Education Sector

Your organisation is helping each child, young person and adult attain educational achievement to the best of their potential. We know how to optimise the performance of the best Strategic Suppliers that can support you.

We know the Strategic Suppliers in the Education marketplace, really well:

  • Their strengths. The key attributes of each Strategic Supplier and what internal client disciplines you will need to have in place so they can achieve your outcomes and objectives, quickly.

  • Their challengesComplex service delivery does not always go to plan. We can advise you what diligence your team can put into place to assure these Strategic Suppliers deliver to your expectations.

  • Their contractual constraints. We know what most Strategic Suppliers will accept contractually, what they will not, and why. Our ‘Optimise’ process assures you can overcome these constraints and be fully contractually protected for fit for purpose services.

Your key expectation you should have from Strategic and Complex Supplier Relationships:

  • Optimum value in service and solutions delivery.These specialist suppliers represent themselves as ‘experts’ in their disciplines. Recent case law determines you can often rely on the supplier’s represented expertise to drive maximum value for money in your service delivery, even if your contract terms are ambiguous in terms of their responsibilities.

Benefits of using BPG to facilitate your Strategic Supplier Relationships

  • We know what practices work really well. Having optimised over 500 complex supplier relationships, we have deep expertise of trust building in relationships. We also have proven template documentation, including procurement structures, service requirements, agile fit for purpose contracts, implementation and operating governance, along with expertise in what actions you need to avoid to make sure your strategic supplier relationships achieve your outcomes, quickly.

Key Considerations when Education Institutions enter into Complex Supplier Relationships

How the BPG 'Optimise' Process delivers great Strategic Supplier Relationships

The BPG ‘Optimise’ Method is evidenced from over 500 complex supplier relationships. It shows there are 8 characteristics present in every successful complex relationship. We can help you successfully implement these quickly to improve service innovation, supplier relationships and drive down BAU costs.

Click here to see how the ‘Optimise’ process can help you drive maximum value in your strategic supplier relationships.

Some of the Strategic Suppliers we have detailed knowledge of

  • Academia Ltd
  • AdEPT Technology Group PLC
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Breathe Technology LTD
  • Britannica Digital Learning
  • Canon
  • Capita IT Services (Capita IT & Networks)
  • Cascaid
  • CCS
  • CDSM
  • CDW Limited
  • Centerprise International Limited
  • Century Tech
  • Circle IT Solutions Ltd
  • Computeam Ltd
  • Concero UK Ltd
  • Connect
  • CSE Education Systems Ltd
  • Dataspire Solutions Ltd
  • E2BN
  • Eduserv
  • Elementary Technology
  • Ergo Computing UK Ltd
  • European Electronique Ltd
  • Exa Networks Ltd
  • FlashAcademy
  • Flight Electronics
  • Galliford Try
  • GCSEPod
  • GL Assessment
  • GL Education
  • Gridserve
  • GV Multi Media
  • ICT Solutions
  • IDNS Ltd.
  • Insight Direct (UK) Ltd
  • Interhigh Education
  • iSAMS
  • iTelligence (now NTT)
  • Joskos Solutions Ltd
  • JTRS Ltd
  • Kingsfield Computer
  • Products
  • Levett Consultancy
  • London Grid for Learning
  • Medhurst
  • Communications Limited
  • MLL Telecom Ltd
  • MLS (Capita)
  • NetSupport
  • New Era Education
  • Nexus Associates (ICT) Limited
  • NS Optimum Limited
  • Oasis IT Services Ltd
  • PCCW Global Networks (UK) plc
  • Pearson
  • Probrand Limited
  • Promethean
  • Renaissance Learning
  • RM Education Ltd
  • SAM Learning
  • School ICT Services Ltd
  • Shireland Learning
  • Snelling Business Systems
  • Softcat plc
  • Software Box Limited
  • Stone Computers Limited
  • Sweethaven Computers Ltd
  • Talk Straight Limited t/a Schools Broadband
  • TLO Ltd
  • TT Education
  • Turn IT on Ltd
  • Virgin Media Business
  • Virtue Technologies
  • Wave 9 Managed Services Ltd
  • XMA Limited
  • Zayo Group UK Ltd

The Behaviours you should expect from a 'Good' Strategic Supplier Relationship

  • Objectives being met
  • Critical friend supplier
  • Inherent commercial trust
  • Sustained collaboration and innovation
  • Reduced service cost
  • High reputation with your peers
  • Internal team aligned
  • Services always aligned to outcomes
  • Flexible/agile contract structure
  • Evidenced based results

Typical Complex Supplier Relationship hurdles faced in the Education Sector

We’ve dealt with optimising over 500 complex supplier relationships. More than 50% of complex supplier relationships experience misunderstandings between client and supplier over your requirements and expectations.

