09 May 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
Buying consortia for the further and higher education sectors have signed a formal agreement to collaborate on purchasing.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium (NWUPC) and further education Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) commits the two organisations in the long term.
It is hoped that working together on joint contracts will yield savings of up to 15 per cent. Removing duplication of work will save at least £25,000 in efficiency gains on each contract.
A dozen or so joint contracts are being worked on or have been let by NWUPC and CPC, including deals on laptop computers, furniture, beauty supplies, fax machines and water coolers.
A future programme of contracts extends over the next three years and will be continuously reviewed, revised and extended.
Peter Brewer, chief executive of CPC, told supplymanagement.com: "The idea of a joint contracting programme had been discussed by the managing directors of CPC and NWUPC and some ad-hoc collaboration on contracts, such as fax machines, had taken place. However, this was more a gentlemen's agreement between individuals. It did not commit the senior management of the two consortia in any way, so the collaboration could have faltered in the future.
"The memorandum commits the organisations to provide resources and plan together to ensure a long-term mutually beneficial arrangement."