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11 October 2012 | Anna Reynolds
Herefordshire Council is overhauling its procurement strategy to become a ‘commissioning organisation’.
By appointing three category managers and training existing staff, the council is investing in a new core commercial services team to drive a single approach to contract management and supplier relationship management across the organisation. It also aims to improve management information and market intelligence through increased spend analysis.
Wayne Welsby, head of commercial services at the local authority, told SM: “These new roles will help deliver our strategic aims and reflects the increasing value procurement professionals with the right skills can bring to their organisations.
“We need to move away from traditional processes of tendering. Due to our rural location we lack a developed supply chain and tend to use the same supply base, which produces the same results all the time.”
The new commercial team will identify existing staff that display key attributes and develop a training package to improve their procurement skills, incorporating them into the team. They will also work alongside parish councils, local traders and voluntary groups to enhance tendering capability and reconfigure the delivery of services.
The changes have been prompted by reduced budgets and increasing demands. As one of the least densely populated areas of the country, Herefordshire has an above average number of older people, which presents further challenges for the council. These include higher demands on social care services and the rural nature of the county presents logistical issues.
Welsby added: “Our new commissioning and commercial strategy is a key vehicle to help shape the future of the organisation and the services it provides. We are building on existing relationships with key partners both within and outside of the county, plus developing new ones.”