Back to School Procurement Checklist: Autumn Term 2021
The summer holiday is the best time to get on top of your different service contracts and plan for next year’s procurement requirements. Our checklist will help you plan for upcoming contract renewals, manage your budget effectively and ensure you are receiving the best service for the best price.
Complete your contracts register
A contracts register is the best tool for keeping on top of all your service contracts and procurement plans. The single template will hold all the information including the name of the provider, the start and end dates, the costs and what you like and dislike about the service. There is also an extra column stating when you should begin the tender process. To request a contracts register please click here.
Know your routes to market
Once you have identified which contracts you need to procure, it is important to identify your desired routes to market so you can create a timeline for each contract. There are three compliant routes that provide fast and effective procurement solutions, saving time and money – direct award, mini competition and a full tender.
|Timescale||1-2 months||2-4 months||6-8 months|
|Route to market overview||Direct award allows you to compliantly appoint a supplier that provides the best quality service, benchmarked to assure best value.||A mini competition allows you to market your tender to a small pool of suppliers who are ideally positioned to successfully deliver your contract.||A full tender is an end-to-end procurement solution designed to find the most suitable supplier to deliver your contract.|
|Why use this route to market?||If you have an incumbent supplier or preferred supplier in mind, this solution allows you to compliantly appoint them.||This allows you to reach a selected group of suppliers who have demonstrated they have the knowledge and know-how to deliver your contract.||This opens your tender to all suppliers in the UK. It involves producing a detailed specification which is essential when your contract requires a high level of expertise.|
Create a procurement plan
Once you have identified which contracts you need to procure and your chosen route to market it is important you plan ahead and create a timeline for each procurement process. Remember to allow an extra month for the TUPE process after the contract has been awarded if needed. The more time there is to develop your procurement requirements, the greater level of competition you can drive from the supplier market and the better value solution your school will receive! To request a procurement timeline, click here.
Collate all your data and documentation ahead of time
To keep the process on track and your specification succinct and accurate collate all the relevant data and documents ahead of time. Examples of the documents needed include floor areas and site plans and records of your current equipment and who owns them (the school or incumbent supplier). It is also important to know your current number of students and a rolling prediction for the duration of the new contract. The service will only be as good as the specification you produce; therefore it is essential you know what your school really needs from its contracts and what it is currently missing.
This stage is a good opportunity to see if you could be saving money by procuring smarter. For example, do you have printers in every classroom? By placing multi-functioning devices (MFDs) in key locations, staff can release their printing, photocopy, or scan documents in any location. You will see a reduction in your toner and paper costs too! Furthermore, look at the number of school meals served each day and the overall sales generated against the costs to provide them; you might find there is potential to generate income from your catering contract.
Embed a robust contract management process
Once your new contract is in place it is vital to embed an ongoing contract management process to make sure that throughout the lifecycle of the contract it remains fit for purpose, you obtain additional value and that your suppliers are meeting all the deliverables. Identify your expectations and the promises made in the winning bid and use this information to define your key performance indicators and service level agreements. These should be embedded at the start of the contract and monitored quarterly or yearly with your supplier to make sure they are achieved. Read our top tips on contract management here.
Once you have your new contract in place, make sure you update the details in your contracts register so you are prepared when the contract renewal is due!
Schools’ Buying Club@SchoolsBuyClub
Catering is one of the most important contracts a school or trust will procure due to the level of spend, the opportunity to generate a profit, and the direct impact it has on the health and wellbeing of children and staff. Check out our top tips here: hubs.li/H0Xv9QQ0