Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council
Alison Hughes, Head of Strategic ICT Partnerships
“As a joint venture with Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council, we were looking for assistance with the procurement of an ICT outsourcing arrangement. In addition to Bolton, we were also joining forces with Wigan and Leigh Housing and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust. Collectively we were searching for a new IT provider, to deliver a great IT service, reduce costs and maximise opportunities for sharing services wherever possible. Historically, Wigan had always kept its IT provider in-house, so outsourcing was new territory for us.
We enlisted the services of BPG to guide us step-by-step through the monumental minefield of selecting a supplier. Not only was cost a major consideration, but we knew we we had a massive workload ahead. BPG worked closely with us and from the minute they came on board they helped enormously with every aspect. Their advice was completely objective and BPG’s knowledge of technology and contracts enabled us to make rapid progress. They were very much ‘hands on’ and a pivotal lynch pin for everyone to gravitate to. They were a fresh pair of eyes that brought their wealth of experience that we couldn’t have found elsewhere.
Getting the IT service right is crucial to the viability of any workplace and BPG brought a strict discipline to the evaluation matrix when talking to bidders and reaching decisions. Criteria was selected from those that were most important to us and this gave us a base to keep returning to during discussions. Equally important was the advice given by BPG on how to manage the tenders’ presentations and how to confidently and constructively ask direct and focused questions to secure a successful procurement.
As four partnerships working together, we were aware that there was always potential for conflict between the partners, but BPG helped us to focus on what was common, not what was different. BPG were excellent. They delivered a bespoke service that took into account all aspects of outsourcing. Wigan Council, Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust and Wigan & Leigh Housing went live with the new service on in February; following the successful procurement, Wigan Council alone has a saving of £950,000 per annum.”