University of Surrey – HR & Payroll System Procurement Support

University of Surrey were undertaking a critical HR & Payroll technologyenabled transformation programme. They required:  

  • An easy-to-use, integrated HR & Payroll solution  
  • Simplified processesrequiring as few systems/suppliers as possible 
  • Competitive Dialogue (CD) delivered within sixmonths 
  • Secure, resilient, scalable, future-proofedsolution 
  • Collaborative supplier relationship 
  • Digitalenablement for ongoing wider business change. 

BPG were instructed to provide procurement support, which included:

Challenging Timescales for HR & Payroll System Procurement

The University wanted to complete CD in a six-month window rather than the usual 12. We formulated a plan which could be achieved as long as sufficient expertise and experienced resource was assigned to the project. We worked quickly with a focused burst of activity to get the University ‘procurement ready’.  

HR System Procurement Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder Engagement was central to our work. Stakeholder mapping and analysis ensured we understood what concerns, vested interests and motivators were driving stakeholders. Our engagement plan clearly articulated critical success factors and outcomes to help all stakeholders understand what was important to the University. Our engagement activities supported budgetary challenges and the development of the business case and helped to smooth the progress of the procurement securing buy-in at key decision points.  

Client Testimonial

“The University needed to engage with a new managed services provider. It faced a number of major challenges including complex scope, moving targets, constrained budgets, short programme delivery times and a previously unsuccessful procurement which could not be repeated. The well-worn phrase, “failure is not an option” 100% applied here. We recognised that we needed “real world” expert and trusted external support in helping us develop a strategy and plan for success. BPG supported us in convincing the senior stakeholders re:

  • The need for an initial project health check and discovery exercise with associated advice and recommendations. This heath check review was consultative in nature being both forward and backward facing, leading to robust and well thought through compelling recommendations and action plans that were sympathetic to the University culture and maturity. Setting us on the right path through this robust analysis and planning was invaluable as there was a real project risk of setting unachievable objectives in stone, and selecting a procurement route that would not deliver.
  • Defining an early (pre formal regulated procurement) market engagement strategy which had the effect of massively de-risking what had initially looked like a very high risk situation involving multiple vendors, technologies and procurements into a much simpler and hugely expedited procurement route.
  • Creative and robust options appraisal on how best to expedite a complex OJEU competitive dialogue for effective delivery, into a six month timeframe. This work enabled the University to select the most appropriate route, secure “buy in” and funding, and start the procurement process on time.

Generally, because of BPG’s extensive hybrid (legal, contracting, procurement, project management) skills and experience, we had high overall confidence in the advice given. As the Director of Procurement responsible for procurement programme support, it allowed me to rest assured that we were set up for success. The project was about successful outcomes (managed budget, lead times achieved, a product and service that deliver real business benefits and value for money). Having BPG’s expertise, flexibility when required and client focussed approach, meant we had the required trust to work in partnership to deliver a successful outcome for the work commissioned”. Colin Davies, (then) Director of Procurement , University of Surrey