Andy started working at YPO in May 2018 after moving from a local authority, he is now the Category Manager for Social Care and Emergency Services.
Name: Andy Perrins
Position: Category Manager of Social Care and Emergency Services
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 of our organisation 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 increased their investment in health and social care over the last five years and together with my colleague, Claire Deacey, we have introduced new solutions for customers. These offer commissioners a great opportunity to support their challenging agenda.
I have now also taken on the management of the Emergency Services category and work with Laura Megson to provide a wide range of framework solutions for public sector customers.
For both categories I am keen to work with the market and customers to understand your needs and support you. We also want to bring fresh and exciting ideas to life which will ultimately add value to the categories.
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, there’s a great deal of freedom and opportunity to build relationships. I have been meeting some existing customers, providers and suppliers and hope to continue this, so please feel free to get in touch.
Describe role in three words:
Exciting, transforming, innovative
How did you get involved in procurement?
It’s been a bit of journey for me, 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 the role of Day Service Worker, where I supported group work with adults who had learning disabilities, as well as supporting a specialist day centre where I conducted group work with elderly, both I found 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 enabled 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 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 and hopefully bring 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 the independent cinema. Three cats, a partner and teenage daughter also provide some entertainment.
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