eXceeding was approached by a Midlands-based university requiring help with a number of construction, Facilities Management (FM) and technology procurements.
The university initially sought additional capacity to plug a resource gap, but it soon transpired that it could also benefit from eXceeding’s higher-level procurement expertise to deliver two large outsourcing contract procurements.
As well as providing interim tactical buying support, we ran Open Procurement compliant procedures for the two larger contracts, resulting in the successful implementation of a seven-year IT contract and a five-year partial FM outsource contract worth a combined total of more than £17 million.
The university had recently hired a new head of procurement and was undergoing some significant staff changes, including bringing in new resource to deliver on its strategic procurement objectives. However, in the interim, the changes had left a gap in capacity which needed filling at the earliest opportunity.
With a wealth of public sector procurement experience and expertise at its fingertips, eXceeding was considered to be the ideal partner to provide the required tactical support at short notice and to a high standard.
In discussions with the university, it transpired that its procurement team was also in need of strategic support to deliver two new outsourcing contracts – one IT outsourcing (ITO) contract and a further contract to provide Soft and Hard FM (e.g. cleaning, catering, maintenance and repairs etc) services.
The university’s procurement team did not have the experience of delivering such large, once-in-a-work-generation procurements and lacked the up-to-date marketplace and supplier landscape knowledge of the IT and FM markets that would be required to do so effectively.
With a large student population to satisfy, and enhanced Service Level Agreements (SLAs) required to protect the university during key times such as in exams season, it was incumbent on eXceeding’s IT procurement team to shape and deliver an effective ITO with safeguards for the university and that also provided value for money, innovation and social value.
The university’s Soft FM was already outsourced, whilst the Hard FM was internally delivered, meaning Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) rules would apply to any new contract. However, the university had been unhappy with some of the staff provided by the existing supplier. We were tasked with identifying the root cause of these issues and setting out through the resulting new contract a requirement for the chosen provider to address them effectively.
Initially, our consultants encountered some reluctance from some members of the university’s procurement team to work with them on delivering what was required. However, it soon became apparent that doing so would provide ideal opportunities for knowledge transfer and upskilling, as well as unlock the time and space for the in-house team to focus on the areas where they could add most value to the university.
As well as providing tactical buying support at a lower level to increase the capacity of the university’s procurement team, our consultants led the strategy and execution of the ITO and FM outsourcing contracts.
We ran an Open Procurement Invitation to Tender (ITT) for each, first drawing up a detailed specification with appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), SLAs and service credits to ensure the bids received would be suited to requirements and the resulting contracts manageable throughout their life cycle.
First establishing with the university the vision for ideal provision for each, our team then undertook compliant pre-market engagement and a high level of due diligence to identify potential suppliers who could provide everything the university required.
After executing the ITT, we helped the university to evaluate the resulting bids and mobilise the final contracts with the chosen suppliers. Our consultants continue to provide ongoing contract management services to ensure all contractual requirements are met over the contract durations.
The university now has in place two fixed-price contracts to provide it with IT and FM services. Both contracts have flexibility to vary and robust benchmarking clauses to ensure they continue to evolve at pace with the market in terms of cost and service.
In addition, the university has gained in eXceeding an experienced partner and advisor that can equally provide it with low-level tactical capacity as well as higher level strategic procurement support.