University in the East of England - Case Study - eXceeding
03333 555 111 Connect with us:        

University in the East of England

Overcoming internal challenges to define and procure a total FM contract resulting in significantly reduced administrative burden and economies of scale driving cost savings.


A UK university based in the east of England approached eXceeding for help to transition its facilities management (FM) provision from multiple, disparate suppliers to a more straightforward, Total FM contract with one single supplier.

With considerable internal resistance to the idea of contracting all its FM requirements with a single supplier, a large student body to satisfy, and a lack of relevant in-house market knowledge, there was a need for the university to access eXceeding’s subject matter expertise, as well as its experience in sourcing pre-qualified suppliers and preparing and managing effective contracts.

eXceeding conducted an open procurement, liaising with the university’s estates team to prepare the Supplier Questionnaire (SQ) and Invitation To Tender (ITT), carrying out pre-market engagement with potential suppliers, and preparing the final contract with the chosen supplier.

The university now has a contract in place with a single supplier to deliver its FM requirements over the next five years. The contract mandates the sub-contracting of services to Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) wherever possible as per the public sector’s commitment to doing so, meaning the university may continue to leverage existing long-term relationships with local suppliers, while benefitting from streamlined management and administrative processes.

The background.

The University had a complex ecosystem of insourced services and around 20 outsourced contracts with different FM SME suppliers. This was generating a significant number of invoices each month, which was becoming a financial and administrative burden. There was an understanding that transitioning to a total FM contract with one or two suppliers would bring with it associated cost savings resulting from economies of scale, as well as enable greater opportunities for innovation and delivering social value.

Without the relevant in-house knowledge of the UK-wide and regional Total FM market, or expertise in procuring such a large and complex contract, the university approached eXceeding for help to source, engage and contract with a supplier that could deliver its requirements over the next five years.

The challenge.

There was a great deal of resistance internally, within the university’s estates team, to the idea of contracting all its FM requirements with a single supplier. The team’s members had established strong, long-term relationships with their existing SME suppliers, and were accustomed to leveraging these informal relationships to achieve their desired outcomes quickly and with minimal process.

There was also a need to ensure any contract met the very real social value and environmental expectations of the university’s increasingly active and engaged student population, without whose support success would not be possible.

How eXceeding helped.

Our procurement experts worked with the university’s estates and procurement teams to prepare a single stage SQ and ITT split across two lots encompassing Soft FM (e.g. cleaning, catering etc.) and Hard FM (such as maintenance and repairs) requirements.

Existing frameworks were assessed for their suitability, but rejected as either not meeting the award criteria or not having the desired number and range of suppliers in terms of business size and location relative to the university. Therefore, the decision was taken to proceed via compliant but fully inclusive Open Procurement procedure.

Our market experts sourced and carried out due diligence and pre-market engagement with a dozen appropriate providers beforehand to ensure the university received a range of bids demonstrating the full extent of the potential value to be derived from moving to a Total FM contract.


clock with four arrows round the outside of it

Five-year contract duration

Blue circle with notepaper with writing on it an an image of a pencil

Total FM contract with one single supplier

Significantly reduced administrative burden

Blue circle with one leader feeding back information to three others

Ongoing contract and supplier relationship management

The outcome.

The University now has in place a robust, Total FM contract with a single, experienced supplier. The five-year contract drives innovation and allows for greater social value to be delivered, while still enabling the university’s estates team to maintain existing relationships through its requirement for works to be subcontracted to local SMEs wherever possible.

The simplified contractual arrangements have reduced the number of monthly invoices received by the university’s finance team by more than 95%.

Our experts continue to work with the university to provide ongoing management of the contract, including managing contract reviews on a quarterly basis and at the three and four-year anniversaries, implementing the contract’s benchmarking clauses to ensure it continues to evolve at pace with the market in terms of cost and service.

Thanks to our work on this project, the University has a robust Total FM provision, delivered by providers already known to the university, that should remain relevant and provide value for money well into the future.