As head of contract management for
the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) transport services team, I work very closely with colleagues in the procurement services team. While I have sometimes been frustrated by the lengthy process and approval routes during my MPS career, our recent joint successes have demonstrated the benefits we can deliver together.
During the past 12 months, I have worked with Joe Stevens, the new category lead for transport and logistics for procurement services to develop a shared understanding of our business priorities and interests and how we commission fleet services. During
this time, Joe and his team have been approachable, efficient and extremely professional.
Working together, the procurement strategy for
the MPS’ vehicle replacement programme
(a rolling programme designed to replace established vehicles
when they reach the end
of their economic life)
was updated, reducing costs, and preventing any impact on our operational delivery.
This was a particularly challenging piece of work
as we have a commitment to ensure we maintain the optimal fleet to meet operational demands, responding to the flexible and changing demands
of supporting the policing of London.
As a result of our work, the MPS’ strategic replacement of vehicles has been enhanced and a
new approach agreed between our transport and procurement teams. The number of procurement exercises we complete has been significantly reduced and we have also been able to achieve greater economies of scale with consistency in models of vehicles, which has provided a more robust supply chain.
This improved way of working has been very successful for the MPS and all the teams involved.
I would recommend that stakeholders working with procurement maintain clear and open communication by trying to work in close physical proximity or schedule regular updates to track progress. They also need to understand each team’s priorities and find shared interests.
While different teams may focus on governance or the prompt sourcing of products, the key principle should be finding a product that is fit for purpose and offers the best value for money.
Tips for working with stakeholders
1. Attend familiarisation days, team meetings and more with stakeholder teams. This allows both teams to understand what you do, as well as why and how you do it. For the MPS, building relationships with new staff members provides an insight into an area that is unique in national policing.
2. Ensure you engage early. This provides the greatest opportunity to maximise value for money.
3. Demonstrate your market insight, knowledge of
trends and highlight where
you can add value. For example, helping to arrange more beneficial economies of scale.
4. Remember to focus on the end-to-end customer’s experience. Proactively seek your customer’s feedback, ensure that relationships are maintained at every level
and have members of staff that are accessible and helpful at all times.
5. Define your customer’s requirements to ensure that your solution is fit for purpose as well as encouraging maximum competition within the supplier market.
☛ Phil Ind
is head of contract management, transport services,
for the Metropolitan Police Service