changes to procurement legislation, case law, the drive to deliver social value and what represents good practice all need to be prepared for and managed.
To help our clients with meeting the challenges outlined, The Procurement Partners can provide a light-touch procurement health check. This service is designed to understand the current position of procurement within your organisation and identify strengths and weaknesses.
The output of a TPP health check is a report on the current position of procurement, complete with recommendations for improvement. Health checks also incorporate a forward action plan for procurement that will give your organisation the roadmap to efficiency, cost reduction and compliance with internal rules and external legislation.