Greenfile Developments



Procurement services are critical to the strategic and operational success of a business in ensuring value for money and developing strong and sustainable supplier relationships.

Greenfile Developments has extensive specialist experience in supporting organisations in IS Procurement in both within the private and public sectors, and across a range of industries.

Before starting the procurement, an appropriate procurement strategy needs to be drawn up. This will be driven by the options available for a particular procurement and the complexity of the procurement to be undertaken. For a simple procurement, it might be possible to use an existing local or Government Framework in place. This could also be the case for a complex procurement - probably one of the most widely known examples of this is the procurement of extensive software within healthcare for the National Programme for IT – when no local procurement was necessary, since all contracts had been conducted and negotiated centrally (it is worth pointing out that this is a relatively rare example). Often an organisation will need to conduct an open competition if no appropriate framework exists - either using an OJEU route in the public sector or an equivalent approach in the private sector.

Greenfile Developments has been involved in the production of a number of options appraisals looking at the best way to undertake a procurement and developing relevant procurement strategies.

Typically, for a complex procurement, the procurement strategy will consider the contracting process itself, the number and nature of the suppliers required, the length and type of the contract and contract and supplier management issues. When procuring a new software solution, it may well consider the options for undertaking a procurement to cover provision of the hardware as well as the software, and will almost certainly consider the support and maintenance aspects – possibly including scope for outsourcing or a managed service.

procurement processAt a simple level, the procurement process can be split into three sequential stages, with core activities as shown on the right.

Whether public or private sector, our approach is based on the standards and frameworks set out originally by the OGC (Office of Government Commerce - part of the Cabinet office from 1st October 2011) since these provide best practice guidance and sound checklists for conducting any procurement. As with all our work, we adopt a lean approach to procurement, underpinning practices set out by the Cabinet Office.

For detailed information see UK Cabinet Office Guidance and the details on lean procurement (both these links open in new windows).

Procurement processes and routes are well set out – yet in following those processes many clients need help. It takes time, effort and consultation with many key stakeholders to develop a specification that will generate appropriate supplier responses. It takes experience to run a procurement process to get the best dialogue with prospective suppliers – and strong project management to keep the procurement on time. And before contracts can be signed, it takes knowledge and experience to know that all aspects have been covered in the final contract - so that what is delivered is what’s expected... and will be appropriately maintained and supported for many years.

In our experience, private sector procurements generally deliver the best results if the public sector model is adopted – timescales can be tighter, and those invited to tender can be much smaller in number – but this requires an in-depth knowledge of the market to ensure that only the most suitable suppliers are invited.

This is where Greenfile Developments makes use of its consultants with in depth knowledge of sector-specific products.