STAR Procurement

STAR Procurement

Tameside Council a 4th Partner to STAR

Briefly describe the initiative/ project/service; please include your aims and objectives

Tameside Council appointed STAR to review its current decentralised procurement function. An options appraisal was completed providing an analysis of the various procurement strategies that were available to take forward, including keeping the current decentralised service, centralising & increasing capacity, out-sourcing, establishing a new shared service, or joining an existing shared service such as STAR. The agreed option was to join STAR. A tight deadline of less than 6 months was agreed to put all the governance in place including full Council approval from all 4 Authorities.

A very short time frame to implement such a step-change in procurement strategy and approach. A whole team approach was used to implement this strategy change a dedicated lead was provided by STAR and a Task&Finish Group established to lead the strategy change & on-boarding. Undertaking a number of deep dive reviews in key service areas to identify quick wins in terms of compliance, savings, Social Value & efficiencies. Monthly reports were provided to ensure all stakeholders were aware of progress, risks & achievements, leading the alignment of processes and procedures.

What are the key achievements?

The speed of the on-boarding process & the significant step-change in procurement strategy & approach made this project unique. 6 months from the decision to join STAR Tameside became a fully integrated Partner with collaborative procurement strategies, aligned processes & clear outcomes delivered. Working as a larger shared service across 4 councils delivers greater commerciality through benchmarking, spend analysis & collaborative negotiations. The change for STAR was significant; the first new member to join the shared service & grew its Partners by a 3rd. Dramatically increasing the level of procurement activity required & resourcing the Tameside on-boarding process. Whilst there was an increase in workload, it was important for STAR to continue to deliver an ever improving service for its current Partners;

• 18/19 STAR delivered in excess of £6M savings, the highest annual achievement to date.
• Much improved compliance with increased contract register data & reduced off-contract spend.
• Local spend Improvement through local investment programme
• Social Value Secured £3.1M from STAR using the Social Value Portal
• Enhanced engagement internal/external
• Modern Slavery charter – CIPS Ethics accreditation

What are the key learning points?

To implement the strategy for Tameside delivering the activity required, STAR required a new structure & undertook a significant recruitment drive. Recruitment of experienced procurement professionals has tended to be difficult in the public sector. STAR has a ‘Grow Your Own Policy’ to develop procurement professionals internally, providing apprenticeships, CIPS, development, coaching and involvement in strategic projects.

The success of this policy meant that STAR delivered 12 internal promotions. Remaining vacancies were filled externally and the high response rate and quality of the candidates demonstrated that STAR is an Employer of Choice. Governance and approvals were another challenge; the existing Joint Committee required disestablishment & reforming as a 4 partner shared service requiring full Council approvals. Benefits of the new arrangements were clear & well demonstrated by the 4-legal departments working closely; therefore Council approvals were speedily in place by July 2018. Alignment of procedures and processes has allowed the smooth on-boarding of Tameside. Tameside adopted all STAR policies & strategies with guidance developed to ensure that Social Value delivers the requirements of Tameside & the GM Policy.

Additional Comments:

Key outcomes include:

– Commercial: Ratified cashable savings of £2.1M recorded to date, with forward plans and future savings identified
– Communities: New Social Value Portal and Guidance implemented, delivered £3.1M of Social Value in the first quarter (across 4 partners). Ensured that Tameside Council complied with the requirements of the Co-Operative Party Charter for Modern Slavery subsequently achieving CIPS Corporate Ethics Mark
– Collaboration: Collaborative contracts have increased; a third of procurement activity currently collaborative
– Compliance: Contract register completeness has increased from 90 to 450 meaning more proactive procurement and category planning achieved. Detailed spend analysis undertaken to identify controllable spend, local spend, non-verified spend. This has been used to benchmark across STAR and develop action plans to address.
– Champions: Promoted the new procurement strategy internally through key stakeholder engagement, internal communications and updates to the intranet and websites. Promoted externally through events, committees, & social media.
The successful on-boarding of Tameside has set a robust and established pathway for future partners to join STAR in accordance with the STAR Growth Strategy and has demonstrated the benefits of procurement collaboration in a local government setting. Tameside was able to make use of the innovation that STAR has already delivered & benefit from new & existing collaborative contracts