Essex Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner Fire and Rescue Authority (ECFRS) – Procurement Support

  • Janet Strzebrakowski
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Barkers carried out a thorough audit of the procurement department and identified multiple areas for improvement validating ECFRS’ view that a major change was required in the way in which the procurement team operated. This required commercial and procurement advisory from Barkers to implement the transition from a tactical procurement function to a more strategic Category Management structure.

In addition, Barkers mentored client resource, affected knowledge transfer and provided advice and support to the client leadership.

ECFRS required support to transition their procurement team to a category management function, enhance stakeholder relationships and demonstrate strategic capability.

Their primary objectives were to:

  1. Implement and resource into a category management structure – moving away from a reactive and day to day procurement activity and towards a more strategic approach
  2. Strategic review of and implementing new FM service contracts – grounds maintenance and waste management
  3. Start strategic engagement with senior operational heads and reporting on the category team at SLT and Commissioner level, promoting the function
  4. Set up contract management
  5. Upskill the new category management team
  6. All internal RSM audit actions competed
  7. Ensure internal audit actions were actioned

Delivering against a backdrop of difficult recruitment challenges and lack of credible candidates in the market.

Furthermore, ever present there was an ongoing pressure for the contracts register to be fully updated and to establish a contract pipeline to provide visibility and ensure compliance.

To achieve ECFRS objectives, we provided an experienced senior procurement consultant to lead the programme to ensure a seamless procurement transition, focused upon guidance, advice and practical support.

Throughout the assignment, Barkers was cognisant of the scrutiny of a high-profile public service and the importance of needing a high performing procurement team to deliver value for money services for the Fire Commissioner. The first procurement dashboard report produced was complimented on by the Commissioner.

Barkers guided the team in the development of their category plans and presenting them to senior leads which was well received.

Barkers set up a contract management framework, developed policies, developed tools and templates and identified opportunities that was specifically managed by an experienced senior managing consultant.

Barkers also offered further project initiatives including market analysis of FM services to support the strategic decisions taken whereby ECFRS joined Seven Forces collaboration contracts resulting in savings, consolidation of suppliers and performance regimes.

Barkers mentored an internally promoted Category Management Manager, providing guidance and support to enable the transition to a new role.

All project work undertaken by Barkers was underpinned by weekly reporting of progress.

We are pleased to announce the following results:

  • New category structure and resource in place
  • Category plans, toolkit and dashboard reporting in place
  • Contract management structure and toolkit in place
  • Delivery of policies including MDS and Supply Chain Code of Contract
  • Delivery of £268k social value on two new FM collaborative contracts
  • All internal audit actions completed
  • Upskilled the procurement team
Author: Janet Strzebrakowski
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