Scotland Excel Continuing our journey 2012–15

Scotland Excel
Continuing our journey
About Scotland Excel
About Scotland Excel
About Scotland Excel
Scotland Excel is the Centre of Procurement Expertise for the
local government sector. We work collaboratively with members
and suppliers to maximise the value and impact of local authority
In March 2006, a review of public sector
procurement in Scotland by John McClelland
CBE recommended a new approach to increase
the efficiency of c. £9bn spent by organisations
across the public sector each year. In response
to the report, the Scottish Government initiated
the Public Procurement Reform Programme to
support collaboration and improve procurement
capability across the public sector.
Scotland Excel was established in April 2008
as part of this programme to lead collaborative
procurement on behalf of local authorities. Over
the past four years, we have developed and
managed a wide range of contracts which reflect
the diversity of services provided by councils to
their local communities.
As of April 2012, our contract portfolio comprises
48 contracts with an estimated annual value of
c. £300m and an average savings potential of
c. 7%. Over the coming three years, we aim to
grow the value of the portfolio to £750m, and will
focus the development of new contracts within
the strategic, high spend areas of social care and
Scotland Excel also helps local authorities
meet the improvement targets set by the Public
Procurement Reform Board. Since 2009, we have
worked in partnership with local authorities to
develop and manage an annual programme of
learning opportunities, projects and initiatives
which have had a measurable impact on their
procurement capability and efficiency.
During the next three years, we will continue
to work closely with councils as the pace
of procurement reform accelerates. Public
procurement is now widely recognised as a
driver of social, economic and environmental
benefits, and a Sustainable Procurement
Bill which considers the wider impact of
procurement choices is being developed by
the Scottish Government.
The following pages provide a flavour of the
key projects and activities that Scotland Excel
will undertake over the next three years to
maximise our value to our customers and
help them meet the challenges ahead. Further
information can be found in our Business Plan
2012–15, which is available on our website at
Scotland Excel is a non–profit making
organisation funded by all 32 local authorities
in Scotland. Our head office is located in
Paisley, with regional teams based in Aberdeen,
Edinburgh and Inverness.
Scotland Excel Continuing our journey 2012–15
Scotland Excel has five strategic aims
which inform our business plans, projects
and activities:
Maximise the value of procurement to our sector by
developing and implementing new collaborative contracts,
actively managing supplier relationships, and providing
high quality business information and reports which
support decision making at a national and local level.
Deliver a range of best practice projects,
initiatives and activities to raise procurement
capability across our sector including training
and development, advice and consultancy, and
knowledge management.
Engage with local authority stakeholders across all
aspects of our business to ensure that our policies,
plans and activities are aligned to the strategic
priorities of our sector, and support their interests
through partnerships with other stakeholder groups.
Adopt a proactive approach to corporate
social responsibility and sustainable practices
by taking a holistic view of the social,
economic and environmental implications of
procurement choices.
Progress the development of Scotland Excel
through the continuous improvement of staff skills,
systems and internal processes, ensuring that we
measure, monitor and report on our performance
across a number of key measures.
Scotland Excel Continuing our journey 2012–15
Best Value
Best Value
“Scotland Excel is an excellent example
of how shared services can benefit
local government. The value to local
authorities is clearly demonstrated
by the savings delivered from their
collaborative contracts, and in their
successful efforts to raise the profile
of procurement throughout the sector.
I am confident that the next three years
will see Scotland Excel go from strength
to strength.”
David Martin,
Chief Executive, Renfrewshire Council
and Public Procurement Reform
Board Member
Best Value
Scotland Excel develops and manages collaborative contracts for
products and services where a common requirement is identified
across our sector.
Our contracts are used by a wide range of council
departments including social care, buildings and
maintenance, transport, environment, facilities
management and corporate services, as well as
schools, libraries and leisure venues.
Collaborative procurement is helping local
authorities to achieve best value at a time when
budgets are under considerable pressure and
demand from service users is increasing. During
2011–12, we estimate that our contracts saved
local authorities more than £13m, which equates
to £4 for every £1 we receive in funding.
However, there are wider benefits to collaboration
beyond these headline savings. As well as
the efficiencies gained from placing a single
national contract, a centralised approach to
contract management creates a strong position
for mitigating price increases. In 2011, Scotland
Excel was able to negotiate fixed pricing across
a number of food contracts to avoid market
inflation, saving an estimated £1m for local
Collaboration also provides a focus for innovation
in product or service delivery. Last year, our
security services contract included a requirement
for bidders to be accredited by the Security
Industry Authority (SIA) following concerns about
organised crime operating within this market.
