Andy started working at YPO in May 2018 after moving from a local authority.
Name: Andy Perrins
Position: Category Manager (Social Care)
How long have you been working for YPO?
I started working for YPO in May 2018 after moving from a local authority.
What do you most like about YPO?
YPO is a great place to work, with a really friendly environment. I love the attitude of the team I’m in and the public sector / commercial feel running throughout the business. It’s good to be able to tell people about both the heritage and innovation with the big plus of being publicly owned. I’ve been fascinated to find out about the wider business as I hadn’t fully understood that.
YPO has recently increased their investment in health and social care and I’m now one of three Category Managers. We already have some providers on frameworks which offer commissioners a great opportunity to support their challenging agenda.
I’m really keen to work with the very broad market and commissioners to understand their needs and ultimately bring fresh and exciting ideas to life which will ultimately reduce the burden on providers, commissioners and procurement teams.
I believe it’s also important for the sector to be aware of YPO and its ability to offer them a very wide range of purchasing options.
Most challenging part of your role:
The most challenging part of my role so far has been getting used to a new way of working as there’s a great deal of freedom to undertake the role. This is both exciting and quite daunting. I’ve been meeting some existing contacts and have realised how powerful things like Twitter can be at supporting communication and sharing of information and ideas.
YPO has some great relationships with colleagues in procurement teams, but I’m acutely aware that in health and social care, it’s the commissioners who have the exciting and very challenging role of considering how to meet the needs of individuals and communities. I’m aiming to meet as many commissioners as I can from both council’s and health to see how YPO can support.
Describe role in three words:
Exciting, transforming, innovative
How did you get involved in procurement?
It’s been a bit of journey and so this is very trimmed down version!
After working in a social services area office as an administrator for some time I was exposed to workings of social care and found it fascinating. I became a PA to a great social worker who needed support due to sight loss and this involved supporting during user visits and meetings. I decided that working with people was my career path and after some volunteering I started work as a Day Service Worker where I supported group work with adults who had learning disabilities. I also worked with older people in specialist day centre where I supported group work and found this particularly interesting. I used this experience to become a home care organiser, managing a team of 20 care staff in a large town. In those days the council even provided fire lighting! I then became a Case Reviewing Officer for older people living in care. This involved working closely with care providers and eventually enabling me to become a Contracts Officer for a range of services which were commissioned, including home care, meals on wheels, day services, residential care and specialised transport. It was during this time that I was first exposed to procurement and have worked since in various roles within procurement and commissioning teams and only within the health and social care world. I’m particularly proud of the projects which have enabled change and also supported the efficiency agenda. I was heavily involved in the Care Funding Calculator design and roll out leading a project which improved provider relationship and saved a very significant amount of money. I have also led on the transition of Public Health from the NHS and subsequent procurement of many of the services, working closely with commissioners and providers to design really innovative services.
Whilst the title of Category Manager is very procurement-based and probably a bit off-putting to some; ultimately it gives me the ability to research, explore and learn about the needs of the operational teams, commissioners and the market (whatever that is) and hopefully bringing them together.
I hope that my operational background and wide understanding is supportive, and I really want to explore genuine co design.
What do you like to do in spare time?
I live in Belper, Derbyshire and enjoy the small lively town and all it offers, such as real ale pubs, food and independent cinema. I try and run at least three times a week to offset my appetite for food and real ale and also go on long wanders at the weekend. Three cats, a partner and teenage daughter also provide some entertainment.