7F Police GO Awards

Seven Force Strategic Collaboration win Procurement Team of the Year at 2021 Go Awards

  • Christina Yardley
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On the evening of 15 September 2021, Barkers’ client Seven Force Strategic Collaboration were announced winners of the Procurement Team of the Year category within the 2021 Go Awards at a glittering ceremony.

The team, of which Barkers are the Forces’ strategic procurement partner providing procurement consultancy services, have been recognised for their outstanding work to align the procurement strategy for seven police forces within the East of England.

Embarking on the project in January 2020, the team, with David Levy, Head of Strategic Procurement at the helm, aimed to use the collaborative buying powers of all forces to obtain better value for money from contracts, enhancing inter-operability and efficiency across the police service.

7F GO Awards

The very first collaboration of its type, Barkers have worked with the team to provide expert guidance and support a transformation which required an innovative approach to procurement strategy, governance, compliance, operating model, resources and systems.

Essentially the team have brought together three procurement hubs into one structure, implementing new ways of working and recognising the challenges of having seven different employers with differing cultures and terms and conditions of employment, differing portfolios of contracts for similar goods and services across diverse providers, and inconsistent IT infrastructures.

Director of Barkers and Barkers Lead for the Seven Forces Strategic Collaboration project, Warren Kozera said: ‘We’re elated that 7F have been awarded Procurement Team of the Year by the Go Awards. The team are trailblazers in policing procurement, being the first in England and Wales to exploit the opportunities of a single function. It’s not been without its challenges; the work required to align seven functions has been significant, but the 7F team have been outstanding to work with and the outcomes have been extremely rewarding.

On a values level, delivering social value is core to the Barkers business and we were thrilled to be selected by the Seven Forces Strategic Collaboration to partner with them and assist them to meet their objectives. Supporting them to achieve savings which enable each force to direct savings back to protecting local policing and the communities they serve, is something that we are especially proud to be a part of.’

The results are certainly impressive;

  • The team have successfully created a single procurement function for the Eastern region ahead of schedule.
  • A savings pipeline of £5.8m has already been delivered, with the team only 18 months into the project.
  • Governance and processes have been streamlined creating significant efficiencies.
  • The team have attracted and retained high calibre and experienced staff, with a development pathway in place to ensure the continuous professional development of staff.

“The Seven Forces Strategic Collaboration Team should be rightfully proud of what they have achieved. Their innovative approach and drive to continually achieve further savings to the forces during what are challenging times, is impressive. But it’s also been their focus on the delivery of social value which has been remarkable. Recent contracts awarded are committing to the delivery of social value principles including reduced carbon emissions, more local people into employment and more opportunities for disadvantaged people. Enabling better outcomes through changes in procurement practice is what makes this Seven Forces Strategic Collaboration team truly outstanding.”

Warren Kozera, Director, Barkers Commercial Services

Author: Christina Yardley

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