Other examples include our telecare contract
which prompted suppliers to address long term
interoperability issues which restricted choice
for service users and led to additional costs for
Our priorities for contract development over
the coming three years will be social care and
construction services. As part of our 2012–13
contract delivery plan, we are currently looking
at opportunities within these areas which have
an estimated total spend of more than £200m
per annum.
Over the past year, we have started to build
our social care portfolio by delivering contracts
for secure care, prepared meals and telecare.
Contracts for fostering and residential children’s
care are already in the pipeline, and opportunities
within adult residential care, adult supported
living, and care at home services are being
All of our social care contracts focus on
delivering the right outcomes for those using the
services, and our strategies ensure that these
are embedded within the contracts we place.
Scotland Excel Continuing our journey 2012–15
The development process involves extensive
consultation with stakeholders, providers
and service users, and we have built strong
partnerships with key policy organisations
including the Association of Directors in Social
Work (ADSW), the Convention of Scottish
Local Authorities (COSLA) and the Scottish
The value of this can clearly be seen in recent
projects which have included providing support
for the renegotiation of COSLA’s National Care
Home Contract, and assisting with contingency
planning following recent market failures among
care home providers. Our work with partners has
also highlighted opportunities to support social
care procurement capability, and a number of
projects are being developed to achieve this.
Our procurement teams are also investigating
opportunities within construction services to
complement existing contracts for a wide range
of building materials. A contract strategy has
been developed for construction consultancy,
and opportunities within building services,
facilities management, housing refurbishment,
and roads and bridges maintenance are being
Scotland Excel Continuing our journey 2012–15
The next three years will also see a programme
of contract renewals within our existing
portfolio, and we will analyse the management
information we have acquired to optimise the
structure and delivery of these second and third
generation contracts. A new contract for waste
disposal services will be added to the portfolio
during 2012–13 to complement our existing
environmental contracts and help local authorities
meet new legislative obligations.
As part of the renewals programme, we are
exploring further opportunities to work with
other sectors to increase savings and improve
the efficiency of contract delivery for shared
requirements. Our current portfolio already
features a number of contracts which are
being used by the Scottish Government, NHS,
housing associations and other public sector
To ensure that all contracts continue to deliver
best value to our members, a new contract and
supplier management strategy is being rolled out
across the organisation. The new processes and
systems developed as part of this strategy will
monitor contract performance across a number
of key measures, and enable us to target our
supplier development activity more effectively.
Procurement Capability
Procurement Capability
“With Post PCA support from Scotland
Excel, we were able to comprehensively
review procurement across the
organisation and now have a refreshed
strategy, a new set of goals for the
next 2 years and further endorsement
from the corporate management team
and members. Inverclyde Council
are now well placed to raise the bar
on performance and make further
efficiency savings.”
Brendan Hurrell,
Corporate Procurement Manager,
Inverclyde Council
Procurement Capability
Scotland Excel supports procurement transformation at a
local level through a range of learning and development
opportunities, improvement projects and shared best practice.
The changing face of public procurement is
about more than national contracts. The Public
Procurement Reform Programme provides
a collaborative platform for sectors to work
together to develop shared systems, processes,
tools and guidance which help procurement
practitioners improve performance within their
Scotland Excel works closely with programme
partners to ensure that the views of the local
government sector are understood within
the wider landscape of procurement reform.
Representatives from local authorities are
involved in many of the programme’s working
groups to ensure that outputs meet the needs of
practitioners within the sector.
In 2009, the Scottish Government launched an
annual programme of Procurement Capability
Assessments (PCAs) across the public sector.
These assessments form the basis of a
maturity model which enables organisations
to benchmark their performance and identify
areas for development. The model has four
quadrants — non–conformance, conformance,
improved performance and superior
performance — and organisations progress
through the model as their capability increases.
The results from each round of assessments are
used to inform national priorities for the Public
Procurement Reform Programme. In addition,
Scotland Excel analyses the outcomes from local
authority assessments and works in partnership
with local authority procurement teams to
develop an annual programme of improvement
projects that are tailored to the needs of the
Now well established, this Procurement
Improvement Programme (PIP) is based on three
phases each year – the assessment, analysis and
action – with priorities for the next phase agreed
with members at an annual workshop following
each round of assessments. The workshops also
provide local authorities with an opportunity to
share best practice and hear from key players in
the procurement world.
Projects and activities are aligned with the
targets set out in the Public Procurement
Reform Programme delivery plan, and are
designed to help local authorities reach improved
performance within the PCA model by March
2013. With six local authorities already at this
level, and further investment being made in
procurement, this goal is within reach. The
average PCA score of the sector has almost
doubled since the programme began.
