Meet the Assistant Buyer - Sally Pemberton
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Meet the Assistant Buyer - Sally Pemberton

22 April 2021 By Sally Pemberton - Assistant Buyer for Facilities Management at YPO

Sally Pemberton

Sally started working at YPO in May 2018 after moving from NHS Supply Chain and now works in the very busy facilities management procurement team as an assistant category buyer.

Name: Sally Pemberton

Position: Assistant Category Buyer, Facilities Management Procurement team

How long have you worked for YPO: Nearly 3 years

What do you like the most about YPO?:

I love being part of a company that not only cares about the best interests of its customers but about the interests and wellbeing of its staff too. It really does feel like a community and you can feel the culture that it brings to its workforce and business ethics.

For customers, YPO lives by its core values of offering excellent customer service, value for money and obtaining the best possible outcomes for its customer requirements. Also knowing that not only do we save customers money, but that we give money back to the public sector is also a rewarding feeling.

For its employees, YPO really does give you the opportunities to expand your wings of self-development so they can essentially ‘grow their own' and I love this aspect as I am always looking to develop my own skills and knowledge.

YPO is such a good flexible organisation to work for, you can see why some staff members have been here a lifetime already! Everybody is so friendly, just a passing smile from colleagues is all it takes for you to know you are part of “family” even if you do not know that colleague particularly well. It really does show that YPO (and its employees) really do care about its staff and customers (external and internal) and that you aren’t just another number!

What are your main responsibilities?:

Every day is varied and different but my main responsibilities are managing my two DPS agreements (879 Building in Use Support Services and 881 Grounds Maintenance and Associated Services) throughout the procurement cycle, as they are very busy and admin heavy it can take up a lot of my time managing these and the onboarding process of providers.

Aside from the two DPS agreements, I liaise with contracting authorities/customers advising on the best solutions for their procurement requirements, helping them to find the route to market that best suits their needs whilst ensuring that the solution is compliant with current regulations, assisting with completing their further competition documentation and helping them to get their heads around the call-off agreement T&Cs – this can be a mind field in itself if you have never run a compliant procurement before.

Working closely with providers too (new and existing) as we work with and help providers the same as we do customers – alongside onboarding new providers and advising them on how to navigate the e-Tendering system, I have frequent ‘meet the buyer’ calls to discuss with them what’s new in their field, how they can assist YPO and how YPO can assist them better and the DPS agreements in terms of how it works for further competitions when they are successfully awarded a place on the DPS’s and navigating the e-Tendering system.

In a nutshell, my role is to widen the services available to our customers with market research and developing supplier relationships to ensure we have the best they offer and in turn increase the YPO customer base.

Create interest in frameworks by spreading the awareness of the YPO frameworks through marketing campaigns and the benefits to customers, while establishing long term partnerships with both these customers and providers/contractors.

I manage the current DPS agreements under my remit, continuously encouraging best practice processes and compliancy in line with the Public Contract Regulations 2015, and in an ideal world, manage any gaps in the marketplace so we have the best solutions available for our customers with the highest quality providers.

What is the most challenging part of your job?:

The upmost challenging parts of my role (to name a few) are co-ordinating when to close down the DPS rounds and issuing customer further competitions so it doesn’t affect any new opportunities for providers or delay any of our customer’s procurement timescales.

Also knowing the diverse scope of the 879 Building in Use Support Services DPS - from catering and cleaning to car park management, to food inspection and waste management in order to advise the best possible solutions and then also have the chance to keep up to date with what’s going on in the industries i.e., the most recent and up to date legislation and learning what’s new in the world of FM Services.

Working with SME’s who may never have worked an e-Tendering portal before to try and get them onboarded on to my DPS agreements. All the while assisting customers with the right amount of support and adapting my style to suit the plethora of customers that have very different needs and requirements, ensuring the procurement process runs smoothly for all. Some like to be closely guided and being assisted throughout each step of the process, whereas others prefer to work independently and call on us only for advice and support when required or necessary. It can be challenging to make sure we have the right providers to cover the customers’ requirements too and also enough providers to promote good competition.

Describe your role in three words: Hectic, fulfilling, and diverse.

How did you get involved in procurement and what is your procurement experience?:

Having worked most of my life in telesales, customer services and distribution, I really needed a change of career so luckily managed to land a job in 2014 as an assistant buyer within the NHS looking after a small framework agreement (c.£170k) which set me up learning all about procurement, tender renewals, tender processes etc, and which put me on the path towards level 4 CIPS. Jump forward two secondments as a buyer and contracts manager and four fantastic years, I was successful in securing the role of Further Competition Team Leader at YPO learning as much as I could about further competitions and the diversity of the procurement services categories and here I am. Now, Assistant Category Buyer in the facilities management procurement team fully managing two very busy DPS agreements and loving every minute! The rest is history, so they say.

What do you like to do in your spare time?:

In my spare time, I do yoga and go tap dancing once a week which I find very good for the brain because it’s almost like trying to rub your belly and pat your head at the same time. Sometimes and when I can, I like to socialise with my many friends and family, whether that be in a pub or all round to my house!

I am a mean cook and have a flair for cooking up a storm in the kitchen, which is a very good thing when you love food as much as I do! (think bubble to me and big table banquet) ... mmm!

Amongst all that and my desire to see the world, I am also keen on walking and love a good footpath to get lost down, not knowing where it will bring me out while listening to some cracking sing-out-loud tunes!


If you’d like to contact Sally to discuss your facilities management requirements, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

If you enjoyed this read, you can find out more about our employee’s and how they found themselves at YPO, as well as their job responsibilities and progress throughout the business. Meet the YPO team now!

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