Category Archives: Procurement

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4 lessons from the ghosts of shared services past for 5 councils about to take the plunge

Posted on by John King 4 lessons from the ghosts of shared services past

If you were offered an opportunity to save your council tens of millions of pounds you might be tempted. The question is, what time and resources would you invest into scrutinising the shared services deal? How much due diligence would you run through to check that what is on offer is realistic and plausible, and how much research would you do to determine whether others have been in a similar

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Haringey to Join Tri-Borough ICT Partnership: 5 Lessons From Southwest One

Posted on by John King Haringey to Join Tri-Borough ICT Partnership

October 2016 is set to be the start of a new shared-services agreement between the local authorities of Haringey, Islington and Camden, a partnership that has broadly promised to save them a total of £6m a year. And while the Chancellor’s Budget announcement of plans to shave a further £3.5bn off public spending will no doubt give these London boroughs good reason to investigate more innovative ways of saving money,

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Roadmap to More Successful Strategic Outsourcing Relationships

Posted on by John King A Roadmap to More Successful Strategic Outsourcing Relationships

Benjamin Franklin is famously quoted as saying “… nothing is certain except death and taxes”. I would go so far as to add one more to that list: ‘change’. While resisted by many, feared by others, and exploited by some, change is inevitable. Technological advances, customer preferences, and budgetary constraints force organisations to adapt to the new reality of Britain in 2016. And though traditionally steadfast and shielded from such

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The 4-Step Procurement Strategy to Minimising Risk and Maximising Value

Posted on by John King The Four Step Procurement Strategy to Minimising Risk and Maximising Value

In the wake of many costly failed major projects, reported regularly in the media, it is more important than ever to have a tried and tested, effective, procurement strategy that you can rely on. How does yours stack up? Do you have a simple strategy that leads to procurement success? Do you follow it religiously? A great strategic outsourcing relationship starts with a great procurement strategy The process you use

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E-Borders 5 Years on: A Summary of the Project to-date

Posted on by John King E-Borders 5 years on: A summary of the project to-date

In the face of growing perceived threats to security and defence the e-Borders project was conceived to “create a joined-up modernised intelligence-led border control and security framework” tracking passengers as they travelled to our shores by air, rail or sea, collecting pertinent data on them prior to their arrival here. The system would have allowed for passenger details to be checked against police, immigration and security watch lists to identify

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Posted in Contract Management, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Procurement, Public Sector | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Things to Look for When Choosing a Vendor

Posted on by Allan Watton Five Things to Look for When Choosing a Vendor

Your vendor, your strategic partner in whatever project you have decided to look for assistance on, is a linchpin to its success, to the value optimisation that is achieved throughout the process, and to the outcomes that are actually achieved. Choose wisely and you minimise friction and maximise productivity – make a mistake and things could quickly unravel. Because of the importance of this decision we have put together a

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8 Steps to Avoid Supplier Challenges When Evaluating Tenders

Posted on by Allan Watton Eight Steps to Avoid Supplier Challenges When Evaluating Tenders

While there is no doubt that public sector tendering rules and regulations are a complicated minefield to traverse, their requirement for a transparent, non-discriminatory and fair tender evaluation process helps to protect public sector bodies from the risk of supplier challenges. Therefore, after years of working with both the public and private sectors, we felt it was time to demystify the scoring process that underpins modern-day tendering – to look

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SERCO & CAPITA: Does Fortune Favour the Brave?

Posted on by Allan Watton Serco and Capita: Does Fortune Favour the Brave?

2015 was a tumultuous year for the outsourcing industry. Somerset Council finally decided to end the remaining elements of their ten-year contract with strategic partner Southwest One, two years early. Cornwall Council won their case against BT to terminate their ten-year relationship, eight years early. And Serco has announced that its profits are likely to halve in 2016. Not a great year by anyone’s standards. However, Capita has bucked this

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6 Steps to Minimise Risk and Maximise Project Performance

Posted on by Allan Watton 6 Steps to Minimise Risk and Maximise Project Performance

To achieve success in outsourced projects, you need to enlist the help of skilled people, placed in the right roles, while allowing them the freedom necessary to bring their skills and expertise to bear on the project. Nothing new there I appreciate, but it’s how you go about ensuring this that could well separate the service you’ll receive this year from the problematic outsourcing projects others will experience. Although a

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From Input to Outcome: 5 Points to Consider when Specification Building

Posted on by Allan Watton 5 Points to Consider When Specification Building

Organisations across the UK spend more today on outsourcing than at any time in history. Public and private sector businesses invested an impressive £88bn on their outsourcing partners in 2014, which is reported to be double what was spent on outsourcing in 2010. Undoubtedly both government encouragement and a need to make drastic cost savings has fuelled this growth in an attempt to find more innovative ways of working –

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A year on, have our Lessons from 2014 been Learned?