If the right foundations are not in place to drive maximum value, you may experience:

  • Additional charges and costs for ‘misunderstood expectations’
  • A lack of understanding of contractual roles and responsibilities
  • Governance and performance escalation not clearly delineated
  • Senior client executives not being clear on their expectations and dynamics of the relationship
  • Not enough investment by senior executives in the resourcing or skills of the client supplier management team
  • Loss of key in-house expertise to the supplier (inadvertent staff poaching)
  • Employee resistance to new working methods from the supplier
  • Clashes of culture between client and supplier staff and so forth.

Operational challenges faced by the Education Sector

There are many challenges in the higher and further education sector. These include:

  • Challenges of Student Recruitment. Significantly more competition across all educational markets will continue to evolve as recruitment is becoming far more competitive. Students expect a more tailored experience and are far more discerning about value for money and flexibility. In addition to improving the student experience, the UK education market will look to increase its presence in international markets and growing postgraduate numbers.
  • The Brexit Effect. In terms of international students, the current issues around visas and the ongoing dialogue around immigration doesn’t present the UK favourably. The challenge will be maintaining business as usual, although the decline in the value of Sterling reduces the costs of a great UK education, internationally.
  • Fee Challenges. Funding cuts have already been made at many institutions and less money means less investment. Students are making increasing use of mental health services in the educational sector, as the financial and other pressures they face grow, and it is important that the sector is able to meet and support this demand. The potential of reduced fees will undoubtedly impact on funding for services at some educational institutions, which is very concerning.
  • Increased Student Expectations. Education is invaluable and it is really important that the sector helps students achieve their goals. High-quality accommodation, great student support, interested and supportive staff, inspiring teaching and outstanding careers’ support are seen as standard now. The reality is that expectations increase year-on-year from the quality and choice of catering to the WiFi speed, pastoral support, extracurricular activities and careers. Not all students want luxury, however. With so much high-end accommodation, there is a demand for lower-priced, affordable student housing.
  • The Challenges of Alternative Education. The rise in the number of apprenticeships and a new phase of degree apprenticeship courses entering the Higher Education market means education is now more fragmented than the classic three-year BA Hons or BSc degrees. For example, universities aren’t just competing with apprenticeships; they are competing with structured online courses and degrees, and specialist education providers. You can now choose from 40+ degrees online; these are positioned as cheaper, flexible and something you can ‘learn as you go’.
  • UK Higher Education Dropping in Rankings. The Times Higher Education (THE) World Reputation Rankings for last year demonstrated a downward spiral for UK universities as its global competitors challenged the UK institutions to their positions. Japan is in spot 2 as the second most popular country to study in and the UK has slipped to spot 3. Oxford and Cambridge still rank highly in spots 4 and 5.
  • Decline in International Reputation. Brexit appears to have had a detrimental impact on the reputation of the UK education sector to both students and also leaders within the industry. Four years ago, 28% of the academic staff working in the UK were non-UK nationals. 16% of these were from the EU. This shows the increased challenges faced in UK higher education when it comes to recruiting staff.
  • UK Researchers are Moving Abroad. 70% of UK researchers are now choosing to have their research published and associated with education institutions outside of the UK. Some observers say this could be seen to be weakening the UK’s reputation.
  • Reduction in Research Funding. The reduction in Research Funding from the Department for Education (DfE) appears to be forcing UK educational staff to go outside of the UK to fulfil their research project. This is adding pressure on the UK higher education sector, as they look to find funding internally.
  • Increase in International Higher Education Institutions. The University of Tokyo has risen to #13 in the Times Higher Education (THE) world rankings above Tsinghua University of China, closely followed by Peking University of China and Kyoto University in Japan.
  • Student Welfare. The positive impact of mental health charities and support groups has been welcomed in the UK. However, talking about mental health is also having an impact on the UK higher education reputation, as particularly international students are questioning their quality of life and welfare should they choose to study in the UK. Having a well thought out set-up for support students that are suffering with mental health, suicidal thoughts and serious illnesses is a cost that all universities need to budget for in the coming academic years, especially with the challenge of funding being cut from the Department of Education (DfE).

Strategic Supplier Partnership Working

The bulk of fees, grants and other income needs to continue to be invested into improving the student experience and improve educational competitiveness, both domestically and internationally. In order to do this, investment in areas such as quality of teaching and research staff, educational facilities and digital online learning and knowledge management needs to be increased, whilst non-essential operating overheads need to be minimised.

What stage are you at in your Strategic Supplier Relationship?

New Relationship

You’re procuring or contracting and you need it to work really well.

Existing Relationship

You’re in a partnership that could be working better.

Broken Relationship

It’s gone wrong. You need help to exit a relationship early and safely transition to another.