Ash has been at YPO for 11 years now, where he’s worked in various different roles including contracts officer, curriculum buyer, ICT and innovation manager and now his current role as education development manager.
Helping schools has always been at the forefront of what Ash does, especially when he can see the real difference it makes in such challenging times.
Name: Ash Cartwright
Role: Education Development Manager
How long have you been working at YPO? 11 years
What do you like most about working at YPO?
I love the responsibility of helping our customers in the public sector get the best results with their limited or restricted budgets. There are so many financial pitfalls to avoid and it’s great knowing that our help and advice really makes a difference.
What are your main responsibilities in the education procurement team?
It’s my responsibility as the education development manager to ensure that we’re constantly evolving and offering the best service to our customers. Through interviewing key decision makers across the education sector on how schools procure, we’ve gained some valuable insight that schools need end to end support on setting up procurement contracts. We’ve now created a team dedicated to helping schools be more efficient and effective with their procurement projects and it’s my responsibility that the team keep delivering success and providing that invaluable support.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
I love to offer help and advice to schools around their spend and see where YPO could offer impartial advice to maximise their savings and efficiencies. I recently helped a school make a large saving on their catering equipment and the budget was used to help purchase more front-line curriculum products for their teachers and pupils. It’s those type of scenarios which make it all worthwhile.
Describe your role in three words: Supportive, transforming, agile
How did you get involved in procurement?
I finished university and worked on a temporary contract in the purchasing office at steel manufacturer in Sheffield. I realised pretty quickly that the steel works industry wasn’t for me but being a traditional tight-fisted Yorkshireman, I really enjoyed purchasing and getting best value for money. I then moved on to working in retail buying and never looked back since.
I’ve worked in procurement for over 16 years split between five years in the private sector working as a retail buyer, and 11 years in the public sector working in various roles. I initially started at YPO as a contracts officer, a great opportunity then became available to head up our national curriculum offering as a buyer. It was a huge challenge after the full transformation of then national curriculum in 2014, with whole new topics presented ranging from computing to the stone age and evolution; allowing no time for suppliers to react. I loved the opportunity to make a difference and worked strategically with key providers to offer brand new exciting teaching products and services.
I was then ICT category manager for a couple of years before moving into my current role, where I get to help our customers with their framework and contracts requirements.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I am a keen musician and love to play the piano or guitar in my spare time, unfortunately I can’t sing. A statement my neighbours can also confirm! I am a huge fan of 80s movies, very strong coffee and gadgets!
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