Scotland Excel Continuing our journey 2012–15
Key projects for 2012–13 include further provision
of intensive support to help local authorities
develop a business case for transforming their
procurement function, the rollout of national
electronic procurement tools, the development
of contract and supplier management processes,
and plans for improving management information
to underpin strategic procurement decisions.
Scotland Excel also develops and manages a
leading learning and development programme
as part of our work to support procurement
capability. Since this programme was established
in 2009, it has expanded its reach across the
public sector, with more than 2,000 delegates
from almost 100 organisations taking part.
Over the coming year, we will continue to
expand the range of learning initiatives offered
to meet a wide range of training needs across
the sector, including the development of
qualifications and resources aimed at those
responsible for commissioning and managing
social care contracts. We are currently working
with stakeholders to develop an accredited
Professional Development Award (PDA) in
social care, and are partnering with the Scottish
Government’s Joint Improvement Team (JIT)
to develop a proposal for an online information
Scotland Excel Continuing our journey 2012–15
platform to guide practitioners through the
commissioning process.
To attract new entrants to the procurement
profession, we have implemented a second
phase of our graduate trainee programme,
the first national initiative of its kind within the
Scottish public sector. We are also working
with Skills Development Scotland to extend
the Modern Apprentice Framework for Supply
Chain Management to include levels that are
appropriate for school leavers.
Over the past three years, our work with local
authorities to raise procurement capability across
the sector has evolved beyond expectations. Our
reform projects and activities are highly valued
by our members, and we are now developing
options for a business model to ensure that we
can continue to deliver these services beyond
their initial funding period.
Stakeholder Engagement
Stakeholder Engagement
“I am impressed by the level of
enthusiasm and commitment, and
the growing sense of community, that
exists across the local government
procurement sector.”
Alastair Merrill,
Director, Procurement & Commercial,
The Scottish Government
Stakeholder Engagement
As a shared service organisation, building positive relationships
with our local authority customers is essential for every aspect of
our business. Our partnership focus ensures that we understand
and respond to the changing needs of our members.
Over the past four years, our regional teams have
worked hard to develop their knowledge of the
procurement priorities of each local authority and
provide targeted support to help them adopt new
contracts. As our contract portfolio has matured,
we have been able to gather and analyse detailed
management information to optimise the benefits
council’s receive from contracts, and pinpoint
further opportunities for savings.
Our regional teams meet with local authorities
on a quarterly basis to review reports and
agree targets. Over the next three years, we
will continue to develop the services provided
by our regional teams, supported by ongoing
improvements to our management information.
The teams will also continue to encourage and
facilitate regional collaboration by identifying
opportunities for contracts that can be delivered
by councils working together at a local level.
However, we recognise that other teams
across Scotland Excel are regularly in contact
with customers, through our contract and
procurement reform activity and the work
undertaken by our communications and helpdesk
teams. Our goal over the coming year is to
improve customer experience across all areas
of our business by developing and implementing
a stakeholder engagement model that takes a
holistic view of customer needs.
correspondence. Our work requires us to engage
with many different stakeholders within local
authorities, from elected members and senior
officers to procurement teams and buyers, and
we will look at ways to improve our systems
and processes for managing interactions to
ensure that we are reaching all of our customers
programme, and national events such as the
annual conference of the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) and
the National Public Procurement Conference.
Engaging with suppliers will continue to be an
important part of our work, and we will take part
in a range of supplier events including Meet the
Buyer and Procurex Scotland.
A communications strategy is already in
development as the first step in this project.
This will establish a clear framework for a
programme of publications aimed at a wide
range of stakeholders, providing information
about our services and keeping them updated
on developments. Our communication plans will
continue to focus on electronic and web–based
delivery of information to improve efficiency and
facilitate access.
Our stakeholder engagement model will be
built around a solid understanding of customer
satisfaction. Towards the end of 2012, we will
implement an annual survey to gather feedback
from customers about all areas of our business,
and the results will inform our improvement plans
each year. This will enable us to monitor trends
and act accordingly to ensure that our services
are developed from a customer perspective.
We will also implement enhancements to our
web channels to capitalise on the success of
the new website and online catalogue launched
in December 2010. A social media module will
provide a single, secure platform for collaboration
that will enhance efficiency and improve the reach
and immediacy of our communications. This will
support the development of online stakeholder
communities, and customers will have a single,
secure platform for collaboration that will reduce
the need for emails and calls.
