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Improvements to procurement processes not only helped the Council save money during the last financial year, they resulted in increased spend on contract with target sectors.

In 2018/19 improved processes and smarter working saw the Council spend:

  • £69m with local providers, an increase of £4m on the previous year and the third year in a row that local supplier spend has increased.
  • £145m with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), comparing favourably with the previous two years.
  • £27m with the Third Sector, an increase of £1m on 2017/18 and an increase of £4m on 2016/17.
  • More than £1m with supported businesses.

While an update of the procurement and commissioning unit’s webpages has also made it easier for both current and future suppliers to tender for goods and services with the Council.

Merle Stevenson, Procurement Co-ordinator, said: “Thanks to the Council’s Procurement Strategy and the Procuring for the Future project, we’ve been able to provide advice to SMEs and other organisations that guide them through the procurement process. This has resulted in an increase in bids from across target sectors and has helped local businesses secure work with Falkirk Council and other public bodies across Scotland.

“We’ve also listened to our suppliers and have introduced new tender templates and terms and conditions that will make it easier for them to understand the rules they must adhere to when supplying goods and services to us.”

The Council of the Future project Procuring for the Future, which is led by William McQuillian, Procurement & Commissioning Manager, has also helped identify over £400k of savings for this financial year.

The savings have been achieved through the introduction of two new ways of working:

  • Category Strategy: the strategy groups together spend for different types of products and services, and identifies opportunities for improved contract compliance and greater spend with SMEs, local suppliers and supported businesses.    
  • A two-year procurement wave plan: a list of procurement exercises over the period 2018-20 has been generated leading to better customer engagement and opportunities for internal and external collaboration and greater best value potential.

Merle said: “Over the past two years a phenomenal amount of work has been undertaken to make it easier to work with us and to strengthen our procurement processes. That work has not only helped the Council save money, it has provided additional opportunities to local businesses.”