28 May 2011 | Angeline Albert
Plans to centralise buying at the London Borough of Haringey by the end of June will see
the loss of 15 buying positions.
As part of the strategy, staff with purchasing responsibilities who are
currently working in the local authority’s business units will be brought under
the head of procurement’s management. While some staff will retire, others are
discussing voluntary redundancy with the council.
The changes are expected to make a saving of £1 million on wages and through
other efficiencies as a result of the centralisation.
Michael Wood, head of procurement at Haringey, said: “We’ve taken a
commercial view of the market. We’re centralising the expertise where it’s best
deployed. I want to achieve more collaboration not just across the council, but
by working with consortia to benefit from better buying power. We want to avoid becoming an ivory
tower and will involve business units in our plans to improve procurement.”
He added a total of 950 council contracts will now be managed centrally
and divided into 16 categories of spend.
Wood undertook a major transformation of purchasing operations at the
Council after joining as head of
procurement in 2003. This early groundwork
enabled Haringey to achieve a saving of £12 million in the 2009/10 financial
Referring to the
function’s effectiveness, Wood said: “Each department was spending money in
vertical silos, we weren’t maximising buying power. There was no category
management across the council three and a half years ago. Now it’s not just
about breaking down departmental silos, it’s about local authority silos. More
procurement savings can come from greater collaboration between county councils
and district councils for example.”
numbers have been cut from 9,500 to 8,000 over the past three and a half years.
The use of management consultants have also been have been reduced, from 80 to
16, and temporary workers from 750 to 250 over the same period. The number of
recruitment agencies used by the Council has also been slashed from 320 to 150,
and are now managed by a single provider.
Around £150,000 was
saved in 2009/10 through renegotiation of IT contracts and the number of IT
suppliers has also been halved to 50.
A new management
information system helped identify print an design spend was £3 million higher
than estimated, closer to £5 million than £2 million. Supplier numbers in this
area have also been cut in half to 150, and £750,000 annual savings have been
realised through the use of a new quotation system.