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Driving value in Membership and Charity Organisations through procurement.

As the economic outlook continues to be challenging, procurement teams in membership, charity and social enterprise organisations are increasingly asked to ‘do more with less’. Combine this with the ever-changing regulatory landscape and increasing costs coming from suppliers, and you have a set of procurement professionals that are under more pressure than ever before.

eXceeding offers invaluable support to membership and charity-based procurement teams, providing expertise, knowledge and additional capacity to bolster internal resources and provide real value for money.


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Membership organisations, charities and social enterprises have a common aim: to ensure their members, donors or recipients receive the best value for every pound spent whilst aiming to achieve their mission. For procurement teams, this brings a key focus on cost optimisation, transparency, compliancy and efficient resource management.

From new building projects to essential day-to-day professional services and works, projects can range from low value to multi-million-pounds. For many organisations in these sectors, delivering this pipeline can be challenging to manage, especially when you are looking for the most efficient route to market. Many procurement teams are under-resourced and have limited experience – especially when projects are major, ‘once in a career’ projects.

Some common procurement challenges faced by membership organisations and charities:

  • Regulation and compliance: Procurement processes must adhere to stringent regulations and standards, which can be complex and time-consuming to navigate. For example, charities which receive more than 50% of their funding from the Government, local authorities or NHS Trusts, or who have more than 50% of their board appointed by the same bodies, are likely to find themselves subject to Public Contracts Regulations 2015 at present. Similarly, organisations wishing to bid for public sector contracts post-October 2024 will be affected by the Procurement Act 2023.
  • Budget constraints and limited financial resources: Membership organisations and charities operates within strict financial limits, requiring careful allocation of resources to ensure cost-effectiveness while maintaining high standards of transparency for all stakeholders.
  • Data management: Effective procurement relies on accurate data. However, many membership organisations and charities struggle with fragmented and inconsistent data, making it difficult to analyse spending patterns and make informed decisions.
  • Workforce skills: Adequate training and development of procurement staff are essential. There is a need for continuous professional development to keep up with the evolving regulations, technologies, and market conditions. However, this must be balanced with providing tactical availability of procurement resources in what is usually a high-volume environment.
  • Manual processes or dated procurement technology: The adoption of new procurement technologies, such as eSourcing and P2P systems, can streamline processes but also requires significant investment and training, which can be a hurdle for membership or charity organisations.
  • Innovation adoption: Integrating innovative products and services into the procurement process is often slow due to the need for rigorous evaluation and validation to ensure they meet board requirements.
  • Sustainability goals:  Many charities and membership organisations have demanding targets, requiring procurement processes to consider sustainability criteria, which can complicate decision-making and increase costs.
  • Contract and supplier relationship management: Implementing robust contracts with clearly defined SLAs and KPIs and then developing and maintaining strong relationships with suppliers is challenging but necessary for ensuring consistent quality and delivery of goods and services. Procurement teams are often overwhelmed with running procurements and are not able to focus sufficiently on these areas.
  • Capacity and skills gaps: Due to budget constraints, procurement teams can often suffer from lack of headcount and resulting lack of capacity to meet periods of peak activity, and also subject matter expertise for particular category requirements or types of complex procurement exercise.

Why eXceeding?

We have a wealth of experience helping membership and charity organisations to procure what they need, with long-term value and minimal reputational risk.

By collaborating with eXceeding, clients benefit from unparalleled confidentiality standards. With triple ISO accreditation and Cyber Essentials certification, we ensure the utmost security and confidentiality of your data and information.

Furthermore, you gain access to our best practice toolsets, a dedicated delivery team, and extensive category knowledge, all backed by pre-qualification and approval, providing peace of mind and simplifying the procurement journey.

If you would like to speak to us about how we can support your procurement needs, please drop us an email or give us a call on 0330 088 1620.

At eXceeding, we’re here to help membership and charity clients do things better: to save time, resources, provide value for money, and deliver better results. Having worked extensively with a number of organisations in these sectors, we have seen the challenges and frustrations experienced by procurement and category professionals and helped to solve them.

Take, for example, our work with the National Education Union (NEU) where we helped to transform their procurement and ensure best value. Through this project alone, we have helped to save them hundreds of thousands of pounds, which will be put back into the fantastic work the Union does for its members.

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