STAR Procurement has been active for 5 years and achieved many successes, can you highlight one that stands out to you?
Our savings figure is now well over £20m and has increased year on year. I’m keen for procurement to be more than savings, and hence our business plan focusses on our 5 C’s of commercial, communities, collaboration, compliance and champions, and we have been able to deliver on each of those objectives. However, our savings achievement stands out for a number of reasons:
- i) These are true ratified savings that are helping our Council’s to achieve their savings targets and to continue to deliver balanced budgets each year.
- ii) The savings shows the real difference procurement can make.
- ii) These savings are a result of better and smarter procurement rather than cutting front line services
- iv) We have shown that whilst we have had a big push of ‘Local Spend’ this has not been at the cost of delivering savings. In fact, it helps provide evidence that working with our local businesses can help us to deliver even more savings
What are the main challenges to maintaining a collaborative recruitment strategy?
As a shared service, we recognise the importance of our team and having an appropriate talent management plan in place – not only to attract professionals to STAR but also to retain and motivate our current workforce.
We have recently implemented a new interim structure as part of our on-boarding of Tameside as a new partner and the additional activity required. Recruitment of experienced procurement professionals has tended to be difficult in the public sector. However, STAR has implemented a ‘Grow Your Own Policy’ to help develop procurement professionals within the team, by providing apprenticeships, CIPS training, on-the job development, coaching and involvement in Task & Finish Strategic projects. The success of this policy meant that STAR delivered 12 internal promotions. The remaining vacancies were filled externally and the high response rate and quality of the candidates demonstrated that STAR is now an Employer of Choice.
What are they key tenets of your Responsible Procurement Strategy?
STAR Procurement is committed to adopting ethical values in the way we source and manage suppliers on behalf of our Councils. All our staff are trained in ethical procurement and we are one of the first public sector teams to have been awarded the CIPS Corporate Ethics Mark.
We have recently launched our new Responsible Procurement Strategy to reflect important changes to how we work and to place responsible, sustainable, and ethical procurement at the heart of everything we do, not just a tick box exercise.
For us, our responsible procurement strategy includes all aspects of procurement and therefore it follows the 5 C’s of our Business Plan – Commercial, Communities, Collaboration, Compliance and Champions. It also includes a list of Core Expectations including Co-operative Charter Against modern Slavery, as well as additional requirements that may be added where relevant and appropriate.
Can you give an example of a successful tender that delivered social value?
We have recently launched our new campaign; ‘Social Value is Everyone’s Business’ which is helping us and our partners to deliver even more Social Value. We have now gone live with a new IT system, the ‘Social Value Portal’ that helps businesses to support communities as part of contract tender submissions.
The system gives opportunities for businesses to commit to provide community support for homelessness schemes, local employment, local suppliers, the voluntary sector, and much more. It will be used throughout the life of the contract and will report on progress using the National Social Value Measurement Framework (The National TOMs). This will allow us to measure how well businesses are delivering the community benefits they have promised.
We have already been able to demonstrate this through our Early Help Programme (ISFT) for GMCA, which showed that for a contract value of £6.5m, additional social value of £2.9m is being delivered.