As the project progresses, we will look at
all aspects of our contact with customers
including meetings, events and day–to–day
Scotland Excel Continuing our journey 2012–15
Communications projects that are already in the
pipeline this year include regional roadshows
for procurement reform, an extended newsletter
Scotland Excel Continuing our journey 2012–15
Corporate Social Responsibility
Organisational Development
“As framework suppliers, we have
worked very closely with Scotland
Excel to ensure we deliver high
quality timber products from legal and
sustainable sources to local authorities.
This has prompted us to review our
company’s sourcing and supplying
arrangements, resulting in a positive
change for all customers and the
“The staff engagement forum
encourages everyone to get directly
involved with improving organisational
performance. It is good to know
that our ideas and experiences from
the ‘front line’ are recognised and
valued by managers and colleagues!”
Nicola Burleigh,
Business Services Specialist,
Scotland Excel
Kevin Mitchell,
Operations Manager,
Keith Builders Merchants
Corporate Social Responsibility
Scotland Excel considers the wider social, economic and
environmental impact of procurement when developing contracts,
and promotes the benefits of sustainable procurement to our
sector through a range of projects and initiatives.
Over the coming year, the Scottish Government is
planning to introduce a Sustainable Procurement
Bill which recognises the role of public
procurement as a driver of economic and social
benefits, and the need to balance this against
savings and efficiency. Scotland Excel is working
closely with the government and other partners
to help shape the content of the Bill, and will
support the implementation of new policies within
our sector.
However, local authorities in Scotland are already
making significant progress in sustainable
procurement. In April 2011, Scotland Excel
awarded the UK’s first national collaborative
contract which ensures all timber products are
certified as coming from a legal and sustainable
source. This contract was recognised in a recent
report by the World Wildlife Fund as a major step
forward for local authority compliance with UK
Timber Policy.
In March 2012, we partnered with the Scottish
Government to deliver the internationally–
recognised Marrakech Task Force training
sessions to more than 50 delegates from
our sector. This training is based on a United
Nation’s global initiative to promote and support
the implementation of public procurement
programmes that encourage the uptake of
sustainable products and services.
This year, Scotland Excel also began working
with the Scottish Government and the Ready
for Business consortium to promote the
benefits of involving the third sector in the
design and delivery of public sector services.
The programme also supports the use of
community benefit clauses in local government
contracts, and projects will look at ways in which
procurement can encourage service innovations,
jobs, training or regeneration within local areas.
Over the next three years, Scotland Excel will
continue to encourage companies of all sizes
to bid for our contracts to widen the economic
impact of procurement. As well as using lotting
strategies which enable smaller companies
to tender for specific product or geographic
areas, we will provide information and advice
at national and local supplier events. More than
70% of suppliers to our current contract portfolio
are SMEs, and over half of these are based in
Scotland Excel Continuing our journey 2012–15
Organisational Development
Scotland Excel is committed to continuous improvement in all
aspects of our work. Developing the people, skills, processes
and systems that underpin the delivery of our services has led
to consistent enhancements to our business performance.
In the four years since launch, Scotland Excel
has been accredited by the Chartered Institute
of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and Investors
in People (IiP). As well as being a major
achievement for a relatively young organisation,
these awards have provided a framework for
ongoing organisational development, and we will
continue to implement improvements to ensure
that we retain these accreditations following
reviews this year.
At Scotland Excel, we value our staff and
recognise that their commitment is central
to our success. A number of initiatives have
been implemented to support the development
and retention of a highly skilled, experienced
and motivated workforce including a Staff
Engagement Forum which enables employees at
all levels to contribute feedback and ideas. Plans
are also underway for a new intranet resource to
improve staff communication, collaboration and
Following our restructure in 2011, there is now a
clear career path of progression opportunities
within our procurement teams, and a programme
Scotland Excel Continuing our journey 2012–15
of tailored training to meet the development
needs of each employee is being put in place.
The new organisational structure also facilitates
cooperation, bringing together different areas of
expertise from across the organisation at each
stage of the procurement process.
Over the past year, we have implemented a
national strategic sourcing methodology, known
as the Procurement Journey, which has improved
the efficiency of contract development and
delivery. Plans to adopt the new range of national
electronic procurement tools are underway,
and we are also supporting their rollout to local
Further development of our systems and
business processes to increase capability and
efficiency will take place as part of our ongoing
improvement plans. Our solid approach to
organisational development and flexible structure
will ensure we are able to evolve to meet the
changing needs of our members over the three
years of our business plan.
Working together to deliver best value
Published May 2012
Scotland Excel, Unit 5, Anchor Mill, 7 Thread Street, Paisley PA1 1JR
Telephone:0300 300 1200
Fax:0141 618 7423