Posted on by Allan Watton A year on, have our lessons from 2014 been learned?

In December of 2014, we waxed lyrical about the importance of an ICF Team. We even went as far as to say that it’s the number one lesson that organisations would do well to learn in 2015. Truthfully, we haven’t stopped talking about it since. It’s all been for good reason, though. Throughout 2015, outsourcing and strategic partnerships have become more prominent than ever. Calls for innovation to drive down

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Service Transition and Exit: 4 Lessons when Transitioning to a new Service Provider

Posted on by Allan Watton 4 Lessons: When transitioning to a new service provider

When looking to transition from one service provider to another, one of the key issues we find is that all too often organisations try to ‘fill in the gaps’ from previous service provisioning, rather than ‘rethink’ what business outcomes they are really trying to achieve. So, in other words, most organisations understand what they don’t want, but are usually less specific in quantifying and articulating what business outcomes they do

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NHS 24: IT system – 2 years late and 55% over budget. 6 lessons to get to what good looks like

Posted on by Allan Watton NHS24 IT System: 2 years late and 55% over budget - 6 lessons learned

Major IT projects often involve large business change initiatives. And, no matter the size or the complexity of the undertaking, you would hope that all of your business outcomes will be delivered on time, to budget and within the resource constraints at your disposal. However, progressing such a project to a positive conclusion is remarkably challenging, and this statement is true whether applied to projects in the public or the

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Agreements to Agree: Three Reasons why This Last Resort now has Legal Teeth

Posted on by Allan Watton 3 Reasons: Agreements to Agree now have Legal Teeth

Many pressures beset those responsible for large-scale projects, forcing them to choose between a fastidious approach to procurement and project management, and meeting the time restrictions or budgetary constraints they are often required to work under. These are the circumstances in which corners can be cut, in which mistakes might be made or in which people can be convinced to enter into an ‘agreement to agree’. We would urge anyone

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ISO 37500: 2014 Is it the Panacea the Outsourcing Industry Needs?

Posted on by Allan Watton ISO 37,500 - Is is the Panacea the Outsourcing Industry Needs?

Far too many outsourced relationships fail to achieve the expectations of at least one of the parties involved in the process. And, no doubt, this was a driver behind the creation of the first International Standard for outsourcing – ISO 37500:2014 – published by the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) in October 2014. This planning framework, this guide for all organisations new to outsourcing, or those looking to improve their

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CCS chief says more commercial expertise and market knowledge needed to save billions in public sector procurement

Posted on by Allan Watton Crown Commercial Services Chief says more commercial expertise is needed to save billions in public sector procurement

On the ‘What We Do’ section of their Home page, the CCS state: “The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) brings together policy, advice and direct buying; providing commercial services to the public sector and saving money for the taxpayer.” Saving money for the taxpayer. So when the Chief Executive of the CCS says that not enough has been done to protect taxpayers’ money (I’m paraphrasing there of course) then, as taxpayers,

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8 tips to ensure that your project delivers the business case

Posted on by Richard Kerr project delivers the business case

Not every project can be handled in-house. There will be times when the resources, skill-sets and specific expertise of outsourced partners will be needed. Once you have come to the conclusion that outside help is required to deliver your project, then how you go about successfully contracting for it becomes all-important. How you approach this will go a long way to determining whether your project achieves its business case expectations.

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A concise overview of EU procurement procedures

Posted on by Stephen James EU Procure

We have already gone into quite some detail about the new EU Procurement directive due to hit our shores in the very near future – in fact, Cabinet Office consultations suggest that early 2015 is now more likely for their implementation in the UK than late 2014 as we had previously thought. Articles such as Competitive Procedure with Negotiation – The New EU Procedure for Complex Projects and Imminent new

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Competitive Procedure with Negotiation – The New EU Procedure for Complex Projects

Posted on by Stephen James eu procurement procedure

The 2014 EU Procurement Directives, soon to be implemented here in the UK, bring with them many changes essential for everyone involved in the procurement process to understand. The two most important, in our opinion, being that the directives support Preliminary Market Engagement (PME), as we wrote about at length in a recent article, and a brand new addition to the list of procurement procedure options – Competitive Procedure with

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Imminent new EU procurement rules pave way for Preliminary Market Engagement (PME)

Posted on by Stephen James Procurement Regulations Free Guide

Preliminary Market Engagement (PME) is an incredibly useful step in the procurement process, especially when one of the more restrictive procedures is to be selected. However, essential though it may be, PME has until now been largely ignored. New EU procurement directives, soon to be implemented in the UK, will change all this, and with a little luck this will ensure that more procurements are a success in future. What

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