In this season of giving, we look towards the true spirit of the holidays and the importance of togetherness and how collaborative procurement can best support the needs of you, our members.
The UKUPC partnership of APUC, HEPCW, LUPC, NEUPC, NWUPC, SUPC, TEC and TUCO collectively embody the true meaning of the festive period, by working together to share knowledge, best practice and to provide support to each other and the wider procurement community.
UKUPC has 5 groups (with representation from each of the eight consortia) that work together to ensure we tackle members procurement priorities in an effective and efficient way that minimises duplication:
- UKUPC Board - The Board’s vision is to leverage the benefits of collaborative procurement: working across the UK HE Consortia community to enhance procurement within HE and across our other members; helping deliver savings and efficiencies; maximising member benefits; embedding responsible/ethical procurement and social value using a sustainable supply chain management approach.
- The Joint Contracting Group (JCG) – Provides a strategic overview of the delivery of the national Joint Contracting Programme, working collaboratively to ensure that we have the right framework agreements in place at the right time.
- Responsible Procurement Network that has two main aims to standardise existing procurement activity within consortia purchasing. And to create resources to benefit institutions or make improvements to the supply chain.
- Communications Group - Promotes the benefits of collaborative procurement, identifying key audiences and developing tailored messages.
- Consortia Information Systems Strategy Group - Works together to improve the information systems used by the consortia and our member institutions.
This collaborative approach has never been more important, as we move through one of the most challenging periods for our members, and the importance which has been placed on your procurement teams.
The UKUPC partnership has helped to deliver real benefits including:
- Provide real cost savings that help your budgets work harder to achieve your goals. The UKUPC 2019/20 Impact Statement shows the benefits of how collaborative UKUPC activities have supported members during the previous academic year, with members spending £1.4BN through consortia frameworks, achieving £74.8M in cashable savings, and £118.6M in non-cashable/process savings.
- We help to reduce the impact on your institutions time and resources with access to over 150 agreements covering a wide range of strategic spend areas for your institution.
- Continue to improve relationships with suppliers and provide essential guidance through our Sustain Supply Chain Code of Conduct, Developing a Carbon Reduction Plan for SMEs, Modern Slavery Guidance for Suppliers, plus the latest market insight into what is happening in national and international supply chains.
- Lastly offering much more than just framework agreements through additional expertise and support across social value, COVID-19, Brexit, the responsible procurement agenda, skills, and further training through our UKUPC webinar programme.
Successful Collaborative Procurement in action
A recent example of how working together can deliver award winning results is showcased through the Estates Team at Newcastle University.
The completion of the Catalyst Building in 2019 received outstanding feedback from building users, the construction industry and wider public. Home to two National Innovation Centres, the building was delivered six weeks early and £5m below budget and went on to be awarded BREEAM Outstanding, highlighting the work undertaken to support the University’s Sustainability goals. It has also won both the Regional and National Constructing Excellence in the North East Sustainability Awards.
It was done by the Newcastle Universities Capital Team within Estates, working closely with framework partners and University stakeholders to deliver outstanding facilities in difficult circumstances.
This has now been acknowledged on a national level with Newcastle University winning Outstanding Estates Team of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards.
The diverse role of Newcastle University’s Estates team was highlighted by two areas showing how they are challenging established thinking in the sector.
1. With Covid-19 having a huge impact on their catering and conferencing activities, in June 2020 the Estates team worked closely with People Services and the Unions to identify opportunities for secondments and redeployment. 17 catering colleagues were redeployed into Building Facilities and Security roles providing colleagues with more job security and new career opportunities. Feedback from these colleagues has been outstanding and they are extremely happy in their new roles.
2. Secondly, over the past four years together NEUPC and Newcastle University have worked closely to develop innovative frameworks for construction for collaborative use by the 5 regional universities (Durham, Sunderland, Newcastle, Northumbria, and Teesside). This has not only benefited the institutions but also the local economy and communities.
Iain Garfield, Director of Estates & Facilities for Newcastle University said
"It was a great honour to accept the THE award for Outstanding Estates Team on behalf of our fantastic Estates & Facilities team. Throughout November AUDE have been celebrating the outstanding work of Estates teams during the pandemic so it is especially pleasing to be selected as the best of the best. The judges recognised the work the team has undertaken not only within the University but also the work that was undertaken in conjunction with NEUPC and our Framework partners to support the local community and local economy.”
By continuing to work together with our members, suppliers, and the winder procurement community, we can help to harness the power of group purchasing, saving time and money, whilst also increasing our teams’ skills and capabilities, which in turn benefits all the UKUPC community.
To find out more about the collaborative work undertaken by UKUPC go to ukupc.ac.uk