The procurement team with chief constable John Campbell
The procurement team with chief constable John Campbell

How 'cradle to grave' spend strategy will save police force £3.4m

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
20 October 2020

A “cradle to grave” approach to spend management at Thames Valley Police (TVP) has put the force on course for £3.4m savings by April 2021.

The procurement team at TVP advises stakeholders on specifications and market engagement, manages that engagement on their behalf, awards contracts, and then monitors and manages suppliers to ensure performance is in line with the contract.

TVP – which has an annual spend of around £140m on goods, equipment, services, and works – has been tasked to deliver savings of £13m over the next four years.

A spokesperson said: “Public sector funding is likely to come under even more scrutiny and it is likely austerity measures will, as a consequence, be introduced. 

“The procurement function will need to create more imaginative commercial solutions, develop collaborative opportunities and stronger contract management. This will be whilst supporting the supplier market place to ensure it remains stable and encourages innovation.”

TVP’s work has resulted in an award from the CIPS Procurement Excellence Programme (PEP), under which it was commended at standard level for leadership and organisation, strategy and policy, and process and systems.

Richard Fowles, head of procurement at TVP, said work towards the PEP audit had built team morale and individuals’ confidence.

“We have a huge responsibility of doing more with less. Combined with the challenges from the pandemic, the need has become greater, so this couldn’t come at a better time,” he said.

“The findings of the PEP audit have now been incorporated into the team’s overall objectives, to ensure that not only do we learn now, but improve our individual and team performance in the future. We wanted to demonstrate to our colleagues in the force, the local community and other stakeholders what efficient procurement practice looks like in a policing environment.”

Alan Martin, head of procurement excellence at CIPS, said: “The team threw themselves wholeheartedly into the programme and to cement the good reputation of the team’s activity with colleagues in other departments.

“They had very clear and professionally-based objectives to benchmark past progress and develop strong plans for more improvements to come. To manage this as well as the demands of the pandemic deserves high praise indeed. I hope that they continue on their PEP journey to ever higher standards.”

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