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1 November 2013 | Gurjit Degun
Publicly-owned buying organisation YPO aims to expand by moving into new sectors and attracting more public sector bodies as customers.
Simon Hill, managing director at YPO, told SM that the organisation’s current customers and its local authority owners have reduced funds and so it is looking at ways to offset this.
The business, previously known as the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation, is owned by 13 local authorities and provides goods and services for public sector bodies in education, emergency services, charities and local government.
There are now plans to move into the health sector and to target organisations in other areas of the country. “We’re looking at our traditional products and services and seeing where else in the public sector would have similar needs, and whether we can achieve economies of scale by selling to them,” said Hill.
Paul Smith, procurement and supply chain director, added there are other areas within local authorities YPO will look to supply too. These include IT, fleet, energy, professional services and social care.
“We are creating new contracts in all these categories to enable greater collaboration,” he said.
YPO is launching a procurement advisory service for schools at the end of the year to offer a help-desk facility to provide guidance. It will include information on procurement regulations and purchasing processes.
There are also plans for a new website by the end of the year, which will include better access to current YPO contracts.
“We still take a significant proportion of our orders by fax, from schools in particular, but they are moving online rapidly,” explained Smith. “Our online presence will benefit from some big investments this year in terms of updating the website.”
Hill added YPO’s target is to grow current market share from 35 per cent to 40 per cent over the next two years by incorporating the changes.