Commercial Procurement Manager
We are looking for an experienced, independent, and self-motivated person with a ‘customer-first’ mind-set who will work with the national commercial procurement manager (NCPM) to deliver an end-to-end business partnering function to support all aspects of Procurement across our large Academy customer-base in partnership with head-office regional specialists in estates, school improvement, finance, and ICT. The successful person will also help deliver the Trust’s commercial strategy and have experience of delivering a diverse programme of prioritised regional tenders over a multi-year period. You will be key to the delivery and implementation of processes and systems required to delivering quality procurements, including supplier relationship management, governance, and contract management for a range of central Trust-wide commodities and Academy-specific contracts via both OJEU/FTS and smaller non-OJEU/FTS approved routes to market.
The successful candidate will be assigned several Academies by region to support the development and implementation of procurement policies and to drive continuous improvement.
You will own a portfolio of procurement projects and work with Academy and head office customers to develop commercial procurement strategies and be hands-on in the support and delivery of the full range of activities associated with the tender cycle from design through to contract commencement and management. You will also be responsible for the operation of the related OAT procurement IT systems and monitoring activities to ensure compliance across your portfolio of contracts.
You will be the commercial procurement subject matter expert to your region and a point of contact for suppliers, public sector buying organisations, commercial lawyers, and other stakeholders from multi-professional backgrounds. You will also support the NCPM in providing assurance to the Board on:
- optimising value for money across the Trust,
- supplier alignment to OAT strategic objectives,
- compliance with associated legal and regulatory frameworks
- improving commercial awareness and
- mitigating related risks.
Finally, you should be easy to work with, values-driven, dependable, and committed to supporting the well-being of colleagues with respect in collaborations and communications.
Main duties and responsibilities:
- Delivery of best practice customer management through the tender and award process ensuring effective handover into contract management.
- To support the development and implementation of procurement policies and system strategies to support tendering, contracts management, spend analytics and supplier performance management.
- To support the design and implementation of new supply chains - including small/medium enterprises (SMEs) - to create greater competition that aligns with Trust business needs and supports the use of local suppliers to address local Academy contexts and societal objectives, as and when appropriate.
- To drive continuous improvement, best value, and quality improvements within Academies in challenging existing practices and actively seek ways to achieve better outcomes, contributing to ensure key performance and financial targets are met with corrective action taken where necessary.
- Working with Academy operations managers and other key trust stakeholders to review and ensure that procurement of goods and services are compliant and provide excellent value for money.
- To report to the NCPM, senior executive team, trustees, or related internal committees, as required, to provide up-to-date status reports on procurement to include, for example: development, value for money, cost savings, performance data and compliance with regulatory procurement and associated legal requirements.
- To ensure all aspects of regulatory compliance are adhered to regarding the respective Procurement Policies and external requirements such as OJEU procedures and implement strategies that safeguard the trust contractual and commercial risk within the designated portfolio of responsibility.
- To develop excellent and effective collaborative relationships with key stakeholders and external providers and other agencies to ensure strategic and operational needs are fully understood and incorporated in procurement activity. This includes effective liaison and participation, where appropriate, in associated procurement networking groups, the cabinet office, framework providers and government data services.
- Implementation of and use of appropriate frameworks including, but not limited to, government commercial function or other educational accessible frameworks (i.e., CPC, ESBO, YPO, etc.)
- The procurement of appropriate contracts or frameworks, arising from a multi-year prioritised tender programme, to meet the demands of the Trust and its Academies
- Develop and contribute to creative and innovative procurement processes i.e., eProcurement (including tendering, electronic payment systems etc) and the restructuring of services to reflect local or market attributes etc.
- Establishing and managing future demand relating to tender programme activities including the management and reporting of any associated risks.
- Embed commercial awareness and promote the importance of procurement across the organisation and best practice through continuous improvement, training, and the delivery of a professional service to Trust and Academy customers.
- Act as the principal conduit for formal communications with external companies during Procurement activity relating to your portfolio of tenders.
- Manage relationships with existing and potential internal and external stakeholders reflecting best practice principles and demonstrating and fostering professionalism, integrity and respect.
- To work within the relevant principles, behaviours, legislation, policies, and procedures.
- Working with the Trusts data protection officer (DPO) to establish appropriate data protection, processing and recording measures in partnership with internal customers for specific commodity markets. Making recommendations, as required, to ensure GDPR compliance.
- Working with the DPO, as and when required, to ensure that the Trust eco systems (which track, store and record types of data) are compliant and kept up to date.
- Ensuring GDPR principles are embedded in normal working practices.
You will have a broad range of internal and external stakeholders including suppliers, public sector buying organisations, commercial lawyers, Academy support staff, head-office support staff, procurement networking groups, the cabinet office, the department of education, framework providers, government data services and other stakeholders from multi-professional backgrounds.
Judgement, decision-making authority:
- You will need to be able to draw on your skills and experience to act autonomously using discretion and professional judgement to and make independent decisions in keeping with the responsibilities of the role within the commercial procurement team and escalating decision making when necessary.
- You will provide professional guidance and advice to colleagues and customers across the Trust and Academy customer base. In the context of an established framework of public sector procurement policies and procedures.
- You will expedite work instructions from the NCPM and/or the National director of estates and technology (including deputising for the NCPM and representing the commercial procurement department, as and when necessary).
- You will influence broader corporate procurement strategy and implement a new tender programme across a range of goods and services commodities to improve efficiency, quality, value-for-money, and the release of front-line resource.
Initiative, independence judgement & complexity:
Typical tasks of the role include, but are not limited to:
- Leading concurrent and complex tendering activity as part of a multi-year prioritised tender program.
- The ability to plan well - mitigating threats and maximising opportunities.
- Input and deliver on the Trust procurement training of peers and Academy customers in all aspects.
- The ability to challenge the status quo, based on experience.
- The ability to diplomatically identify and translate historical shortcomings and sensitivities into procurement design.
- The ability to bring and apply procurement principles and commercial/business acumen to new contexts requiring procurement solutions.
- Working with legal teams to identify and mitigate procurement-related risks on behalf of Trust and Academy customers.
- Commercial and strategic contract management (not operational).
- Being able to confidently present tender outcomes and seek approval from executive and trustee groups/committees, as applicable.
- Head Office peer support, particularly across estates, finance and ICT to deliver improvements and enable corporate strategy.
- Acting as a trusted advisor relating to all aspects of procurement to Trust and Academy colleagues and customers.
- Participating in informal meetings, staff days, team briefings, Academy introductions etc to help understand corporate values and objectives and/or local contexts whilst building good working relationships.
- Contributing to procurement Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) and/or government networking groups/initiatives to share knowledge and make a positive contribution to the development of procurement across the education sector and beyond.